William Butler Yeats

(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939 / County Dublin / Ireland)

The Song Of Wandering Aengus - Poem by William Butler Yeats

I WENT out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands.
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Comments about The Song Of Wandering Aengus by William Butler Yeats

  • Gold Star - 5,579 Points John Richter (4/27/2015 7:02:00 AM)

    Complicated by Meav's version, true, and grammar or mis-spellings aside, this is still a truly wonderful poem in my opinion. While reading it I got the sense of an older Yeats, or any man, doing whatever he does to occupy his time in his golden years, here catching and preparing a trout - and from no where, in the calm of his serenity comes a young, beautiful girl, perhaps a long lost love, who calls his name toyishly and runs away, leaving him in a heart felt, loving chase.... When I die, when my Creator calls me from this earth and brings me into his arms, I truly hope that it will be in such a manner as Yeats so perfectly describes here.... (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Oberyn Martell (5/11/2014 2:53:00 AM)

    You can search for Glimmering Girl Meav if you like, Meav is an Irish singer, and this song's lyric is The Song of Wandering Aengus. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Simon Collins (5/17/2012 9:23:00 PM)

    This is perhaps my favourite poem, but after reading all of his other verse I am not sure he has written it! ? At least not in his usual mind (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Michael Harmon (8/10/2009 7:00:00 PM)

    My favorite poem of all time. Which is why I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that there are several problems with this poem as presented on PH. First,

    'Through hollow lads and hilly lands.'

    should be 'Through hollow lands and hilly lands.'

    Second, I believe this poem should be separated into three stanzas. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie gone gone (12/6/2006 11:08:00 PM)

    Magical words, indeed......and beautifully sung by Judy Collins....... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ryan Pierson (8/21/2006 8:04:00 PM)

    This sad story is full of rich meaning and is truly the work of a genius. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Richard Bunch (1/5/2005 4:16:00 PM)

    Poetry as elixir with such moving lines. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

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Read poems about / on: silver, fire, girl, kiss, moon, hair, sun, time, song, star, running

Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001

Poem Edited: Monday, August 6, 2012

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