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The Land Of Heart’s Desire

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The Land Of Heart’s Desire

by William Butler Yeats

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Myth
Setting: Fantasy
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


THE CHILD I am Brig’s daughter.

I sent my messengers for milk and fire,

And then I heard one call to me and came.

(They all except SHAWN and MAIRE BRUIN gather behind the priest for protection.)

SHAWN (rising)

Though you have made all these obedient,

You have not charmed my sight, and won from me

A wish or gift to make you powerful;

I’ll turn you from the house.

FATHER HART No, I will face her.


Because you took away the crucifix

I am so mighty that there’s none can pass

Unless I will it, where my feet have danced

Or where I’ve twirled my finger tops.

(SHAWN tries to approach her and cannot.)


Look, look!

There something stops him–look how he moves his hands

As though he rubbed them on a wall of glass.


I will confront this mighty spirit alone.

(They cling to him and hold him back.)

THE CHILD (while she strews primroses)

No one whose heart is heavy with human tears

Can cross these little cressets of the wood.


Be not afraid, the Father is with us,

And all the nine angelic hierarchies,

The Holy Martyrs and the Innocents,

The adoring Magi in their coats of mail,

And He who died and rose on the third day,

And Mary with her seven times wounded heart.


It’s Yeats; lovely poetry…not a great drama


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