W.B. Yeats' Grave, County Sligo

W.B. Yeats' Grave, County Sligo

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One of the many attractions in Sligo, which draws visitors from all over the world, is the gravestone of Irelands first Nobel Prize winner in literature, William Butler Yeats. As he had wished, he now lays in peace at the Drumcliff churchyard under the awesome sight of Ben Bulben's head.

William ButlerYeats (1865-1939), or W.B. Yeats won his acclaimed award in 1923, but his verses continue to linger on the lips of would be poets. Between the Celtic visions of The Wanderings of Oisin (1889) and the intellectual, often obscure poetry of the 1930s, Yeats produced a tremendous amount of works. Central theme in Yeats's poems is Ireland, its bitter history, folklore, and contemporary public life.

Yeats had a great love of Sligo and his express wish was to be buried under his treasured mountain, Ben Bulben. Drumcliff Cemetery is situated at the foot of the mountain and inscribed on his tombstone is a line from his famous poem Under Ben Bulben which actually tells the world of his wish to be interred there. He died in Menton, in France, in 1939 and was buried there. But his remains were re-interred as per his wishes to Drumcliff in 1948 and the last lines of the poem Under Ben Bulben are inscribed on the tombstone.

"Cast a cold eye / On life, on death / Horseman; pass by!"

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