Yeats Country Photographs

Yeats Country Photographs

- The Sligo Poems -


Yeats Statue
Yeats Country - Yeats Statue
Yeats' Grave and Benbulben
Yeats Country - Yeats' Grave and Benbulben

The Stolen Child
Red Hanrahan's Song about Ireland
The Host of the Air
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
The Man who dreamed of Faeryland
The Song Of Wandering Aengus
A Faery Song
The Fiddler of Dooney
The Ballad of Father O'Hart (or The Priest of Colooney)
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The Hosting of the Sidhe
The Wild Swans at Coole
In Memory Of Eva Gore-Booth And Con Markiewicz
Under Saturn
At the Hawk's Well
The Untiring Ones
Under Ben Bulben
Elsinore Lodge


Many of W. B. Yeats' works have been inspired by places in and around Sligo. While a good deal of these locations can easily be checked out on the internet, such as Benbulben and Drumcliffe, it seems impossible to find information (let alone images) of others, such as the Hawk's Well and Heart Lake.
With this page I give his readers the opportunity to visualise the locations that have made their way into literature, though not necessarily onto the map.
Clicking on will bring you to a gallery with more images of the same area, including a larger version of the corresponding photograph.
Clicking on will bring you to a price list for prints of the photographs and give you the opportunity to place an order. (Just copy the title of the desired photograph and paste it into the form.)

Click here for the web's largest collection of Sligo Landscape Photographs

Please be patient with the download, it'll be worth your time!


The Stolen Child

Where dips the rocky highland
of Sleuth Wood...

Yeats Country - Slish Wood, Sleuth Wood

Far off by furthest Rosses
Yeats Country - Rosses Point

Where the wandering water gushes
Yeats Country - Glencar Waterfall

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest
Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scare could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Dusk at Lough Gill
Yeats Country - 2 - Dusk at Lough Gill
Lough Gill from Slish Wood (Sleuth Wood)
Yeats Country - Slish Wood, Sleuth Wood, Lough Gill

From ferns that drop their tears
over the young streams...

Yeats Country - Glencar

Glencar Lake
Yeats Country - The Lake of Glencar

Full Moon at Glencar
Yeats Country - Full Moon at Glencar


Red Hanrahan's Song about Ireland

High Over Cummen Strand
Yeats Country - Cummeen Strand, Cummen Strand, Cummin Strand

Queen Maeve's Cairn on Knocknarea
Yeats Country - Queen Maeve's Cairn, Knocknarea

THE old brown thorn-trees break in two high over Cummen Strand,
Under a bitter black wind that blows from the left hand;
Our courage breaks like an old tree in a black wind and dies,
But we have hidden in our hearts the flame out of the eyes
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.
The wind has bundled up the clouds high over
Knock-narea,
And thrown the thunder on the stones for all that Maeve can say.
Angers that are like noisy clouds have set our hearts abeat;
But we have all bent low and low and kissed the quiet feet
Of Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.
The yellow pool has overflowed high up on
Clooth-na-Bare,
For the wet winds are blowing out of the clinging air;
Like heavy flooded waters our bodies and our blood;
But purer than a tall candle before the Holy Rood
Is Cathleen, the daughter of Houlihan.

High up on Clooth-na-Bare
Yeats Country - Slieve Daeane
Clouds high over Knocknarea
Yeats Country - Knocknarea

The House of Clooth-na-Bare
Yeats Country - The House of Clooth-na-Bare


The Host of the Air

The Drear Hart Lake
Yeats Country - Lough Achree, Hart Lake, Heart Lake

Lough Achree (Hart Lake)
Yeats Country - Lough Achree, Hart Lake, Heart Lake

Boulder at Hart Lake
Yeats Country - Lough Achree, Hart Lake, Heart Lake

O'DRISCOLL drove with a song
The wild duck and the drake
From the tall and the tufted reeds
Of the drear Hart Lake.

And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night-tide,
And dreamed of the long dim hair
Of Bridget his bride.

He heard while he sang and dreamed
A piper piping away,
And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.

