When Algy perches in his tree on a spring evening in May or June, watching the ever-changing colours of the sky as the sun sinks into the sea, these are the sounds that he hears…

On this occasion it was also raining gently – you can just hear the pitter-patter in the background.

This is the sound of the wee burn which Algy watched as it trickled over its peaty bed through the mosses and ferns to join the river behind him.

Peace Comes Dropping Slow

In honour of the wonderful poet, William Butler Yeats, who died on this day in the year 1939, Algy invites you to listen again to a unique reading by Yeats himself of Algy’s favourite poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree, in an archive recording published as part of the BBC Poetry Season.

          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.