The Stolen Child ~ W.B. Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
~W.B. Yeats

This is a verse from ‘The Stolen Child’ possibly my favourite poem in the world! There is something in those words that stirs the soul that, in a subtle, curious way grabs the attention of our minds eye. The imagery plants a seed in our imagination and creates the sense the happening captured in those words belongs to us, something that happened to us in our past, a dark and enchanting adventure we ourselves experienced. In the last line you can almost hear them calling, beckoning to come with them. There are times when we all wish to fall into their world, escape our dull grey lives of order and repetition, disappear into the mysterious, unknown world of the fairy people, and discover a new and enchanted life we never knew we could lead. I think it is breath taking.
1900s image



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4 responses to “The Stolen Child ~ W.B. Yeats

  1. gale

    Nice words. do you think this poem would be appropriate to use at a gothic wedding for my daughter? I want to use the Loreena McKennett song version. Thanks

    • I have to say it’s a beautiful piece of music and it matches the words perfectly, perhaps a little dark for a wedding, however if it’s a gothic theme your daughters going for it would probably fit in quite well with the ceremony.

      • gale

        Thanks for replying. The wedding is as dark as dark can be. lol! Gothic/halloween.I interpreted the poem as somehow bidding farewell to childhood, so I thought it appropriate…:_)

  2. sounds fun! im sure it will be perfect!! have a look at yeats’ poem “when you are old” too, it’s a very different one to “the stolen child” but it has a similar underlying theme 🙂

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