And he saw young men and young girls
Who danced on a level place,
And Bridget his bride among them,
With a sad and a gay face.

isle The dancers crowded about him
And many a sweet thing said,
And a young man brought him red wine
And a young girl white bread.

But Bridget drew him by the sleeve
Away from the merry bands,
To old men playing at cards
With a twinkling of ancient hands.

The bread and the wine had a doom,
For these were the host of the air;
He sat and played in a dream
Of her long dim hair.

He played with the merry old men
And thought not of evil chance,
Until one bore Bridget his bride
Away from the merry dance.

He bore her away in his arms,
The handsomest young man there,
And his neck and his breast and his arms
Were drowned in her long dim hair.

O'Driscoll scattered the cards
And out of his dream awoke:
Old men and young men and young girls
Were gone like a drifting smoke;

But he heard high up in the air
A piper piping away,
And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.

Lough Achree (also Hart Lake or Heart Lake), formed by an earthquake in 1490 and probably Ireland's youngest lake, is said to be one of the numerous fairy portals around Sligo.
To add to the fascination of the place, an eagle was circling high above the mountain as I approached the lake.

Hart Lake and Knockachree
Yeats Country - Lough Achree, Hart Lake, Heart Lake

At Hart Lake
Yeats Country - Lough Achree, Hart Lake, Heart Lake

Hart Lake
Yeats Country - Lough Achree, Hart Lake, Heart Lake


The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
Yeats Country - Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.


Innisfree is a tiny island on Lough Gill. In the Millenium Forest at its shores a sculpture known as Yeats' Sacred Space points towards it.

And go to Innisfree
Yeats Country - Innisfree

I hear lake water lapping
Yeats Country - Lough Gill

Lough Gill
Yeats Country - Lough Gill

Yeats' Sacred Space
Yeats Country - Yeats' Sacred Space


The Man who dreamed of Faeryland

Bonet River at Dromahair
Yeats Country - Bonet River, Dromahair

He mused beside
the Well of Scanavin
(Hawk's Well)

Yeats Country - Hawk's Well, Well of Scanavin

He stood among a crowd at Dromahair;
His heart hung all upon a silken dress,
And he had known at last some tenderness,
Before earth took him to her stony care;
But when a man poured fish into a pile,
It Seemed they raised their little silver heads,
And sang what gold morning or evening sheds
Upon a woven world-forgotten isle
Where people love beside the ravelled seas;
That Time can never mar a lover's vows
Under that woven changeless roof of boughs:
The singing shook him out of his new ease.

He wandered by the sands of Lissadell;
His mind ran all on money cares and fears,
And he had known at last some prudent years
Before they heaped his grave under the hill;
But while he passed before a plashy place,
A lug-worm with its grey and muddy mouth
Sang that somewhere to north or west or south
There dwelt a gay, exulting, gentle race
Under the golden or the silver skies;
That if a dancer stayed his hungry foot
It seemed the sun and moon were in the fruit:
And at that singing he was no more wise.

He mused beside the Well of Scanavin,
He mused upon his mockers: without fail
His sudden vengeance were a country tale,
When earthy night had drunk his body in;
But one small knot-grass growing by the pool
Sang where - unnecessary cruel voice -
Old silence bids its chosen race rejoice,
Whatever ravelled waters rise and fall
Or stormy silver fret the gold of day,
And midnight there enfold them like a fleece
And lover there by lover be at peace.
The tale drove his fine angry mood away.

He slept under the Hill of Lugnagall;
And might have known at last unhaunted sleep
Under that cold and vapour-turbaned steep,
Now that the earth had taken man and all:
Did not the worms that spired about his bones
proclaim with that unwearied, reedy cry
That God has laid His fingers on the sky,
That from those fingers glittering summer runs
Upon the dancer by the dreamless wave.
Why should those lovers that no lovers miss
Dream, until God burn Nature with a kiss?
The man has found no comfort in the grave.

