'Anashuya And Vijaya' by William Butler Yeats

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A i{little Indian temple} in i{the Golden Age.} Around it i{a garden;}
i{around that the forest.Anashuya, the young priestess, kneelinq}
i{within the temple.}
i{Anashuya.} Send peace on all the lands and flickering
O, may tranquillity walk by his elbow
When wandering in the forest, if he love
No other.-- Hear, and may the indolent flocks
Be plentiful.-- And if he love another,
May panthers end him.-- Hear, and load our king
With wisdom hour by hour.-- May we two stand,
When we are dead, beyond the setting suns,
A little from the other shades apart,
With mingling hair, and play upon one lute.
i{Vijaya [entering and throwing} a i{lily at her].} Hail! hail, my
i{Anashuya.} No:be still.
I, priestess of this temple, offer up
prayers for the land.
i{Vijaya.I} will wait here, Amrita.
i{Anashuya.} By mighty Brahma's ever-rustling robe,
Who is Amrita? Sorrow of all sorrows!
Another fills your mind.
i{Vijaya.} My mother's name.
i{Anashuya [sings, coming out} of i{the temple].}
A sad, sad i{thought went by me slowly:}
i{Sigh,} O i{you little stars.!} O i{sigh and shake your blue}
i{The sad, sad thought} has i{gone from me now wholly:}
i{Sing,} O you i{little stars.!} O i{sing and raise your rapturous}
i{To mighty Brahma,} be i{who made you many} as i{the sands,}
i{And laid you} on i{the gates} of i{evening with his quiet hands.}
i{(Sits down on the steps of the temple.j}
Vijaya, I have brought my evening rice;
The sun has laid his chin on the grey wood,
Weary, with all his poppies gathered round him.
i{Vijaya.} The hour when Kama, full of sleepy laughter,
Rises, and showers abroad his fragrant arrows,
Piercing the twilight with their murmuring barbs.
i{Anashuya.} See-how the sacred old flamingoes come.
Painting with shadow all the marble steps:
Aged and wise, they seek their wonted perches
Within the temple, devious walking, made
To wander by their melancholy minds.
Yon tall one eyes my supper; chase him away,
Far, far away.I named him after you.
He is a famous fisher; hour by hour
He ruffles with his bill the minnowed streams.
Ah! there he snaps my rice.I told you so.
Now cuff him off.He's off! A kiss for you,
Because you saved my rice.Have you no thanks?
i{Vijaya [sings].Sing you} of i{her, O first few stars,}
i{Whom Brahma, touching with his finger, praises, for you}
i{The van} of i{wandering quiet; ere you be too calm and old,}
i{Sing, turning in your cars,}
i{Sing, till you raise your hands and sigh, and from your car-}
i{heads peer,}
i{With all your whirling hair, and drop many an azure tear.}
i{Anashuya.} What know the pilots of the stars of tears?
i{Vijaya.} Their faces are all worn, and in their eyes
Flashes the fire of sadness, for they see
The icicles that famish all the North,
Where men lie frozen in the glimmering snow;
And in the flaming forests cower the lion
And lioness, with all their whimpering cubs;
And, ever pacing on the verge of things,
The phantom, Beauty, in a mist of tears;
While we alone have round us woven woods,
And feel the softness of each other's hand,
Amrita, while -- -
i{Anashuya [going away from him].}
Ah me! you love another,
i{[Bursting into tears.]}
And may some sudden dreadful ill befall her!
i{Vijaya.I} loved another; now I love no other.
Among the mouldering of ancient woods
You live, and on the village border she,
With her old father the blind wood-cutter;
I saw her standing in her door but now.
i{Anashuya.} Vijaya, swear to love her never more.
i{Vijaya.} Ay, ay.
i{Anashuya.} Swear by the parents of the gods,
Dread oath, who dwell on sacred Himalay,
On the far Golden peak; enormous shapes,
Who still were old when the great sea was young;
On their vast faces mystery and dreams;
Their hair along the mountains rolled and filled
From year to year by the unnumbered nests
Of aweless birds, and round their stirless feet
The joyous flocks of deer and antelope,
Who never hear the unforgiving hound.
i{Vijaya.} By the parents of the gods, I swear.
i{Anashuya [sings].} I i{have forgiven,} O i{new star!}
i{Maybe you have not heard} of i{us, you have come forth} so
You i{hunter} of i{the fields afar!}
i{Ah, you will know my loved one by his hunter's arrows}
i{Shoot on him shafts} of i{quietness, that he may ever keep}
A i{lonely laughter, and may kiss his hands to me in sleep.}
Farewell, Vijaya.Nay, no word, no word;
I, priestess of this temple, offer up
Prayers for the land.
i{[Vijaya goes.]}
O Brahma, guard in sleep
The merry lambs and the complacent kine,
The flies below the leaves, and the young mice
In the tree roots, and all the sacred flocks
Of red flamingoes; and my love, Vijaya;
And may no restless fay with fidget finger
Trouble his sleeping:give him dreams of me.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Anashuya And Vijaya: A Literary Masterpiece

