CHAPTER XVI
MEDITATIONS IN TIME OF CIVIL WAR

Yeats in the Free State--Ballylee: Summer 1922--
Senator--Parliamentary Work--Nobel Prize--The "Sys-
tem"--Speech at Tailteann Games

Much did I rage when young,
Being by the world oppressed,
But now with flattering tongue
It speeds the parting guest.


1

THE new Ireland created by the "Treaty" appeared to be ready to honour Yeats. The Ard Fheis of Sinn Fein nominated him as a delegate to an Irish Race Congress which was held in Paris during May 1922. To this he went and spoke on the work of the Abbey, on Synge and on the poets of 1916. Trinity College (which had thrown in its lot with the "Treaty" party) added a testimonial, and during the year he received a welcome academic distinction when the degree of Doctor of Letters in Dublin University was conferred upon him. Within two months The Trembling of the Veil, Later Poems and Plays in Prose and Verse appeared, and all three books were well received by the critics. These successes gratified him, but there were moments when he felt tired. He could plan and think as never before; but he could no longer hope to achieve all that he planned and thought; he began to rage at the "absurdity" of growing old:

-366-

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W. B. Yeats, 1865-1939
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Prefatory Note v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Chapter I - Family and Early Associations 1
  • Chapter II - Schooldays 24
  • Chapter III - London (1887-91) 59
  • Chapter IV - Death of Parnel After An After 85
  • Chapter V - Mysticism in Prose and Verse 109
  • Chapter VII - Theatre and Politics: Maud Gonne 152
  • Chapter VIII - Out of Twilight 186
  • Chapter IX - The Abbey Theatre 215
  • Chapter X - Plays and Controversies 229
  • Chapter XI - Variety (1910-12) 259
  • Chapter XII - Responsibilities 280
  • Chapter XIII - Nineteen-Sixteen 295
  • Chapter XIV - Marriage 327
  • Chapter XV - Oxford 346
  • Chapter XVI - Meditations in Time of Civil War 366
  • Chapter XVII - A Sixty-Year-Old Smiling Public Man 391
  • Chapter XVIII - Wheels and Butterflies 427
  • Chapter XIX - Riversdale 462
  • Chapter XX - Old Age 475
  • Notes 515
  • Bibliography 519
  • Index 521
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