“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” – W.B. Yeats

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.

I love the “bee-loud glade”: Innisfree is so quiet the bees are loud.  Two words to invert quiet and loudness, setting Innisfree as far from clamor as Eden.

First I loved the first stanza all out of proportion, but I’ve rounded out.  The middle is a love song to Innisfree with beautiful swooping down-up curves of sound, like swallows wheeling over the lake.  “Peace comes dropping slow, dropping from the veils of the morning to [up!] where the cricket sings,” again inverted where morning is the downnote and cricket-song night is the upnote.  The last stanza beats softly like wavelets, heartbeats, remembrance of footsteps, the constant wish and promise that I will go to Innisfree.  Each phrase ends slow and long in the final stanza; the distance breaks my heart.

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 gray,
I hear it in the deep lake’s core.

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