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 mourning 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 a small island at the eastern end of Lough Gill in County Sligo, Ireland. Yeats spent part of nearly every year in Sligo while growing up. He often walked out from Sligo town to Lough Gill. First published in the collection The Rose in 1893, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” is an example of Yeat’s earlier lyric poems. The rhythm of the poem perfectly reflects the lapping of the water on the lake shore. But the poem was written in London at a time when Ireland was in economic and political turmoil, and Yeats and his family were struggling financially. It is not surprising that the sound of a water fountain in a shop window on a bustling London street would take him back to the lapping water of Lough Gill and a more gentle life.