Easter Poems - Poems For Easter

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Easter, 1916 - Poem by William Butler Yeats

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.


Comments about Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

  • Gold Star - 57,324 Points Michael Walker (9/18/2019 8:52:00 PM)

    One of Yeats' finest poems, without a doubt. I am biased towards Ireland rather than England.
    'I write it out in a verse-/ MacDonagh and MacBride/ And Connolly and Pearse/ Now and in time to be, /
    Wherever green is worn, / Are changed, changed utterly: / A terrible beauty is born'. Inspiring lines to me,
    with forebears from Co. Kerry.
    (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Big Frank (6/4/2019 9:51:00 AM)

    I read the following comment by the Irish writer John Waters (in a book review on First Things First for " My father left me Ireland..." by Michael Brendan Dougherty) about one of the people mentioned in the poem above: (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Nicholas Power (10/4/2018 8:51:00 AM)

    Please capitalize Pearse in the fifth to last line. (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Owen Morelli (5/2/2018 3:20:00 PM)

    the sadness in this poem but also the notion of sacrifice grabbed my attention on this one, I may only have Irish heritage from half my family but this still seems important to me, My own grandfather almost met the same fate from being a gun runner for the Irish military, This is the best poem I have ever read. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Freshman - 897 Points John Pendrey (12/12/2017 4:58:00 AM)

    I first saw this poem in “The Poetry of a People” by Andrew Marr. I like to stay out of politics and this poem confirms my dislike of Nationalism:
    “Enchanted to a Stone
    To trouble the living stream”
    (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie John the Barman (12/12/2017 4:51:00 AM)

    I like to stay out of politics but read this for the first time in “The Poetry of the People” by Andrew Marr. It confirms by hatred of Nationalism:
    “Enchanted to a Stone
    To trouble the living stream.”
    (Report) Reply

    Bronze Star - 2,264 Points Little Eagle Mcgowan (5/1/2019 7:43:00 AM)

    Wrong pick. That is an allusion to Maud Gonne.

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  • Gold Star - 5,955 Points Mizzy ........ (8/27/2016 6:05:00 AM)

    Brilliant piece of writing.....plucks at Irish heartstrings! (Report) Reply

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  • Gold Star - 6,199 Points Oilibheir Álain Christie (2/4/2014 7:04:00 PM)

    I hope you like this version, folks. Take care. [?http: //www.youtube.com/watch? v=YdtcI0WNcLA] (Report) Reply

    10 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Rookie John Hill (7/20/2009 8:20:00 AM)

    It isn't the most amazing poem ever written but it is a very impressive effort. For a sensitive man to attempt to deal with the doomed and futile events that saw friends executed as terrorists (and remember, that's what the English saw them as) and to express that balance between admiration and despair in a phrase like 'a terrible beauty' or recognise the dreadful imperative that has driven terrorists (or 'freedom fighters' depending on your view) to kill in the name of peace - 'too long a sacrifice/can make a stone of the heart' is wonderful. The measured, questioning cadences and the remarkably homely imagery make this a timeless poem. He may have thought some very silly things but this poem is not one of them. (Report) Reply

    6 person liked.
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  • Rookie Cynthia Ventura (6/14/2008 7:12:00 PM)