He wandered by
the sands of Lissadell

Yeats Country - Lissadell Strand, Lisadill Strand

The Hawk's Well
Yeats Country - Hawk's Well, Well of Scanavin

He slept under the
Hill of Lugnagall

Yeats Country - Yeats' Grave


The Song Of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood
Yeats Country - Hazelwood, Hazel Wood

The Fisherman, Hazelwood
Yeats Country - Hazelwood, Hazel Wood
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.

Half Moon Bay
at Hazelwood

Yeats Country - Hazelwood, Hazel Wood, Half Moon Bay

Hazelwood
Yeats Country - Hazelwood, Hazel Wood


Miners Childrens School &
Diarmuid and Grania's Bed

Yeats Country - Benbulben, Ben Bulben, Diarmait's and Grainne's Cave

A Faery Song

(Sung by the people of Faery over Diarmuid and Grania, in their bridal sleep under a Cromlech)

WE who are old, old and gay,
O so old!
Thousands of years, thousands of years,
If all were told:
Give to these children, new from the world,
Silence and love;
And the long dew-dropping hours of the night,
And the stars above:
Give to these children, new from the world,
Rest far from men.
Is anything better, anything better?
Tell us it then:
Us who are old, old and gay,
O so old!
Thousands of years, thousands of years,
If all were told.

As they were on the run from her husband, Diarmait and Grainne (Diarmuid and Grania) are said to have spent the night in the shelter of a cave in Benbulben, known as Diarmait's (and Grainne's) Bed.

Diarmuid and Grania's Bed
Yeats Country - Benbulben, Ben Bulben, Diarmait's and Grainne's Cave


The Fiddler of Dooney

At Dooney Rock
Yeats Country - At Dooney Rock

Lough Gill at Dooney Rock
Yeats Country - Lough Gill at Dooney Rock

WHEN I play on my fiddle in Dooney,
Folk dance like a wave of the sea;
My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet,
My brother in Moharabuiee.

I passed my brother and cousin:
They read in their books of prayer;
I read in my book of songs
I bought at the Sligo fair.

When we come at the end of time,
To Peter sitting in state,
He will smile on the three old spirits,
But call me first through the gate;

For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle
And the merry love to dance:

And when the folk there spy me,
They will all come up to me,
With ‘Here is the fiddler of Dooney!’
And dance like a wave of the sea.

Maugheraboy (Moharabuiee)
Yeats Country - Maugheraboy

Kilvarnet
Yeats Country - Kilvarnet

Kilvarnet Churchyard
Yeats Country - Kilvarnet Churchyard


The Ballad of Father O'Hart
(or The Priest of Colooney)

Collooney Church
Yeats Country - Colooney Church

The birds from Knocknarea
Yeats Country - Knocknarea

Knocknashee
Yeats Country -  Knocknashee

Ballinafad
Yeats Country - Ballinafad

Good Father John O'Hart
In penal days rode out
To a Shoneen who had free lands
And his own snipe and trout.

In trust took he John's lands;
Sleiveens were all his race;
And he gave them as dowers to his daughters.
And they married beyond their place.

But Father John went up,
And Father John went down;
And he wore small holes in his Shoes,
And he wore large holes in his gown.

All loved him, only the shoneen,
Whom the devils have by the hair,
From the wives, and the cats, and the children,
To the birds in the white of the air.

The birds, for he opened their cages
As he went up and down;
And he said with a smile, 'Have peace now';
And he went his way with a frown.

But if when anyone died
Came keeners hoarser than rooks,
He bade them give over their keening;
For he was a man of books.

And these were the works of John,
When, weeping score by score,
People came into Colooney;
For he'd died at ninety-four.

There was no human keening;
The birds from Knocknarea
And the world round Knocknashee
Came keening in that day.

The young birds and old birds
Came flying, heavy and sad;
Keening in from Tiraragh,
Keening from Ballinafad;

Keening from Inishmurray.
Nor stayed for bite or sup;
This way were all reproved
Who dig old customs up.