William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century. His work is known for its mystical, romantic, and spiritual themes. In "Anashuya and Vijaya," Yeats creates a tale of two women who represent contrasting aspects of the feminine, and their encounter with a man who embodies the masculine. This poem is a masterpiece of Yeats' literary artistry, as he weaves together complex themes of love, desire, power, and transformation.

Poem Summary

The poem begins with Anashuya, a wise and powerful queen who is revered by her people. She is approached by Vijaya, a beautiful, seductive woman who is seeking to steal Anashuya's power. Anashuya invites Vijaya into her palace and they engage in a conversation where Vijaya tries to persuade Anashuya to share her power. However, Anashuya stands firm and refuses to give in to Vijaya's temptations.

Enter Aengus, a handsome and powerful god who is attracted to both women. He is torn between his desire for Vijaya's beauty and his admiration for Anashuya's wisdom. He chooses to pursue Anashuya, and they engage in a passionate love affair. However, Anashuya soon realizes that Aengus is not what he seems, and she transforms him into a bird.

The poem ends with Anashuya and Vijaya standing together, having learned from each other's strengths and weaknesses. They are no longer adversaries but allies, united in their understanding of the power of transformation.

Literary Analysis

"Anashuya and Vijaya" is a poem that explores the complex dynamics of power, desire, and transformation. Yeats uses these themes to create a narrative that is both allegorical and symbolic, reflecting his own spiritual beliefs and philosophical ideas.

The Feminine Archetypes

One of the most prominent themes in the poem is the contrast between the archetypes of Anashuya and Vijaya. Anashuya represents the wise, powerful, and independent woman who is self-sufficient and confident in her own abilities. She is a leader who is respected and revered by her people.

Vijaya, on the other hand, represents the seductive, manipulative, and ultimately powerless woman who uses her beauty to gain power and control over others. She is a temptress who seeks to steal Anashuya's power and assert her dominance over her.

These archetypes are not only representations of two different types of women, but also symbolic of the dual nature of the feminine. Anashuya represents the positive aspects of the feminine, such as wisdom, strength, and independence, while Vijaya represents the negative aspects, such as manipulation, seduction, and weakness.

The Masculine Dynamic

The character of Aengus represents the masculine dynamic that is present in the poem. He is a powerful god who is torn between his desire for Vijaya's beauty and his admiration for Anashuya's wisdom. This dynamic reflects the tension between the masculine and feminine that exists in our society.

Aengus' decision to pursue Anashuya over Vijaya is symbolic of the idea that true power and fulfillment can only come from the positive aspects of the feminine, such as wisdom and strength, and not from the negative aspects, such as manipulation and seduction.

The Power of Transformation

The theme of transformation is also central to the poem. Anashuya's transformation of Aengus into a bird represents the idea that true transformation can only come from within. Aengus' physical transformation reflects his inner transformation, as he learns the wisdom of Anashuya and realizes the destructive nature of his desire for Vijaya.

