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A Book of Irish Verse

W. B. Yeats

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light,
And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought as we hollow'd his narrow bed,
And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him,—
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our he. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Selected by W.B. Yeats, this is a great collection of old Irish poetry. As with any collection of this type, some entries are a lot better than others but the general standard is so high I couldn’t give it fewer than 4 stars. It’s a chunky volume, too, unlike many poetry collections, so there’s plen

Maybe 3 or 4 stars for the verse, their technical qualities.

But I disliked a lot of these poems, the content. Many of them are about Irish rakes (scoundrels), many are about Irish leaders and battles, which I guess is fine, but I generally find poems glorifying leaders and the dead as not uplifting

This 1899 collection is important for a number of reasons. Even though Yeats, in his preface, states that he has sought to choose works of literary value and not only patriotic and political value, his selections clearly demonstrate a particular political and patriotic position. The assortment of po

Fine anthology of 18th and 19th century verse.

This was a very good book of poetry. It says WB Yeats on the cover, but from what I can tell he must have edited it because not a single poem in the book has Yeats in the by line. The majority have other authors (some poems are listed "from the Irish" so maybe Yeats translated them?). I read this pa

Some very good works included, but most are very dry. Fucking Ireland.