Inishmurray
Yeats Country - Inismurray

Tireragh - Carrowmore
Yeats Country - Tiraragh - Carrowmore

Tireragh - Ox Mountains
Yeats Country - Tiraragh - Ox Mountains

Tireragh - Aughris Head
Yeats Country - Tiraragh - Aughris Head

Tireragh - Easkey
Yeats Country - Tiraragh - Easkey


The Hosting of the Sidhe

The host is riding from Knocknarea
Yeats Country - Knocknarea

The host is riding from Knocknarea,
And over the grave of Clooth-na-bare;
Caolte tossing his burning hair,
And Niamh calling, 'Away, come away;
Empty your heart of its mortal dream.
The winds awaken, the leaves whirl round,
Our cheeks are pale, our hair is unbound,
Our breasts are heaving, our eyes are a-gleam,
Our arms are waving, our lips are apart,
And if any gaze on our rushing band,
We come between him and the deed of his hand,
We come between him and the hope of his heart.'
The host is rushing 'twixt night and day;
And where is there hope or deed as fair?
Caolte tossing his burning hair,
And Niamh calling, 'Away, come away.'

Over the grave of Clooth-na-bare
Yeats Country - Knocknarea


The Wild Swans at Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty
Yeats Country – Coole Park

The Autograph Tree
Yeats Country – Coole Park

THE trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty Swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

(It appears that since Yeats' last count they
have indeed flown away.)

Yeats’ Signature
Yeats Country – Coole Park

The woodland paths are dry
Yeats Country – Coole Park

The water mirrors a still sky
Yeats Country – Coole Park


In Memory Of Eva Gore-Booth And Con Markiewicz

Lissadell Strand
Yeats Country - Lissadell Strand

The light of evening, Lissadell,
Great windows open to the south,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.
But a raving autumn shears
Blossom from the summer's wreath;
The older is condemned to death,
Pardoned, drags out lonely years
Conspiring among the ignorant.
I know not what the younger dreams -
Some vague Utopia - and she seems,
When withered old and skeleton-gaunt,
An image of such politics.
Many a time I think to seek
One or the other out and speak
Of that old Georgian mansion, mix
pictures of the mind, recall
That table and the talk of youth,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.

Dear shadows, now you know it all,
All the folly of a fight
With a common wrong or right.
The innocent and the beautiful.
Have no enemy but time;
Arise and bid me strike a match
And strike another till time catch;
Should the conflagration climb,
Run till all the sages know.
We the great gazebo built,
They convicted us of guilt;
Bid me strike a match and blow.

Countess Markievicz
(monument at Rathcormac)

Yeats Country - Countess Markievicz


Under Saturn

At the Quays
Yeats Country - Sligo Quays

Do not because this day I have grown saturnine
Imagine that lost love, inseparable from my thought
Because I have no other youth, can make me pine;
For how should I forget the wisdom that you brought,
The comfort that you made? Although my wits have gone
On a fantastic ride, my horse's flanks are spurred
By childish memories of an old cross Pollexfen,
And of a Middleton, whose name you never heard,
And of a red-haired Yeats whose looks, although he died
Before my time, seem like a vivid memory.
You heard that labouring man who had served my people. He said
Upon the open road, near to the Sligo quay -
No, no, not said, but cried it out - 'You have come again,
And surely after twenty years it was time to come.'
I am thinking of a child's vow sworn in vain
Never to leave that valley his fathers called their home.

Sligo Quays
Yeats Country - Countess Markievicz


At the Hawk's Well

Hawk's Well and Hawk's Rock
Yeats Country - Hawk's Well and Hawk's Rock

The Hawk's Well, also called Tubber Scanavin, can be found on top of Tullaghan Hill near Coolaney. Like all wells in Ireland, it is attributed to St Patrick, and even though the Ox Mountains stretch between the well and the sea, its water level rises and falls with the tide.

