Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, Unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round.
To be born woman is to know – although they do not speak of it at school – women must labor to be beautiful.
This melancholy London – I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually. One feels them passing like a whiff of air.
I think you can leave the arts, superior or inferior, to the conscience of mankind.
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.
Once you attempt legislation upon religious grounds, you open the way for every kind of intolerance and religious persecution.
A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought, our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Choose your companions from the best; Who draws a bucket with the rest soon topples down the hill.
I know that I shall meet my fate somewhere among the clouds above; those that I fight I do not hate, those that I guard I do not love.
Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye; That’s all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die.
Designs in connection with postage stamps and coinage may be described, I think, as the silent ambassadors on national taste.
Joy is of the will which labours, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.
We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us.
The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.
I think it better that in times like these a poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth we have no gift to set a statesman right.
Cast your mind on other days that we in coming days may be still the indomitable Irishry.
People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.
Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.
The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obeisance to the heart.
When you are old and gray and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire, take down this book and slowly read, and dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.
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.
I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe is enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swings his lantern higher.
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.
You know what the Englishman’s idea of compromise is? He says, Some people say there is a God. Some people say there is no God. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two statements.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
One should not lose one’s temper unless one is certain of getting more and more angry to the end.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
Out of Ireland have we come, great hatred, little room, maimed us at the start. I carry from my mother’s womb a fanatic heart.
How far away the stars seem, and how far is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart.
Come away, O human child: To the waters and the wild with a fairy, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
I heard the old, old, men say ‘all that’s beautiful drifts away, like the waters.’
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.
I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking. It is all like an opera.
Nor dread nor hope attend a dying animal; a man awaits his end dreading and hoping all.
Irish poets, learn your trade, sing whatever is well made, scorn the sort now growing up all out of shape from toe to top.
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.
I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots.
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.
The light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed, the shadow of shadows on the deed alone.
Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!
Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.
Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle? A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.
We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
You that would judge me, do not judge alone this book or that, come to this hallowed place where my friends’ portraits hang and look thereon; Ireland’s history in their lineaments trace; think where man’s glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends.
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.
Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.