The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

—William Butler Yeats

_____________

I had still the ambition, formed in Sligo in my teens, of living in imitation of Thoreau on Innisfree, a little island in Lough Gill and when walking through Fleet Street (in London) very homesick I heard a little tinkle of water and saw a fountain in a shop-window which balanced a little ball upon its jet, and began to remember lake water.

From the sudden remembrance came my poem “Innisfree,” my first lyric with anything in its rhythm of my own music.

_____________

Read by William Butler Yeats

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Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 12:38 PM  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. One of my all time favorite poems. Thanks for sharing it here.

    • Yeats was a wonder, and he’s among my favorites as well, Jamie. I love hearing the truly greats recite their work—although their speaking voices rarely equal the power of their pens. I’ll be posting a steady stream of these—daily, in fact—so stay tuned!

      Who knows, you may one day have a place in that pantheon yourself!


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