Location: Sacramento, California

I am a retired lawyer and administrative law judge, aged but active, with a variety of interests.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Poem by W. B. Yeats

An Irish Airman Foresees his Death

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;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
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.

William Butler Yeats


Blogger Dan O'Connell said...

I had the distinct pleasure of visiting W. B. Yeats' grave in Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo, Eire on 4/15/2004 with my daughter & a friend. Sligo (the town) believes correctly that Yeats was its most illustrious citizen. I've always liked that "Irish Airman" poem--& indeed, most of Yeats' poetry. He had an interesting life & was enormously influential in the history of the theosophists of the Western Europe & the USA, & (indirectly) the Liberal Catholic Church, to which I belong.

Many--including this writer--believe Yeats to be the greatest Irish poet.

To view my "April in Ireland" website, browse to "". To contact me by e-mail, I'm ""; my blog is at "".

Thanks, Jim--beautiful poem.


November 19, 2004 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger reveuse said...

Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;

how pointless is war.

August 15, 2005 at 2:34 AM  

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