The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Innisfree is an uninhabited island in Lough Gill in Ireland’s County Sligo, near where W.B.Yeats spent his summers as a child. Yeats describes the inspiration as a childhood memory recalled while in London in 1888.

The poem expresses a longing for the peace and tranquility of Innisfree, escaping the noise of the city and be lulled by the “lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore.” On this small island, he could even build a cabin, return to nature by growing beans and having bee hives, enjoy the “purple glow” of heather at noon, the sounds of birds’ wings, and, of course, the bees.

A poem in which Yeats illustrates his deep, heartfelt desire to abandon life in the city in favour of life on a small, uninhabited island in Ireland; a sentiment shared by today’s New Age movement.

One response to “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”

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