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mscallisto (TechnicalUser) (OP)
12 Mar 12 15:20
Under Ben Bulben is a poem written by celebrated Irish poet W. B. Yeats. It was one of the last poems he wrote, and the last three lines decorate his gravestone in Drumcliffe, County Sligo, Ireland.

Quote:


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

I was there recently with a group of relatives. We all had many thoughts of what he may have meant but none really convinced me and WEB searches yielded the same.

Any Thoughts???  

Sam
 
rjoubert (Programmer)
12 Mar 12 15:29
I found this link that may shed some light on the meaning...
http://ireland.wlu.edu/landscape/Group4/analysis6.htm
 
Helpful Member!  flyboytim (Programmer)
12 Mar 12 19:52
Yeats had an uncomfortable time with Christianity - both Catholic and Protestant - and his epitaph seems to say "I viewed you (God) with contempt in Life, and now in Death, so if there is an Apocalypse, ignore my dead bones, I still want no part of it." - but much more poetically.
mscallisto (TechnicalUser) (OP)
13 Mar 12 10:20
rjoubert

Well that's the best explanation (makes the most sense of the meaning) that I've seen thus far.

flyboytim

I haven't seen it expressed that way before but it too seems a decent explanation.

Sam

 
OlafDoschke (Programmer)
13 Mar 12 11:02

Quote:

Horseman, pass by!

My first thought on that one was the Horseman meaning Death. And as Death is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, that would match, what flyboytim said. Though I wouldn't say, that this is adressing Death for the case of an Apocalypse, only.

Overall it's a poetic form of "(let me) rest in peace", with a sad reasoning on not wanting an afterlife (even not in heaven) having had a sad and tragic life, perhaps.

Bye, Olaf.
CajunCenturion (Programmer)
13 Mar 12 11:33
After reading the entire poem, Under Ben Bulben, I think Yeats is simply acknowledging that he's lived his life and his time is up.  Death is just another part of life, so don't fret over it or make a big deal about it.  Don't let me get in your way.  Get on your horse and live the life you're meant to live.

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mscallisto (TechnicalUser) (OP)
13 Mar 12 11:48
Hmmm OlafDoschke's theory does shed dome light on the most perplexing last line "Horseman, pass by!"

I did find Cajun's explanation to be (so far) the closest to what I thought while standing before the grave.

It certainly is one heck of an epitaph to decipher!!

Sam
 
Turkbear (TechnicalUser)
13 Mar 12 11:53
The beauty and artistry of good poetry is that it is does not say the same thing to every reader. This discussion supports Yeats'
place as a great poet.

profile

To Paraphrase:"The Help you get is proportional to the Help you give.."

CajunCenturion (Programmer)
13 Mar 12 12:01
==> perplexing last line "Horseman, pass by!"
I think it simply means there's no need to stop and pay any respects here.  Ride on into your own life.

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To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
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mscallisto (TechnicalUser) (OP)
13 Mar 12 12:09
"Ride on into your own life"  .... I agree

And I certainly agree with Turkbear

Sam
 

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