The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by William Butler Yeats


Original Language English

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 honeybee,
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 grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

-- from The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats, by William Butler Yeats

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/ Photo by Joe Shlabotnik /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Something for us today by that seeker/sage/bard/mage Yeats.

I love the rhythms and rhyme of this poem. To really appreciate it, you need to say it aloud and let it loll about on the tongue.

Yeats paints with his words, running them together like brushstrokes in watercolor.

...the bee-loud glade.

...and peace comes dropping slow.


And in the beauty of this rustic scene, we discover stillness, something of the eternal in the sound of the water lapping at the shore. Listening well, we discover the one who listens. We discover "the deep heart's core."



Recommended Books: William Butler Yeats

The Oxford Book of Mystical Verse Holy Fire: Nine Visionary Poets and the Quest for Enlightenment Byzantium The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats The Secret Rose
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The Lake Isle of