The career of William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) spanned two centuries, and he became one of the foremost figures of English literature. He was a major force behind the Irish Literary Revival and was a co-founder of the famed Abbey Theater in Dublin. Active in politics, drama and literature, Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923. Born in Dublin, he died in France and is buried there.
This poem is taken from Early Poems, published in 1993 as a Dover Thrift Edition. Much of his early poetry was influenced by Irish folklore and myth.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavement’s gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.