William Butler Yeats

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

A Dream Of Death

Poem by William Butler Yeats

I DREAMED that one had died in a strange place
Near no accustomed hand,
And they had nailed the boards above her face,
The peasants of that land,
Wondering to lay her in that solitude,
And raised above her mound
A cross they had made out of two bits of wood,
And planted cypress round;
And left her to the indifferent stars above
Until I carved these words:
i{She was more beautiful than thy first love,}
i{But now lies under boards.}


Comments about A Dream Of Death by William Butler Yeats

  • Patti Masterman (1/7/2020 11:44:00 PM)

    I'm so sorry you are dead before I was born and forgive my audacity for leaving my own words here.
    I love how the stars were indifferent- aren't they always? - but we feel they belong to us somehow,
    trapped down here in the dirt as we are; don't even prisoners see the stars and feel a little hope that even
    that comfort is not completely denied them?(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (7/12/2019 1:23:00 PM)

    Death never leaves anyone whether one is beautiful or not! Indeed this tribute is more lasting than any other thing one can say. This reveals W B Yeats' philosophic depth in this poem!(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • patel (7/12/2019 12:01:00 PM)

    On a similar note: Trump claims that he threw Epstein out of Mar-Lardo years ago. I suppose that Trump felt threatened by his competition for the young ones!

    http: //www.4cashpath.com/(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (7/12/2019 4:54:00 AM)

    " She was more beautiful thy first love
    But now lies under boards"
    What a great tribute?(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Luis Estable (7/12/2019 3:50:00 AM)

    The second line is compact in meaning. A good poem this is though I think I fail to get all out of it. But it gave me a good reading.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Aniruddha PathakAniruddha Pathak (7/12/2019 1:54:00 AM)

    To say a poem on death brilliantly penned is to say nothing.
    He has a solid narrative adhering to the grammar of poems
    so valued in those days.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (7/12/2019 1:36:00 AM)

    Accustomed hand! !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (7/12/2019 1:14:00 AM)

    Wondering to lay her in that solitude,
    And raised above her mound.....// beautifully penned this poem; love it(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (7/12/2019 12:58:00 AM)

    A cross they had made out of two bits of wood,
    And planted cypress round;
    And left her to the indifferent stars above
    Until I carved these words:

    superb poem
    great 10++++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Prabir GayenPrabir Gayen (7/12/2019 12:30:00 AM)

    i{She was more beautiful than thy first love, }
    i{But now lies under boards.}(Report)Reply

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  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (7/12/2019 12:24:00 AM)

    A magnificent poem by William Butler Yeats....(Report)Reply

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  • Henry TongHenry Tong (2/28/2018 6:43:00 AM)

    I guess it's one's poetic way of dying. We all know death is inevitable, but Yeats digs deeper and goes further to create a wonderland for his burial. Nature, love, religion, and language are all carved on his tombstone. What's amazing about Yeats is that he never flows his verses based on shallow interpretations of life. Instead, he lets the audience discover the depth of soul and beauty of language at the same time.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (2/23/2018 9:56:00 PM)

    left her to the indifferent stars above- - - - to die an unknown, unmourned and then the only distinction given to the woman was that her face was beautiful.... why does the fact that she was beautiful pain us? but it does. We seem to worship beauty and place it than honor or sweetness. If it had been a plain woman would the lines be as impactful to us?(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Longbottom Trousersboy (11/8/2017 3:57:00 PM)

    I find death appealing, just like my granddaughters legs.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Resh Kav (6/23/2017 8:15:00 PM)

    Great poem. nice to read(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Myiner AgonyMyiner Agony (12/15/2016 10:11:00 AM)

    I like this poem it shows high and clear emotion(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (8/29/2014 11:19:00 PM)

    Marvelous the poem is and I loved it in that sense of love.(Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (6/9/2014 6:56:00 AM)

    ...........his dream is so poignantly beautiful.... wonder if dreaming of death has a meaning...(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Tony Marshall (1/26/2014 8:30:00 AM)

    Simply beautiful. Moving(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • John SJohn S (10/24/2013 4:46:00 AM)

    Sometimes I am amazed how some great poems get relatively low ratings by members. Just the structure of the poem itself is brilliant. This was back when poets cared about metre and rhyme. The odd numbered lines are about 10 syllables (or beats) & the even number lines are about 5 beats. The poem just flows so well when you read it. The structure gives it a rhythm. The poems plot (if that's what the idea of a poem is called) is touching too. A women dies in a strange place with strangers whom do not know her and do not know what Yeats knows about her. She is a beautiful and magnificent person to Yeats, but to them she is just a stranger of no significance. She is buried by strangers & even the stars are indifferent to her. Think about that next time your walking through a graveyard, passing gravestones without thought. These may be the bodies of faceless people long dead, but to someone they were fathers, mothers, siblings, lovers, someone's first love and someone's last love. Someone who lived, breathed, and dreamed. O death in life, so sad, so strange, the days that are no more.(Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: solitude, beautiful, death, dream, love, star



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 15, 2001