IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in a speech at Dublin Castle —
The Irish have always been visionaries. They have never been afraid to dream big. It was William Butler Yeats who said: “I have spread my dreams beneath your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” Over the past few decades, the dream of a dynamic, prosperous, confident nation became reality. And today, despite grave setbacks, this dream is still very much alive.
But Yeats also said “in dreams begin responsibilities”. And those responsibilities are the co-responsibilities of Ireland and Europe.
Yeats didn’t say “in dreams begin responsibilities”. He wrote “in dreams begins responsibility” as an epigraph in his Responsibilities collection, a line which he attributed to an old play. The commonly cited quote that Lagarde uses is a Delmore Schwartz book title.