Also a potent influence on his poetry was the Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne, whom he met in , a woman equally famous for her passionate nationalist politics and her beauty. Though she married another man in and grew apart from Yeats and Yeats himself was eventually married to another woman, Georgie Hyde Lees , she remained a powerful figure in his poetry.
His work after was strongly influenced by Pound, becoming more modern in its concision and imagery, but Yeats never abandoned his strict adherence to traditional verse forms.
He had a life-long interest in mysticism and the occult, which was off-putting to some readers, but he remained uninhibited in advancing his idiosyncratic philosophy, and his poetry continued to grow stronger as he grew older. Appointed a senator of the Irish Free State in , he is remembered as an important cultural leader, as a major playwright he was one of the founders of the famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin , and as one of the very greatest poets—in any language—of the century.
Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in and died in at the age of seventy-three. The Collected Poems of W. William Butler Yeats, widely considered one of the greatest poets of the English language, received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His work was greatly influenced by the heritage and politics of Ireland. Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!
The Tower by W. B. Yeats - Poems | Academy of American Poets
The tall thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled Above the tide of hours, trouble the air, And God's bell buoyed to be the water's care; While hushed from fear, or loud with hope, a band With blown, spray-dabbled hair gather at hand, Turn. Leave this field blank. Yeats , - I What shall I do with this absurdity— O heart, O troubled heart—this caricature, Decrepit age that has been tied to me As to a dog's tail? Never had I more Excited, passionate, fantastical Imagination, nor an ear and eye That more expected the impossible— No, not in boyhood when with rod and fly, Or the humbler worm, I climbed Ben Bulben's back And had the livelong summer day to spend.
It seems that I must bid the Muse go pack, Choose Plato and Plotinus for a friend Until imagination, ear and eye, Can be content with argument and deal In abstract things; or be derided by A sort of battered kettle at the heel. II I pace upon the battlements and stare On the foundations of a house, or where Tree, like a sooty finger, starts from earth; And send imagination forth Under the day's declining beam, and call Images and memories From ruin or from ancient trees, For I would ask a question of them all. Beyond that ridge lived Mrs.
French, and once When every silver candlestick or sconce Lit up the dark mahogany and the wine, A serving-man, that could divine That most respected lady's every wish, Ran and with the garden shears Clipped an insolent farmer's ears And brought them in a little covered dish.
Some few remembered still when I was young A peasant girl commended by a song, Who'd lived somewhere upon that rocky place, And praised the colour of her face, And had the greater joy in praising her, Remembering that, if walked she there, Farmers jostled at the fair So great a glory did the song confer.
And certain men, being maddened by those rhymes, Or else by toasting her a score of times, Rose from the table and declared it right To test their fancy by their sight; But they mistook the brightness of the moon For the prosaic light of day— Music had driven their wits astray— And one was drowned in the great bog of Cloone. Strange, but the man who made the song was blind; Yet, now I have considered it, I find That nothing strange; the tragedy began With Homer that was a blind man, And Helen has all living hearts betrayed.
O may the moon and sunlight seem One inextricable beam, For if I triumph I must make men mad. And I myself created Hanrahan And drove him drunk or sober through the dawn From somewhere in the neighbouring cottages. Caught by an old man's juggleries He stumbled, tumbled, fumbled to and fro And had but broken knees for hire And horrible splendour of desire; I thought it all out twenty years ago: Good fellows shuffled cards in an old bawn; And when that ancient ruffian's turn was on He so bewitched the cards under his thumb That all but the one card became A pack of hounds and not a pack of cards, And that he changed into a hare.
Hanrahan rose in frenzy there And followed up those baying creatures towards— O towards I have forgotten what—enough! I must recall a man that neither love Nor music nor an enemy's clipped ear Could, he was so harried, cheer; A figure that has grown so fabulous There's not a neighbour left to say When he finished his dog's day: Man therefore shall find grace, The other none: Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd [ ] All Heav'n , and in the blessed Spirits elect Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd: Beyond compare the Son of God was seen Most glorious, in him all his Father shon Substantially express'd , and in his face [ ] Divine compassion visibly appeerd , Love without end, and without measure Grace, Which uttering thus he to his Father spake.