    This is the most amazing poem ever written. The imagery and emotion his words evoke wash over me anew every time I read this poem. Do yourself a favor and read anything by Yeats you can get your hands on and memorize this poem! (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
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Read all 12 comments »
Easter Poems
  1. 1. Easter, 1916
    William Butler Yeats
  2. 2. Easter Communion
    Gerard Manley Hopkins
  3. 3. Easter
    Edmund Spenser
  4. 4. Easter Wings
    George Herbert
  5. 5. Easter
    George Herbert
  6. 6. Easter Day
    Oscar Wilde
  7. 7. Easter Song
    George Herbert
  8. 8. Poem For Easter
    Steve Turner
  9. 9. The Easter Flower
    Claude McKay
  10. 10. Easter Week
    Charles Kingsley
  11. 11. Easter
    Joyce Kilmer
  12. 12. Easter Week
    Joyce Kilmer
  13. 13. The Cast Of Christmas Reassembles For Ea..
    Steve Turner
  14. 14. On Easter Day
    Oscar Wilde
  15. 15. Easter Even
    Christina Georgina Rossetti
  16. 16. Easter-Day
    Robert Browning
  17. 17. In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)
    Edward Thomas
  18. 18. Easter
    Emily Pauline Johnson
  19. 19. An Easter Flower Gift
    John Greenleaf Whittier
  20. 20. Fifth Sunday After Easter - Rogation Sun..
    John Keble
  21. 21. The Meaning Of Easter (Christmas)
    Leslie Alexis
  22. 22. Easter Zunday
    Ingeborg Bachmann
  23. 23. Two Easter Stanzas
    Vachel Lindsay
  24. 24. Resurrection - The Easter Story
    Ernestine Northover
  25. 25. Easter Eve
    John Keble
  26. 26. Those Hands That Gave (Easter Poem)
    ANDREW BLAKEMORE
  27. 27. Easter Morning
    Amy Clampitt
  28. 28. Haiku ~ Easter Lilies
    Mary Havran
  29. 29. Easter
    Katharine Tynan
  30. 30. How Easter Eggs Get Their Colors
    Mary Havran
  31. 31. Easter Eve
    Archibald Lampman
  32. 32. *500 Easter Ad 33
    John Knight
  33. 33. First Sunday After Easter
    John Keble
  34. 34. For Easter Sunday
    Anna Laetitia Barbauld
  35. 35. Second Sunday After Easter
    John Keble
  36. 36. Easter Zunday
    William Barnes
  37. 37. Easter Morning
    Archie Randolph Ammons
  38. 38. The Vision: (Katia: Easter Sunday, 1916)
    Katharine Tynan
  39. 39. Third Sunday After Easter
    John Keble
  40. 40. Wednesday Before Easter
    John Keble
  41. 41. Thursday Before Easter
    John Keble
  42. 42. (un) Happy Easter
    CeCe Lamberts
  43. 43. The Tale Of Easter Lilies-(Resubmission)
    Valsa George
  44. 44. Tuesday Before Easter
    John Keble
  45. 45. Tuesday In Easter Week
    John Keble
  46. 46. Fourth Sunday After Easter
    John Keble
  47. 47. Monday Before Easter
    John Keble
  48. 48. Monday In Easter Week
    John Keble
  49. 49. Easter Eggs
    sylvia spencer
  50. 50. Happy Easter
    M.D Dinesh Nair

New Easter Poems

  1. Vocation Sunday, Margaret Moran
  2. Easter Amidst Corona, Izunna Okafor
  3. The Easter Bunny, Randy Johnson
  4. Happy Easter-Sunday...., Sylvia Frances Chan
  5. The Light Of Easter, Margaret Moran
  6. The Easter Bunny, Lamar Cole
  7. Egg And Easter., Sy Wong ...
  8. White Thursday...., Sylvia Frances Chan
  9. Happy Easter, Mario,Lucien,Rene Odekerken
  10. Easter, Richard Wlodarski

Easter Poems

  1. Easter

    Rise, heart, thy lord is risen. Sing his praise Without delays, Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise With him may'st rise: That, as his death calcinèd thee to dust, His life may make thee gold, and, much more, just. Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part With all thy art, The cross taught all wood to resound his name Who bore the same. His stretchèd sinews taught all strings what key Is best to celebrate this most high day. Consort, both heart and lute, and twist a song Pleasant and long; Or, since all music is but three parts vied And multiplied Oh let thy blessèd Spirit bear a part, And make up our defects with his sweet art.

  2. Easter Wings

    Lord, Who createdst man in wealth and store, Though foolishly he lost the same, Decaying more and more, Till he became Most poore: With Thee O let me rise, As larks, harmoniously, And sing this day Thy victories: Then shall the fall further the flight in me. My tender age in sorrow did beginne; And still with sicknesses and shame Thou didst so punish sinne, That I became Most thinne. With Thee Let me combine, And feel this day Thy victorie; For, if I imp my wing on Thine, Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

  3. Easter

    MOST glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day, Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin; And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away Captivity thence captive, us to win: This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin; And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye, Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin, May live for ever in felicity! And that Thy love we weighing worthily, May likewise love Thee for the same againe; And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy, With love may one another entertayne!    So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,    --Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.

  4. Easter Communion

    Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast: God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips. You striped in secret with breath-taking whips, Those crooked rough-scored chequers may be pieced To crosses meant for Jesu's; you whom the East With draught of thin and pursuant cold so nips Breathe Easter now; you serged fellowships, You vigil-keepers with low flames decreased, God shall o'er-brim the measures you have spent With oil of gladness, for sackcloth and frieze And the ever-fretting shirt of punishment Give myrrhy-threaded golden folds of ease. Your scarce-sheathed bones are weary of being bent: Lo, God shall strengthen all the feeble knees.

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