Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition

Background details and bibliographic information

Introductory Rhymes

Author: William Butler Yeats

File Description

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by Beatrix Färber, Juliette Maffet

Funded by School of History, University College, Cork

1. First draft.

Extent of text: 565 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—


Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: E910001-001

Availability [RESTRICTED]

The works by W. B. Yeats are in the public domain. This electronic text is available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of private or academic research and teaching.


  1. A bibliography is available online at the official web site of the Nobel Prize. See:
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. William Butler Yeats Introductory Rhymes in , Ed. William Butler Yeats Responsibilities and other Poems. The Macmillan Company, New York, (1916) page 1–2


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The whole selection.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been proof-read twice.


The electronic text represents the edited text. Lines (or parts of thereof) reproduced in italics in the printed edition are tagged hi rend="ital".


The editorial practice of the hard-copy editor has been retained.


div0 =the poem, stanzas are marked lg.


Names of persons (given names), and places are not tagged. Terms for cultural and social roles are not tagged.

Profile Description

Created: By William Butler Yeats (1865–1939). (January 1914)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The poem is in English.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: E910001-001

Introductory Rhymes: Author: William Butler Yeats


January 1914
  1. Pardon, old fathers, if you still remain
    Somewhere in ear-shot for the story's end,
    Old Dublin merchant 'free of ten and four'
    Or trading out of Galway into Spain;
    And country scholar, Robert Emmet's friend,
    A hundred-year-old memory to the poor;
    Traders or soldiers who have left me blood
    That has not passed through any huxter's loin,
    Pardon, and you that did not weigh the cost,
    Old Butlers when you took to horse and stood
    Beside the brackish waters of the Boyne
    Till your bad master blenched and all was lost;


    You merchant skipper that leaped overboard
    After a ragged hat in Biscay Bay,
    You most of all, silent and fierce old man
    Because you were the spectacle that stirred
    My fancy, and set my boyish lips to say
    ‘Only the wasteful virtues earn the sun’;
    Pardon that for a barren passion's sake,
    Although I have come close on forty-nine
    I have no child, I have nothing but a book,
    Nothing but that to prove your blood and mine.