Synopsis of the Play: The play is set by a dried up well on a desolate mountainside which is guarded by a hawk-like woman. An old man has kept camp there for fifty years, waiting to drink the miraculous waters from the well which occasionally rise up. Cuchulain arrives at the spot, having heard a story that the waters bring immortality. The Old Man urges Cuchulain to leave the well, telling of his wasted lifetime there and how, even when the waters did rise up, he was thwarted by a sudden urge to sleep. But Cuchulain is determined to stay and convinced that he shall soon drink the waters. While they speak of a hawk which had attacked Cuchulain earlier in the day, and which the old man claims is a supernatural being which carries a curse of discontent and violence, the Guardian of the Well seems to fall into a trance, arises, and begins to dance with hawk-like motions. She then leaves the stage as the well waters bubble up. Cuchulain pursues her, but unable to find her he returns to the well to be informed by the Old Man he has missed the waters. Oblivious, he rushes out again to face the warrior women the Guardian of the Well has called out to battle, ignoring the Old Man's pleas to stay with him. (Source: Wikipedia)

Tullaghan Hill
Yeats Country - Tullaghan Hill

Tubber Scanavin
Yeats Country - Hawk's Well

The Hawk's Well
Yeats Country - Hawk's Well, Well of Scanavin
At the Hawk's Well
Yeats Country - Tullaghan Hill, Hawk's Well


from The Untiring Ones

On Slieve Daeane
Yeats Country - Bird Mountain, Slieve Daeane

Lough Dagee
Yeats Country - Lough Dagee

...Such a mortal too was Clooth-na-bare, who went all over the world seeking a lake deep enough to drown her faery life, of which she had grown weary, leaping from hill to lake and lake to hill, and setting up a cairn of stones wherever her feet lighted, until at last she found the deepest water in the world in little Lough Ia, on the top of the Birds' Mountain at Sligo.

There are two lakes on Bird's Mountain (Slieve Daeane); it is generally accepted that Yeats' Lough Ia is Lough Dagee (or Lough Dagea), but since it is even higher up on the mountain, I think he might be referring to Lough Lumman.

Despite being also called Two Birds' Mountain, Slieve Daeane is actually guarded by three territorial falcons; as soon as I had moved on from the plateau to climb the first peak, they made their presence known by a noisy display of their flying skills. After that didn't scare me away, one of them followed me for three hours, circling high above my head and squawking abuse at me. Only when I started my descent from Lough Lumman did he finally retreat.

Lough Ia (Lough Lumman)
Yeats Country - Lough Ia, Lough Lumman
The House of Cailleach
Yeats Country - Bird Mountain, Slieve Daeane

At Lough Lumman
Yeats Country - Lough Lumman


from Under Ben Bulben

Where Ben Bulben sets the scene
Yeats Country - Benbulben, Ben Bulben

Under bare Ben Bulben's head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago, a church stands near,
By the road an ancient cross.
No marble, no conventional phrase;
On limestone quarried near the spot
By his command these words are cut:

Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!

Drumcliff Church
Yeats Country - Drumcliff Church

In Drumcliff Churchyard
Yeats Country - Drumcliff Churchyard
Cast a cold eye
(Yeats' Grave)

Yeats Country - Yeats' Grave

Under bare Ben Bulben's head
(Yeats' Grave)

Yeats Country - Yeats' Grave


Other Places of Interest:

Elsinore Lodge

Elsinore Lodge and Coney Island
Yeats Country - Elsinore Lodge

Elsinore Lodge at Rosses Point was the seat of the Middleton Family where the Yeats brothers spent many a summer with their cousins. The house was built by the pirate captain John Black (Black Jack), and it is still said to be haunted by him (he supposedly knocks at the window pane three times, which should prove quite difficult at this stage). The house has fallen into disrepair, and even though plans to restore it emerge in the press every now and then, nothing has been done so far.

Elsinore Lodge (Front)
Yeats Country - Elsinore Lodge

Elsinore Lodge (Staircase)
Yeats Country - Elsinore Lodge

Elsinore Lodge (Inside)
Yeats Country - Elsinore Lodge

Elsinore Lodge (Graffiti)
Yeats Country - Elsinore Lodge


Maude Gonne Mural

Maude Gonne Mural ('When you are old and grey...')


Did I miss anything? If you would like to see a location I haven't covered on this page, feel free to contact me at


Yeats Graffiti

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