Poem – Garadh 

FOR the poor body that I own

I could weep many a tear:

The days have stolen flesh and bone,

And left a changeling here.
Four feeble bones are left to me,

And the basket of my breast,

And I am mean and ugly now

As the scald flung from the nest.
The briars drag me at the knee,

The brambles go within,

And often do I feel him turn,

The old man in my skin.
The strength is carded from my bones,

The swiftness drained from me,

And all the living thoughts I had

Are like far ships at sea! 

Poem – Fourth Station

Jesus His Mother meets: 

She looks on Him and sees 

The Savior in Her Son: 

The Angel’s word comes back: 

Within her heart she says, 

“Unto me let this be done!” 

Still is she full of grace. 

By us, too be it one, 

That grace that brings us revelation! 

Poem – Dermott Donn MacMorna 

ONE day you’ll come to my husband’s door,

Dermoit Donn MacMorna,

One day you’ll come to Hugh’s dark door,

And the pain at my heart will be no more,

Dermott Donn MacMorna!
From his bed, from his fire I’ll rise,

Dermott Donn MacMorna,

From the bed of Hugh, from his fire I’ll rise,

With my laugh for the pious, the quiet, the wise,

Dermott Donn MacMorna!
Lonesome, lonesome, the house of Hugh,

Dermott Donn MacMorna,

No cradle rocks in the house of Hugh;

The list’ning fire has thought of you,

Dermott Donn MacMorna!
Out of this loneliness we’ll go,

Dermott Donn MacMorna,

Together at last we two will go

Down a darkening road with a gleam below,

Ah, but the winds do bitter blow,

Dermott Donn MacMorna! 

Poem – Crows

THEN, suddenly, I was aware indeed

Of  what he said, and was revolving it:

How, in the night, crows often take to wing,

Rising from off the tree-tops in Drumbarr,

And flying on: I pictured what he told.
The crows that shake the night-damp off their wings

Upon the stones out yonder in the fields,

The first live things that we see in the mornings;

The crows that march across the fields, that sit

Upon the ash-trees’ branches, that fly home

And crowd the elm-tops over in Drumbarr;

The crows we look on at all hours of light,

Growing, and full, and going these black beings have

Another lifetime!
Crows flying in the dark

Blackness in darkness flying; beings unseen

Except by eyes that are like to their own

Trespassers’ eyes!
And you, old man, with eyes so quick and sharp,

Who’ve told me of the crows, my fosterer;

And you, old woman, upon whose lap I’ve lain

When I was taken from my mother’s lap;

And you, young girl, with looks that have come down

From forefathers, my kin ye have another life

I’ve glimpsed it, I becoming trespasser-

Blackness in darkness flying like the crows! 

Poem – Crane

I KNOW you, Crane:

I, too, have waited,

Waited until my heart

Melted to little pools around my feet!

Comer in the morning ere the crows,



Something find for me!

The pennies that were laid upon the eyes

Of old, wise men I knew.


The Little Fox 

THAT sidling creature is a little Fox:

Like other canine he is leashed and led;

He goes upon the sidewalk; houses tower;

Men trample; horses rear; he drags his leash.
Did not I

Once know a lad from Irrus where they leave

Mittens for foxes; where they invite

A fox to a child’s christening; where they have

Foxes as gossips to their boys and girls?
Would that a lad from Irrus now was here

To tell his gossip that a human creature

Has heart for him, and fain would cover up

His bowels of dread, and find some way to bring

His rainy hills around him, the soft grass,

Darkness of ragged hedges, and his earth

The black, damp earth under the roots of trees!

Would that a lad from Irrus now was here

Where houses tower and where horses rear! 

Poem – Wild Ass -Padraic Colum 

The wild ass lounges, legs struck out 

In vagrom unconcern: 

The tombs o Achaemenian kings 

Are for those hooves to spurn. 
And all of rugged Tartary 

Lies with him on the ground, 

The Tartary that knows no awe, 

That has nor ban nor bound. 
The wild horse from the herd is plucked 

To bear a saddle’s weight; 

The boar is one keeps covert, and 

The wolf runs with a mate. 
But he’s the solitary of space, 

Curbless and unbeguiled; 

The only being that bears a heart 

Not recreant to the wild.