O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find grace; [ ] For which both Heav'n and Earth shall high extoll Thy praises, with th' innumerable sound Of Hymns and sacred Songs, wherewith thy Throne Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest. For should Man finally be lost, should Man [ ] Thy creature late so lov'd , thy youngest Son Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though joynd With his own folly? So should thy goodness and thy greatness both [ ] Be questiond and blaspheam'd without defence. To whom the great Creatour thus reply'd. O Son, in whom my Soul hath chief delight, Son of my bosom, Son who art alone My word, my wisdom, and effectual might , [ ] All hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are, all As my Eternal purpose hath decreed: Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will, Yet not of will in him, but grace in me Freely voutsaft ; once more I will renew [ ] His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd By sin to foul exorbitant desires; Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand On even ground against his mortal foe, By me upheld, that he may know how frail [ ] His fall'n condition is, and to me ow All his deliv'rance , and to none but me.
Some I have chosen of peculiar grace Elect above the rest; so is my will: The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warnd [ ] Thir sinful state, and to appease betimes Th' incensed Deitie while offerd grace Invites; for I will cleer thir senses dark, What may suffice, and soft'n stonie hearts To pray, repent, and bring obedience due. And I will place within them as a guide My Umpire Conscience, whom if they will hear, [ ] Light after light well us'd they shall attain, And to the end persisting, safe arrive.
This my long sufferance and my day of grace They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste; But hard be hard'nd , blind be blinded more, [ ] That they may stumble on, and deeper fall; And none but such from mercy I exclude. But yet all is not don ; Man disobeying, Disloyal breaks his fealtie , and sinns Against the high Supremacie of Heav'n , [ ] Affecting God-head, and so loosing all, To expiate his Treason hath naught left, But to destruction sacred and devote, He with his whole posteritie must dye , Dye hee or Justice must; unless for him [ ] Som other able, and as willing, pay The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
Say Heav'nly Powers, where shall we find such love , Which of ye will be mortal to redeem Mans mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save, [ ] Dwels in all Heaven charitie so deare? He ask'd , but all the Heav'nly Quire stood mute , And silence was in Heav'n: And now without redemption all mankind Must have bin lost, adjudg'd to Death and Hell By doom severe, had not the Son of God, In whom the fulness dwells of love divine, [ ] His dearest mediation thus renewd.
Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace; And shall grace not find means, that finds her way, The speediest of thy winged messengers, To visit all thy creatures, and to all [ ] Comes unprevented , unimplor'd , unsought, Happie for man, so coming; he her aide Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost; Attonement for himself or offering meet, Indebted and undon , hath none to bring: Thou at the sight Pleas'd , out of Heaven shalt look down and smile, While by thee rais'd I ruin all my Foes, Death last , and with his Carcass glut the Grave: Then with the multitude of my redeemd [ ] Shall enter Heaven long absent, and returne , Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd , And reconcilement; wrauth shall be no more Thenceforth, but in thy presence Joy entire.
His words here ended, but his meek aspect Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love To mortal men, above which only shon Filial obedience: Admiration seis'd All Heav'n , what this might mean, and whither tend Wondring ; but soon th' Almighty thus reply'd:. O thou in Heav'n and Earth the only peace Found out for mankind under wrauth , O thou [ ] My sole complacence!
As in him perish all men, so in thee As from a second root shall be restor'd , As many as are restor'd , without thee none. His crime makes guiltie all his Sons, thy merit [ ] Imputed shall absolve them who renounce Thir own both righteous and unrighteous deeds, And live in thee transplanted, and from thee Receive new life.
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So Man, as is most just, Shall satisfie for Man, be judg'd and die, [ ] And dying rise, and rising with him raise His Brethren, ransomd with his own dear life. So Heav'nly love shall outdoo Hellish hate, Giving to death, and dying to redeeme , So dearly to redeem what Hellish hate [ ] So easily destroy'd , and still destroyes In those who, when they may, accept not grace.
Nor shalt thou by descending to assume Mans Nature, less'n or degrade thine owne. Then all thy Saints assembl'd , thou shalt judge [ ] Bad men and Angels, they arraignd shall sink Beneath thy Sentence; Hell her numbers full, Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while The World shall burn, and from her ashes spring New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell [ ] And after all thir tribulations long See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds, With Joy and Love triumphing, and fair Truth.
