W.B. Yeats quote "candle-like foam"


Yeats' poetry includes such beautiful imagery it is clear he was a great observer of the natural world.

From his poem "He gives his Beloved certain Rhymes" I use the image of "a pearl-pale hand" as inspiration for a pendant and earrings, as shown here, but I also love his image of "candle-like foam on the dim sand". It was only when I was out walking around Mullaghmore Head when the seas were rough and whipping up foam which was caught in the inlets that I realised the foam is like melted wax collecting at the bottom of a dripping candle.

Above is the photograph I took that day with the quote overlaid on it and following is the complete poem.

He gives his beloved Certain Rhymes

FASTEN your hair with a golden pin,

And bind up every wandering tress;

I bade my heart build these poor rhymes:

It worked at them, day out, day in,

Building a sorrowful loveliness 5

Out of the battles of old times.

You need but lift a pearl-pale hand,

And bind up your long hair and sigh;

And all men’s hearts must burn and beat;

And candle-like foam on the dim sand, 10

And stars climbing the dew-dropping sky,

Live but to light your passing feet.

by W.B. Yeats

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