In this multi-volume edition, the poetry of W.B. Yeats (1865–1939) is presented in full, with newly established texts and detailed, wide-ranging commentary. Yeats began to write verse in the nineteenth century, and over time his own arrangements of poems repeatedly revised and rearranged both texts and canon. This edition of Yeats’s poetry presents all his verse, both published and unpublished, including a generous selection of textual variants from the many manuscript and printed sources. The edition also supplies the most extensive commentary on Yeats’s poetry to date, explaining specific references, and setting poems in their contexts; it also gives an account of the vast range of both literary and historical influences at work on the verse. The poems are presented in order of composition, and major revisions or rewritings of poems result in separate inclusions (in chronological sequence) for these writings as they were subsequently reconceived by the poet.

In this third volume, Yeats’s poetry of the first decade of the twentieth century is brought into sharp focus, revealing the extent of his efforts to re-fashion a style that had already made him a well-known poet. All of the major modes in Yeats’s earlier work are subject to radical re-imagining in these years, from poetic narrative founded in Irish myth, in poems such as ‘Baile and Aillinn’ and ‘The Old Age of Queen Maeve’, to the symbolist drama-poetry of The Shadowy Waters, here edited in its two (completely different) versions of 1900 and 1906. In a decade when the theatre was one of Yeats’s principal concerns, his lyric poems, which were becoming increasingly explicit in personal terms, began to discover new intensities of conversational pitch and mythic resonance. Poems such as ‘The Folly of Being Comforted’, ‘Adam’s Curse’, ‘No Second Troy’, and ‘The Fascination of What’s Difficult’ are given close attention in this new edition, alongside topical and epigrammatic pieces that are often passed over in accounts of Yeats’s development. The evolving complexities of Yeats’s personal and political lives are crucial to his artistic growth in these years, and the commentary gives these generous attention, showing how the poetry both feeds upon and often transcends the circumstances of its composition. The volume offers strong evidence for this decade as a crucial one in Yeats’s poetic life, in which the poet created wholly new registers for his verse as well as new dimensions for his imaginative vision.

part |425 pages

The Poems

chapter 186|47 pages

The Shadowy Waters (1900)

chapter 187|9 pages

The Withering of the Boughs

chapter 188|10 pages

Under the Moon

chapter 189|11 pages

['I Walked Among the Seven Woods of Coole']

chapter 190|21 pages

Baile and Aillinn

chapter 191|4 pages

Yellow Haired Donough

From the Play of Cathleen NI Houlihan

chapter 192|3 pages

['Do Not Make a Great Keening']

chapter 193|3 pages

The Blood Bond

chapter 194|5 pages

Spinning Song

chapter 195|7 pages

The Folly of Being Comforted

chapter 197|4 pages

The Arrow

chapter 198|6 pages

Red Hanrahan's Song about Ireland

chapter 199|5 pages

The old men Admiring Themselves in the Water

chapter 200|9 pages

In the Seven Woods

chapter 201|20 pages

The Old Age of Queen Maeve

chapter 202|10 pages

Adam's Curse

chapter 203|12 pages

The Happy Townland

chapter 204|4 pages

O do Not Love too Long

chapter 205|4 pages

['I Heard Under a Ragged Hollow Wood']

chapter 206|4 pages

Old Memory

chapter 207|5 pages

Never Give all the Heart

chapter 208|6 pages

Songs from Deirdre: I

chapter 209|4 pages

The Ragged Wood

chapter 210|4 pages

The Harp of Aengus

chapter 211|41 pages

The Shadowy Waters

chapter 212|3 pages

['Come Ride and Ride to the Garden']

chapter 213|5 pages

Against Witchcraft

chapter 214|2 pages

Songs from Deirdre: III

chapter 215|5 pages

Songs from Deirdre: II

chapter 216|3 pages

['The Friends that have it i do Wrong']

chapter 217|3 pages

Maid Quiet

chapter 218|5 pages

['O Death's Old Bony Finger']

chapter 219|4 pages

An Appointment

chapter 220|3 pages

['Accursed who Brings to Light of Day']

chapter 221|8 pages

His Dream

chapter 222|4 pages

All Things can Tempt Me

chapter 223|4 pages

At Galway Races

chapter 224|6 pages


chapter 225|8 pages

No Second Troy

chapter 226|4 pages


chapter 227|2 pages

['My Dear is Angry that of Late']

chapter 228|3 pages

[On a Certain Middleaged Office Holder]

chapter 229|5 pages

A Friend's Illness

chapter 230|2 pages

On George Moore

chapter 231|3 pages

The Coming of Wisdom with Time

chapter 233|6 pages

On a House Shaken by the land Agitation

chapter 234|8 pages

The Fascination of What's Difficult

chapter 235|2 pages

['Irishmen, If they Prefer']

chapter 236|8 pages

King and no King

chapter 237|3 pages

A Drinking Song

chapter 239|6 pages

A Woman Homer Sung

chapter 240|6 pages


chapter 241|5 pages

Against Unworthy Praise

chapter 242|6 pages

These are the Clouds

chapter 243|9 pages

The Mask

chapter 245|4 pages

Brown Penny