Yearning for Pastoral Restoration

It’s the driving force behind Thoreau’s Walden, one of my favorite books, and Yeats’s “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” which I was just shown in an English teacher training meeting a couple of weeks ago, and which is now one of my favorite poems:

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 honey-bee,
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 grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.



The poem also reminds me of Loreena McKennitt’s “Bonny Portmore,” another story of yearning for a pastoral restoration.  Is it a coincidence that both “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and “Bonny Portmore” are Irish?  Here’s a video for the song, with an appropriate scenery and landscape montage:


One comment on “Yearning for Pastoral Restoration

  1. The paradise we so often yearn for was never meant for us. The idyllic happiness of years gone by is a myth. Life was always hard, and it was meant to be. And then you died.

    But that’s no reason to be unhappy.

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