The Magi

By William Butler Yeats 1865–1939
Now as at all times I can see in the mind's eye,   
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones   
Appear and disappear in the blue depths of the sky   
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,   
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,   
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,   
Being by Calvary's turbulence unsatisfied,   
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

Source: Poetry (May 1914).

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This poem originally appeared in the May 1914 issue of Poetry magazine

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May 1914
 William Butler Yeats

Biography

William Butler Yeats is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. He belonged to the Protestant, Anglo-Irish minority that had controlled the economic, political, social, and cultural life of Ireland since at least the end of the seventeenth century. Most members of this minority considered themselves English people who merely happened to have been born in Ireland, but Yeats was staunch in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Faith & Doubt

POET’S REGION Ireland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza, Metaphor

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