DRUMCLIFFE, a parish, in the Lower half-barony of CARBKRY, county of SLIGO, and province of CONNAUGHT, 3 miles from Sligo This place anciently called Cnoc na teagh, was once a large town, A monastery was founded here, in 590, by St. Columba, who appointed his disciple, St. Thorian, or Mothorian, abbot, and to his office episcopal jurisdiction was united : the see was subsequently united to Elphin. St. Torannan, a succeeding abbot, who died in 921, was afterwards regarded as the patron saint of the place. A religious house was also founded at Cailleavinde by St. Fintan, a disciple of St. Columb.
William Butler Yeats was born in Sandymount, County Dublin. His father, John Butler Yeats, was a descendant of Jervis Yeats, a Williamite soldier and linen merchant who died in 1712. Jervis' grandson Benjamin married Mary Butler, daughter of a landed County Kildare family. At the time of his marriage, John Yeats was studying law, but abandoned his studies to study art at Heatherley’s Art School in London. His mother, Susan Mary Pollexfen, came from a
wealthy Anglo-Irish family in County Sligo who owned a prosperous milling and shipping business. Soon after William's birth the family relocated to Sligo to stay with her extended family, and the young poet came to think of the area as his childhood and spiritual home. Its landscape became, over time, both literally and symbolically, his "country of the heart". The Butler Yeats family were highly artistic; his brother Jack went on to be a highly regarded painter, while his sisters Elizabeth and Susan—known to family and friends as Lollie and Lily—became involved in the arts and crafts movement.
In September, Yeats proposed to twenty-four-year-old George (Georgie) Hyde-Lees (1892–1968), whom he had met through occult circles. Despite warning from her friends—"George ... you can't. He must be dead"—Hyde-Lees accepted, and the two were married on 20 October. Their marriage was a success, in spite of the age difference, and in spite of Yeats' feelings of remorse and regret during their honeymoon. Around this time George wrote to her husband "When you are dead, people will talk about your love affairs, but I shall say nothing, for I will remember how proud you were". The couple went on to have two children, Anne and Michael.
Having suffered from a variety of illnesses for a number of years, he died at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France on 28 January, 1939. He was buried after a discreet and private funeral at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Yeats and George had often discussed his death, and his express wish was to be buried quickly in France with a minimum of fuss. According to George "His actual words were 'If I die bury me up there [at Roquebrune] and then in a year's time when the newspapers have forgotten me, dig me up and plant me in Sligo". In September 1948, Yeats's body was moved to Drumcliffe, County Sligo, on the Irish Naval Service corvette L.E. Macha. His epitaph is taken from the last lines of "Under Ben Bulben", one of his final poems:
Under Ben Bulben is a poem written by celebrated Irish poet W. B. Yeats.
Swear by those horsemen, by those women
Here's the gist of what they mean.
Measurement began our might:
Quattrocento put in print
Gyres run on;
Cast a cold eye
You may link to this website but not copy the material
Send mail to Bob's E-Mail with questions or comments about this web site.