William Butler Yeats Quotes


Best 72 Quotes by William Butler Yeats – Page 1 of 3

“A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, our stitching and unstitching has been naught.”

“A pity beyond all telling is hid in the heart of love.”

“All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions.”

“An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick, unless soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing for every tatter in its mortal dress.”

“And say my glory was I had such friends.”

“Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise.”

“Be secret and exult, because of all things known, that is most difficult.”

“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.”

“But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

“But was there ever a dog that praised his fleas?”

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

“Every conquering temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.”

“Everything exists, everything is true and the earth is just a bit of dust beneath our feet.”

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”

“Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned by those who are not entirely beautiful.”

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“How can we know the dancer from the dance?”

“How far away the stars seem, and how far is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart.”

“I am still of opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood – sex and the dead.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

“I heard the old, old, men say: all that's beautiful drifts away, like the waters.”

“I know that I shall meet my fate somewhere among the clouds above; those that I fight I do not hate, those that I guard I do not love.”

“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.”

“I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind.”

“I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking. It is all like an opera.”

“If suffering brings wisdom, I would wish to be less wise.”

“Irish poets, learn your trade, sing whatever is well made, scorn the sort now growing up all out of shape from toe to top.”

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“Courage is found in unlikely places.”

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