Yeats's Epitaph

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Under bare Ben Bulben's head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago, a church stands near,
By the road an ancient cross.
No marble, no conventional phrase;
On limestone quarried near the spot
By his command these words are cut:

Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!

 

 

 

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This was part of Yeat's last poem. He is now buried in near Drumcliffe Churchyard.

 

 

 

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“Under Ben Bulben” was first published in three of Ireland’s national daily newspapers within a week of Yeats’s death and first appeared in book form in Last Poems and Two Plays (1939).

 

 

 

Year of writing or publication: 
1939
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