But all ye Gods , Adore him, who to compass all this dies, Adore the Son, and honour him as mee. No sooner had th' Almighty ceas't , but all The multitude of Angels with a shout [ ] Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heav'n rung With Jubilee, and loud Hosanna's filld Th' eternal Regions: Thee Father first they sung Omnipotent, Immutable, Immortal, Infinite, Eternal King; thee Author of all being, Fountain of Light, thy self invisible [ ] Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sit'st Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud Drawn round about thee like a radiant Shrine, Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appeer , [ ] Yet dazle Heav'n , that brightest Seraphim Approach not, but with both wings veil thir eyes, Thee next they sang of all Creation first, Begotten Son, Divine Similitude, In whose conspicuous count'nance , without cloud [ ] Made visible, th' Almighty Father shines, Whom else no Creature can behold; on thee Impresst the effulgence of his Glorie abides, Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
Back from pursuit thy Powers with loud acclaime Thee only extoll'd , Son of thy Fathers might, To execute fierce vengeance on his foes, Not so on Man; him through their malice fall'n , [ ] Father of Mercie and Grace, thou didst not doome So strictly, but much more to pitie encline: No sooner did thy dear and onely Son Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man So strictly, but much more to pitie enclin'd , [ ] He to appease thy wrauth , and end the strife Of Mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd , Regardless of the Bliss wherein hee sat Second to thee, offerd himself to die For mans offence.
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O unexampl'd love , [ ] Love no where to be found less then Divine! Thus they in Heav'n , above the starry Sphear , Thir happie hours in joy and hymning spent. Mean while upon the firm opacous Globe Of this round World, whose first convex divides The luminous inferior Orbs , enclos'd [ ] From Chaos and th' inroad of Darkness old, Satan alighted walks: Here walk'd the Fiend at large in spacious field.
So on this windie Sea of Land, the Fiend [ ] Walk'd up and down alone bent on his prey, Alone, for other Creature in this place Living or liveless to be found was none, None yet, but store hereafter from the earth Up hither like Aereal vapours flew [ ] Of all things transitorie and vain, when Sin With vanity had filld the works of men: Both all things vain, and all who in vain things Built thir fond hopes of Glorie or lasting fame, Or happiness in this or th' other life; [ ] All who have thir reward on Earth, the fruits Of painful Superstition and blind Zeal, Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find Fit retribution, emptie as thir deeds; All th' unaccomplisht works of Natures hand, [ ] Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixt , Dissolvd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain, Till final dissolution, wander here, Not in the neighbouring Moon , as some have dreamd ; Those argent Fields more likely habitants, [ ] Translated Saints , or middle Spirits hold Betwixt th' Angelical and Human kinde: Hither of ill- joynd Sons and Daughters born First from the ancient World those Giants came With many a vain exploit, though then renownd: The Stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw [ ] Angels ascending and descending, bands Of Guardians bright, when he from Esau fled To Padan - Aram in the field of Luz, Dreaming by night under the open Skie , And waking cri'd , This is the Gate of Heav'n [ ] Each Stair mysteriously was meant , nor stood There alwayes , but drawn up to Heav'n somtimes Viewless, and underneath a bright Sea flow'd Of Jasper, or of liquid Pearle , whereon Who after came from Earth , sayling arriv'd , [ ] Wafted by Angels, or flew o're the Lake Rapt in a Chariot drawn by fiery Steeds.
The Stairs were then let down, whether to dare The Fiend by easie ascent, or aggravate His sad exclusion from the dores of Bliss. Satan from hence now on the lower stair [ ] That scal'd by steps of Gold to Heav'n Gate Looks down with wonder at the sudden view Of all this World at once. As when a Scout Through dark and desart wayes with peril gone All night; at last by break of chearful dawne [ ] Obtains the brow of some high-climbing Hill, Which to his eye discovers unaware The goodly prospect of some forein land First-seen, or some renown'd Metropolis With glistering Spires and Pinnacles adorn'd , [ ] Which now the Rising Sun guilds with his beams.