Poem – Tulips – Padraic Colum

An age being mathematical, these flowers 

Of linear stalks and spheroid blooms were prized 

By men with wakened, speculative minds, 

And when with mathematics they explored 

The Macrocosm, and came at last to 

The Vital Spirit of the World, and named it 

Invisible Pure Fire, or, say, the Light, 

The Tulips were the Light’s receptacles. 

The gold, the bronze, the red, the bright-swart Tulips! 

No emblems they for us who no more dream 

Of mathematics burgeoning to light 

With Newton’s prism and Spinoza’s lens, 

Or berkeley’s ultimate, Invisible Pure Fire. 

In colored state and carven brilliancy 

We see them now, or, more illumined, 

In sudden fieriness, as flowers fit 

To go with vestments red on Pentecost.

Poem – The Poor Girl’s Meditation- Padraic Colum

I am  sitting here 

Since the moon rose in the night, 

Kindling a fire, 

And striving to keep it alight; 

The folk of the house are lying 

In slumber deep; 

The geese will be gabbling soon: 

The whole of the land is asleep. 
May I never leave this world 

Until my ill-luck is gone; 

Till I have cows and sheep, 

And the lad that I love for my own; 

I would not think it long, 

The night I would lie at his breast, 

And the daughters of spite, after that, 

Might say the thing they liked best. 
Love takes the place of hate, 

If a girl have beauty at all: 

On a bed that was narrow and high, 

A three-month I lay by the wall: 

When I bethought on the lad 

That I left on the brow of the hill, 

I wept from dark until dark, 

And my cheeks have the tear-tracks still. 
And, O young lad that I love, 

I am no mark for your scorn; 

All you can say of me is 

Undowered I was born: 

And if I’ve no fortune in hand, 

Nor cattle and sheep of my own, 

This I can say, O lad, 

I am fitted to lie my lone!

Poem – Snake – Padraic Colum

But, Snake, you must not come where we abide, 

For you would tempt us; we should hear you say: 
‘Oh, somewhere was a world was cold and spare, 

And voiceless; somewhere was a Being was not 
Engrossed with substance, with no fervencies 

Of love and hatred, and he made me, Snake! 
The wise Elohim, they who made the rest 

Of Creatures, made them ail-too manifold 
Mortised and rampired, jointed, vascular; 

And I was put an alien in their world, 
All head, all spine, all limb, all loin, 

Swift as a bird and single as a fish.’ 
Above you fruits unglanced at bend and glow, 

And, bare and voiceless, you do tempt us, Snake!

Poem – The Poet – Padraic Colum

‘The blackbird’s in the briar, 

The seagull’s on the ground- 

They are nests, and they’re more than nests,’ he said, 

‘They are tokens I have found. 
There, where the rain-dashed briar 

Marks an empty glade, 

The blackbird’s nest is seen,’ he said, 

‘Clay-rimmed, uncunningly made. 
By shore of the inland lake, 

Where surgeless water shoves, 

The seagulls have their nests,’ he said, 

‘As low as catties’ hooves.’ 
I heard a poet say it, 

The sojourner of a night; 

His head was up to the rafter, 

Where he stood in candles’ light. 
‘Your houses are like the seagulls’ 

Nests they are scattered and low; 

Like the blackbirds’ nests in briars,’ he said, 

‘Uncunningly made even so. 
But close to the ground are reared 

The wings that have widest sway, 

And the birds that sing best in the wood,’ he said, 

‘Were reared with breasts to the clay. 
You’ve wildness I’ve turned it to song; 

You’ve strength I’ve turned it to wings; 

The welkin’s for your conquest then, 

The wood to your music rings.’ 
I heard a poet say it, 

The sojourner of a night; 

His head was up to the rafter, 

Where he stood in candles’ light.

Poem – A Mountaineer – Padraic Colum

ERE Beowulf’s song 

Was heard from the ships, 

Ere Roland had set 

The horn to his lips: 
In Ogham strokes 

A name was writ: 

That name his name 

Lives in yet. 
The strokes on the edge 

Of the stone might count 

The acres he has 

On this bare mount; 
But he remembers 

The pillar-stone, 

And knows that he is 

Of the seed of Eoin.