W. B. Yeats Quotes

Most popular W. B. Yeats Quotes

For the good are always merry.
— W. B. Yeats
The painter's brush consumes his dreams.


And say my glory was I had such friends.
— W. B. Yeats

friendship glory

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
— W. B. Yeats
The innocent and the beautiful
Have no enemy but time.

beauty time innocence

Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.
— W. B. Yeats
When we are young, we long to tread a way none trod before.
— W. B. Yeats
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick.

old age

Think like a wise man but express yourself like the common people.

communication advisory writing advice

Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.
— W. B. Yeats

for teachers education

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
— W. B. Yeats

curiosity parenting education

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
— W. B. Yeats
Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.
— W. B. Yeats
No man has ever lived that had enough of children's gratitude or woman's love.
— W. B. Yeats
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
— W. B. Yeats


Think where mans glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.
— W. B. Yeats


We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
— W. B. Yeats

poetry quarrels

The years like great black oxen tread the world
And God, the herdsman, goads them on behind.
— W. B. Yeats


Poets are the policemen of language, they are always arresting those old reprobates the words.
— W. B. Yeats


Whatever we build in the imagination will accomplish itself in the circumstances of our lives.


The Light of Lights
Looks always on the motive, not the deed.
The Shadow of Shadows on the deed alone.
— W. B. Yeats


Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
— W. B. Yeats
People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.
— W. B. Yeats

rational thinking logic philosophy imagination

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.
— W. B. Yeats


The years like great black oxen tread the world,
And God the herdsman goads them on behind,
And I am broken by their passing feet.


The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth.


Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning.  It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants in custody and bring them back to their right senses.
— W. B. Yeats


All empty souls tend to extreme opinion.  It is only in those who have built up a rich world of memories and habits of thought that extreme opinions affront the sense of probability.


Things said or done long years ago,
Or things I did not do or say
But thought that I might say or do,
Weigh me down, and not a day
But something is recalled,
My conscience or my vanity appalled.
— W. B. Yeats


Bald heads, forgetful of their sins,
Old, learned, respectable bald heads
Edit and annotate the lines
That young men tossing on their beds,
Rhymed out in love's despair
to flatter beauty's ignorant ear.
— W. B. Yeats