J. M. Synge pp 74-78 | Cite as

The Death of Synge

  • W. B. Yeats


Molly Allgood1 came to-day to ask where I would be to-morrow, as Synge wishes to send for me if strong enough. He wants ‘to make arrangements’. He is dying.2 They have ceased to give him food. Should we close the Abbey or keep it open while he still lives? Poor Molly is going through her work as always. Perhaps that is best for her. I feel Synge’s coming death less now than when he first became ill. I am used to the thought of it and I do not find that I pity him. I pity her. He is fading out of life. I felt the same when I saw M—3in the madhouse. I pitied his wife. He seemed already dead. One does not feel that death is evil when one meets it,—evil, I mean, for the one who dies. Our Daimon is silent as was that other before the death of Socrates. The wildest sorrow that comes at the thought of death is, I think, ‘Ages will pass over and no one ever again look on that nobleness or that beauty’. What is this but to pity the living and to praise the dead?


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  1. 5.
    It was W. B. Yeats who, in 1898, suggested that Lady Gregory should ask Synge to stay for a while in her house at Coole Park, Gort, County Galway, twenty-two miles from Galway City. Today almost nothing remains of Lady Gregory’s ‘modest white-fronted house rather like a large Italian farmhouse’, as Joseph Hone described it in W. B. Yeats (New York, 1943) p. 144.Google Scholar
  2. See Anne Gregory, Me and.Nu: Childhood at Coole (Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire: Colin Smythe, 1970 ).Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1977

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  • W. B. Yeats

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