“Song of Wandering Aengus”

Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

– W. B. Yeats

No real commentary, just some Yeats love. I love the coolness and silvery-darkness of all of the images in the first and second stanzas contrasted with the “fire in [his] head,” and the way the meter and slant rhyme/consonance of “hollow lands and hilly lands” echo the rolling, repetitious feel of the image itself.

– E


  1. Maureen E’s avatar

    I love this whole poem, as well as much of Yeats, but the last stanza in particular sends an enormous shiver up my spine.


  2. Andygrrrl’s avatar

    Ooh, Yeats! My favorite. Donovan did a great cover of this back in like the 70s or something, it works really well as a song.


  3. Emera’s avatar

    Maureen – Agreed.

    Andygrrrl – I was just thinking about editing to comment that I had been thinking about it specifically because I’d been obsessively listening to Patrick Wolf’s musical arrangement of it, under the title “The Hazelwood.” :) I’ll have to look up the Donovan version!



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *