Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

The Evening Star. Camille Corot. 1864.


Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

William Butler Yeats, 1899


Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and a half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.


This poem is often published as “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven,” but the poem’s original speaker was Yeats’ archetypal character Aedh. The lovelorn Aedh is enthralled by la belle dame sans merci.