Yeats Poem – He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats

W.B. Yeats was born in Sandymount, County Dublin, in June 1865. 

He studied in Dublin and London.  Yeats loved County Sligo and spent childhood holidays there.  Indeed, he got his wish to be buried in County Sligo.

His beautiful short poem, Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, is a favourite of many. The poem was first published in 1899, as part of his third volume of poetry, The Wind Among the Reeds. 

‘Aedh’ is a character of Yeat’s own invention and crops up in many of his poems.  Aedh is commonly replaced by ‘he’.

The ultimate line is so powerful, most likely because many of us can relate to it.



Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.




"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

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