Summer and Spring – William Butler Yeats

A Man Young And Old: Viii. 
We sat under an old thorn-tree 

And talked away the night, 

Told all that had been said or done 

Since first we saw the light, 

And when we talked of growing up 

Knew that we’d halved a soul 

And fell the one in t’other’s arms 

That we might make it whole; 

Then peter had a murdering look, 

For it seemed that he and she 

Had spoken of their childish days 

Under that very tree. 

O what a bursting out there was, 

And what a blossoming, 

When we had all the summer-time 

And she had all the spring!

The Rose of Peace – William Butler Yeats

IF Michael, leader of God’s host 

When Heaven and Hell are met, 

Looked down on you from Heaven’s door-post 

He would his deeds forget. 

Brooding no more upon God’s wars 

In his divine homestead, 

He would go weave out of the stars 

A chaplet for your head. 

And all folk seeing him bow down, 

And white stars tell your praise, 

Would come at last to God’s great town, 

Led on by gentle ways; 

And God would bid His warfare cease, 

Saying all things were well; 

And softly make a rosy peace, 

A peace of Heaven with Hell.

The Man And The Echo – William Butler Yeats


IN a cleft that’s christened Alt 

Under broken stone I halt 

At the bottom of a pit 

That broad noon has never lit, 

And shout a secret to the stone. 

All that I have said and done, 

Now that I am old and ill, 

Turns into a question till 

I lie awake night after night 

And never get the answers right. 

Did that play of mine send out 

Certain men the English shot? 

Did words of mine put too great strain 

On that woman’s reeling brain? 

Could my spoken words have checked 

That whereby a house lay wrecked? 

And all seems evil until I 

Sleepless would lie down and die. 


Lie down and die. 


That were to shirk 

The spiritual intellect’s great work, 

And shirk it in vain. There is no release 

In a bodkin or disease, 

Nor can there be work so great 

As that which cleans man’s dirty slate. 

While man can still his body keep 

Wine or love drug him to sleep, 

Waking he thanks the Lord that he 

Has body and its stupidity, 

But body gone he sleeps no more, 

And till his intellect grows sure 

That all’s arranged in one clear view, 

pursues the thoughts that I pursue, 

Then stands in judgment on his soul, 

And, all work done, dismisses all 

Out of intellect and sight 

And sinks at last into the night. 


Into the night. 


O Rocky Voice, 

Shall we in that great night rejoice? 

What do we know but that we face 

One another in this place? 

But hush, for I have lost the theme, 

Its joy or night-seem but a dream; 

Up there some hawk or owl has struck, 

Dropping out of sky or rock, 

A stricken rabbit is crying out, 

And its cry distracts my thought.