Quotes by William Butler Yeats

A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, our stitching and unstinting has been naught.
– William Butler Yeats
A shudder in the loins engenders there the broken wall, the burning roof and tower and Agamemnon dead.
– William Butler Yeats
A woman can be proud and stiff when on love intent; but love has pitched his mansion in the place of excrement; for nothing can be sole or whole that has not been rent.
– William Butler Yeats
Accursed who brings to light of day the writings I have cast away.
– William Butler Yeats
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.
– William Butler Yeats
An intellectual hatred is the worst.
– William Butler Yeats
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.
– William Butler Yeats
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
– William Butler Yeats
Cast your mind on other days that we in coming days may be still the indomitable Irishry.
– William Butler Yeats
Choose your companions from the best; Who draws a bucket with the rest soon topples down the hill.
– William Butler Yeats
Designs in connection with postage stamps and coinage may be described, I think, as the silent ambassadors on national taste.
– William Butler Yeats
Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.
– William Butler Yeats
Englishmen are babes in philosophy and so prefer faction-fighting to the labour of its unfamiliar thought.
– William Butler Yeats
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.
– William Butler Yeats
Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.
– William Butler Yeats
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
– William Butler Yeats
I agree about Shaw - he is haunted by the mystery he flouts. He is an atheist who trembles in the haunted corridor.
– William Butler Yeats
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.
– William Butler Yeats
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.
– William Butler Yeats
I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal. The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth.
– William Butler Yeats