The Song of Wandering Aengus by W B Yeats

The Song of Wandering Aengus by W B Yeats is really my favorite poem of the great man. I got to recite it standing in Lisadell House on the 150th anniversary of this birth.

Outline for this Page

  • Text of the Poem
  • Recording of the Poem
  • Reflections on the Poem
  • Companioning Practice
  • Personal Call to Adventure
  • The Quest-I-On and more

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Source: The Wind Among the Reeds (1899)

Song of Wandering Aengus Video

The Song of Wandering Aengus by W B Yeats has been recorded by many artists. These include: –

  • The Waterboys
  • Christie Moore
  • Judy Collins
  • David Gray
  • Richie Havens

Off all these wonderful recordings of the W. B. Yeats poem my favourite is by Richie Havens.

As someone who loves playing guitar and singing songs, I love the way in which this song is played on the guitar in the open D tuning favoured by Richie Havens.

Song of Wandering Aengus Reflections

In A Journey with Mr Yeats – 10 Poems to Companion YOUR Greatness I write a reflection on each of the chosen poems. In this book I take lines from the poem and share their deeper meaning as I the writer understand it.

Please note that this is not an academic analysis of the poem. These are reflections coming from a love of the invitations within them.

In The Song of Wandering Aengus these reflections share the understanding of the following lines

  • I went out ro the hazel wood
  • Because a fire was in my head.
  • I threw a berry in a stream and  caught a little silver trout
  • And pluck till time and times are done.
  • And more

Note to reader

These reflections will be posted to this site over the coming months (Feb – Mar 2019)

The Companioning Practice

In order to Companion YOUR Greatness (These are the Clouds) you are required to practice doing so. It is not enough to read the poetry. In the words of the mystic poet Rumi you are to become, “living poetry.”

The central practice invited by this poem The Song of Wandering Aengus is the practice of commitment. The poem calls our Hero Wandering Aengus into the adventure of finding that which has been revealed to him from the ether.

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure – Joseph Campbell

This is the commitment of your personal will (I will find out where she has gone) in the service of that which is the Universal Will as represented by the glimmering girl with apple blossom in her hair.

This is the first stage in the journey of Companioning YOUR Greatness. This is the stage of The Seeker.

The Seeker then journeys into The Devotee.

The Devotee then journeys into The Disciple.

Thus you become one devotedly disciplined in seeking to companion the Message of Love as it is intended to be expressed through you.

A Personal Call to Adventure

Following my grace moment of being able to recite poems at Lissadell House on the 150 anniversary of W. B. Yeats birth I felt called to record some of my favourite poems by this favourite poet.

The result was a CD entitled The Yeats Experience – Listening from the Deep Heart’s Core.

You can listen to extracts of all these poems by either clicking on the graphic for the cover of the CD or going here

w b yeats cd of poetryW B Yeats selection of poetry

The Quest-I-On and More

  1. What am I committed to seek and find that gives my life meaning and purpose?
  2. In what way is that commitment reflected in my daily words and actions?

The Song of Wandering Aengus – Recording

Listen to a recording of The Song of Wandering Aengus poem by William Butler Yeats recorded by the writer. This is a track on the CD entitled The Yeats Experience – Listening form the Deep Heart’s Core.

recording of song of wandering aengus

Simply press the orange button to the top right of the Soundcloud Graphic

You can listen to extracts from all tracks on this CD The Yeats Experience on HearNow

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