Anashuya and Vijaya's transformation from adversaries to allies is also symbolic of the transformative power of understanding and empathy. Through their interaction, they learn from each other's strengths and weaknesses, and are able to unite in their understanding of the power of transformation.

Spiritual and Philosophical Themes

"Anashuya and Vijaya" reflects Yeats' spiritual and philosophical beliefs. The poem is an allegory for the search for spiritual enlightenment, and the transformative power of love and understanding. It also reflects Yeats' belief in the importance of the mystical and spiritual aspects of life.


"Anashuya and Vijaya" is a masterpiece of Yeats' literary artistry. The themes of power, desire, and transformation are woven together in a narrative that is both allegorical and symbolic. The contrast between the archetypes of Anashuya and Vijaya, and the tension between the masculine and feminine dynamics, reflect the complexity of human relationships.

The poem's emphasis on the transformative power of understanding and empathy, and the importance of spiritual and mystical aspects of life, reflect Yeats' own philosophical and spiritual beliefs. "Anashuya and Vijaya" is a work of art that continues to inspire and captivate readers today.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

William Butler Yeats is one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, and his poem "Anashuya and Vijaya" is a classic example of his poetic genius. This poem is a beautiful exploration of the themes of love, beauty, and the power of the human spirit. In this analysis, we will delve into the meaning and significance of this poem, exploring its themes, symbols, and literary devices.

The poem begins with the speaker describing the beauty of Anashuya, a woman who is so beautiful that she is like a goddess. The speaker is clearly in awe of her beauty, and he describes her in vivid detail, using words like "radiant," "divine," and "heavenly." He is so captivated by her beauty that he cannot help but compare her to the goddess Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.

However, the speaker's admiration for Anashuya is not just based on her physical beauty. He also admires her inner beauty, her strength of character, and her spirit. He describes her as "a woman of heart made stone" and "a woman of iron will," suggesting that she is a woman of great strength and resilience. This is further emphasized by the fact that she is able to resist the advances of Vijaya, a man who is also captivated by her beauty.

Vijaya, on the other hand, is a man who is consumed by his desire for Anashuya. He is described as a "hunter" who is "mad with love," suggesting that his desire for her is all-consuming. However, despite his best efforts, he is unable to win her over, and she remains steadfast in her refusal to be with him.

The relationship between Anashuya and Vijaya is a complex one, and it is a reflection of the larger themes of the poem. On one level, it is a story of unrequited love, with Vijaya desperately trying to win over Anashuya, but ultimately failing. However, on a deeper level, it is a story of the power of the human spirit, and the ability of individuals to resist temptation and remain true to themselves.

This theme is further emphasized by the use of symbolism in the poem. Anashuya is often compared to a goddess, suggesting that she represents something larger than herself. She is a symbol of beauty, strength, and resilience, and her refusal to be with Vijaya is a symbol of her refusal to compromise her values and beliefs.

Vijaya, on the other hand, is a symbol of desire and temptation. He represents the forces that seek to pull us away from our true selves, and the struggle that we all face in resisting those forces. His desire for Anashuya is a symbol of the temptation that we all face in our lives, whether it be the temptation to give in to our vices, or the temptation to compromise our values in order to achieve success.

The use of symbolism is further enhanced by the use of literary devices in the poem. Yeats uses repetition to emphasize certain phrases and ideas, such as the repeated use of the phrase "mad with love" to describe Vijaya's desire for Anashuya. He also uses imagery to create vivid pictures in the reader's mind, such as the image of Anashuya standing "like a queen" in the midst of a crowd.

Overall, "Anashuya and Vijaya" is a beautiful and powerful poem that explores the themes of love, beauty, and the power of the human spirit. Through the use of symbolism and literary devices, Yeats creates a vivid and compelling story that speaks to the struggles that we all face in our lives. Whether we are faced with the temptation to compromise our values, or the struggle to resist our own desires, this poem reminds us that we have the strength and resilience to remain true to ourselves, and to overcome the challenges that we face.

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