Uploaded on May 15, 2008
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
-W.B.Yates read by Aiden Gillen
William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Irish poet, dramatist and prose writer, one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century. Yeats received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. Between the Celtic dreams of THE WANDERINGS OF OISIN (1889) and the intellectual, often obscure poetry of the 1930s, Yeats produced a tremendous amount of works.
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
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