An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

By W.B. Yeats

William Butler Yeats, widely considered one of the greatest poets of the English language, received the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature. His work was greatly influenced by the heritage and politics of Ireland.


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 man, 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.

Contributions

Not a Member?Join Us!
  • Publish articles, ideas, images, galleries, videos, audio, links, and questions
  • Connect with people around the world who share your interests and passions
  • Benefit from content customized to your knowledge and learning preferences
  • Gain exposure for your work and have it seen by the people most interested
  • Discover topics in a tree of knowledge with an infinite number of branches