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Humanities Libertexts

13.2: The Lake Isle of Innisfree

[1]

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles[2] 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 grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

 1892.

Contributors


  1. Innisfree is a small island in the middle of Lough (Lake) Gill, near Sligo, the town in the northwest of Ireland, where Yeats spent many happy summers, holidaying with his mother’s family. He was living in London in 1888 when he wrote the poem. The poem expresses the universal desire to “get away from it all,” to retreat from a busy life in the city and find a quiet haven, surrounded by nature’s beauty. Though one of his most famous poems, he, ironically, grew weary of reciting it at his lectures, so often was it requested. 
  2. Thin branches woven together. 
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