Sailing To Byzantium

By W.B. Yeats


That is no country for old men. The young

In one another`s arms, birds in the trees

-Those dying generations- at your song,

The salmon- falls the mackerel- crowded seas,

Fish, Flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies,

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unageing intellect.


An aged man is but a paltry thing,

A tattered coat upon a stick, unless

Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing

For every tatter in its mortal dress,

Nor is there singing school but studying

Monuments of its own magnificence;

And therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium


O sages standing in God`s holy fire

As in the gold mosaic of a wall,

Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,

And be the singing masters of my soul.

Consume my heart away; sick with desire

And fastened to a dying animal

It knows not what it is; and gather me

Into the artifice of eternity.


Once out of nature I shall never take

My bodily form from any natural thing,

But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make

Of hammered gold and gold enameling

To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;

Or set upon a golden bough to sing

To Lords and ladies of Byzantium

Of what is past, or passing or to come.

Sailing to Byzantium Imp. points

  • A Byzantium is an ancient Greek city, now known as Istanbul.
  • Sailing to Byzantium is a poem written in 1926 and published in 1928 by William Butler Yeats.
  • Sailing to Byzantium is a collection from `The Tower`.
  • Sailing to Byzantium written in Irish, British language.
  • The poem consists four stanza each stanza has eight lines.
  • The form of the poem is Ottava, Rima followed by rhyme scheme ABAB and ABCC.
  • The poem is written in Iambic Pentameter, and the last two lines is in couplet.
  • The highlight of the poem is that Sailing to Byzantium is a poem in which there is a clash of opposites.
  • This poem is the masterpiece of W.B Yeats
  • Sailing to the Byzantium is a lyric poem.
  • The poem is widely admired for its inventive evocative imagery and masterfully interwoven phrases.
  • Literary critic Prank Kermode calls the poem a marvelously contrived emblem of what Yeats took the work of the art to be.
  • The action of a poem concerns the problem immersing oneself in life and at the same time striving for permanence.