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William Butler Yeats

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

The Stolen Child


Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that dropp their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2001
Edited: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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Read poems about / on: child, car, water, world, star, peace, moon, sleep, light, night, children, dance, dream

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Comments about this poem (The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats )

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  • Merna Ibrahim (5/19/2010 11:32:00 AM)

    Really i can't say anything except' William Bulter is an artist and a talented poet! '
    And the song of Loreena Mckennitt is brilliant too! !
    This poem is so true and impressing. (Report) Reply

  • Özge Mete (1/16/2010 12:22:00 PM)

    Inspiring and reflecting poem.It is reflecting because it gives the sense of our world is suffering and I think this image is given via human child, all the people in the world (Report) Reply

  • Rebekah Gamble (8/4/2008 4:45:00 PM)

    This really is a true beauty. And, if anyone's interested, Loreena McKennitt did a beautiful musical version of it (check it out on YouTube) . (Report) Reply

  • Mary Ali (4/13/2006 5:18:00 AM)

    What can I say except that it amazing, it really make me feel grieve over that child. It make me see him dying. Yeats indeed is a great poet. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

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