Famous Quotes By William Butler Yeats


  1. Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.
  2. Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought - asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.
  3. But I, being poor, have only my dreams I have spread my dreams under your feet Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
  4. Choose your companions from the best Who draws a bucket with the rest soon topples down the hill.
  5. Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
  6. Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.
  7. I am of a healthy long lived race, and our minds improve with age.
  8. I balanced all, brought all to mind, the years to come seemed waste of breath, a waste of breath the years behind, in balance with this life, this death.
  9. I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe is enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swings his lantern higher.
  10. I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots.
  11. I heard the old, old, men say 'all that's beautiful drifts away, like the waters.'
  12. I think it better that in times like these a poet's mouth be silent, for in truth we have no gift to set a statesman right.
  13. If suffering brings wisdom, I would wish to be less wise.
  14. In dreams begins responsibility.
  15. Man can embody truth but he cannot know it.
  16. Nor dread nor hope attend a dying animal a man awaits his end dreading and hoping all.
  17. One should not lose one's temper unless one is certain of getting more and more angry to the end.
  18. Out of Ireland have we come, great hatred, little room, maimed us at the start. I carry from my mother's womb a fanatic heart.
  19. People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.
  20. Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round.
  21. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
  22. The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth.
  23. The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.
  24. The light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed, the shadow of shadows on the deed alone.
  25. The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.
  26. The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.
  27. The years like great black oxen tread the world, and God, the herdsman goads them on behind, and I am broken by their passing feet.
  28. Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.
  29. To be born woman is to know - although they do not speak of it at school - women must labor to be beautiful.
  30. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
  31. We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
  32. Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle? A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.
  33. Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye That's all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die.
  34. You know what the Englishman's idea of compromise is? He says, Some people say there is a God. Some people say there is no God. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two statements.

No comments: