Monday, March 10, 2014

A Drinking Song - William Butler Yeats

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

What's to say?  As simple as it gets, really, Yeats creates a somewhat funny and somewhat poignant image here, of a lover looking at his or her other, taking a sip of wine, holding the object of their love in the eye, and sighing, presumably for want of love.

All I can really take from this is a sense of rueful regret at falling in love.  Raise a glass, sigh while falling in love, and hope you can realize it before you're old and dead.  Alternatively, I suppose it could be a sigh along the lines of "oh, you're the one I fell in love with" but I don't get that feeling.  Still, despite the sigh, I find a warm sense of humor in this poem.  After all, sighs can be of relief, happiness, anything.  It could be someone taking comfort in catching their lover's eye.


  1. Its very resonating explanation..especially the last line, I completely agree with it!!

  2. I lift my glass and I look at you, and I sigh, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought(Shakespeare),of which you stay afresh and atop the list for sure.