|More about Dylan Thomas by Jean Migrenne|
Whoever looks for sources concerning "Do not go gentle into that good night" will be directed to two pieces by Yeats: "Lapis Lazuli" and "The Choice". OK, but rather limited. Just read this:
Thou weepest for the death of thy daughter, and I laugh at the folly of the father, for greater vanity is there in the mind of the mourner than bitterness in the death of the deceased...../....Ay, but her youth made thee often merry, ay but thine age should once made thee wise. Ay but her green years were unfit for death, ay but thy hoary hairs should despise life..../....Wise men have found that by learning which old men should know by experience, that in life there is nothing sweet, in death nothing sour.../...And what hath death in it so hard that we should take it so heavily? is it stange to see tha cut off, which by nature is made to be cut, or that melten, which is fit to be melted? or that burnt, which is apt to be burnt, or man to pass, that is born to perish?...
Guess who? John Lyly (Euphues, The anatomy of Wit) . Sorry no indication of page or chapter, because this is an excerpt from an old textbook in use in French literary classes some decades ago. I have never seen anyone quoting this as source.
Back to translation of Thomas's Prologue