Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sailing to Byzantium - William Butler Yeats

Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

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William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) wrote this poem in 1926. He wrote, "When Irishmen were illuminating the Book of Kells an dmaking the jeweled croziers in the National Museum, Byzantium was the centre fo European civilization and the source of its spiritual philosophy, so I symbolize the search for the spiritual life by a journey to that city."

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