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About this Poem 

“The Everlasting Voices” was published in The Wind Among the Reeds (John Lane, 1899).

The Everlasting Voices

O sweet everlasting Voices be still; 
Go to the guards of the heavenly fold 
And bid them wander obeying your will 
Flame under flame, till Time be no more; 
Have you not heard that our hearts are old, 
That you call in birds, in wind on the hill, 
In shaken boughs, in tide on the shore? 
O sweet everlasting Voices be still. 

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

W. B. Yeats

W. B. Yeats

William Butler Yeats, widely considered one of the greatest poets of the English language, received the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature. His work was greatly influenced by the heritage and politics of Ireland.

by this poet

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white

Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven
That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,
And thereupon imagination and heart were driven
So wild that every casual thought of that and this
Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of season
With the hot blood

(Song from an Unfinished Play)

My mother dandled me and sang,   
'How young it is, how young!'   
And made a golden cradle   
That on a willow swung.   
'He went away,' my mother sang,
'When I was brought to bed,'   
And all the while her needle pulled   
The gold and silver thread.