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Best Famous Curlew Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Curlew poems. This is a select list of the best famous Curlew poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Curlew poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of curlew poems.

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Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Create an image from this poem

The Tide Rises the Tide Falls

The tide rises, the tide falls, 
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls; 
Along the sea-sands damp and brown 
The traveller hastens toward the town, 
  And the tide rises, the tide falls.
Darkness settles on roofs and walls, But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls; The little waves, with their soft, white hands, Efface the footprints in the sands, And the tide rises, the tide falls.
The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls; The day returns, but nevermore Returns the traveller to the shore, And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

The Withering Of The Boughs

 I cried when the moon was mutmuring to the birds:
'Let peewit call and curlew cry where they will,
I long for your merry and tender and pitiful words,
For the roads are unending, and there is no place to my mind.
' The honey-pale moon lay low on the sleepy hill, And I fell asleep upon lonely Echtge of streams.
No boughs have withered because of the wintry wind; The boughs have withered because I have told them my, dreams.
I know of the leafy paths that the witches take Who come with their crowns of pearl and their spindles of wool, And their secret smile, out of the depths of the lake; I know where a dim moon drifts, where the Danaan kind Wind and unwind their dances when the light grows cool On the island lawns, their feet where the pale foam gleams.
No boughs have withered because of the wintry wind; The boughs have withered because I have told them my dreams.
I know of the sleepy country, where swans fly round Coupled with golden chains, and sing as they fly.
A king and a queen are wandering there, and the sound Has made them so happy and hopeless, so deaf and so blind With wisdom, they wander till all the years have gone by; I know, and the curlew and peewit on Echtge of streams.
No boughs have withered because of the wintry wind; The boughs have withered because I have told them my dreams.
Written by William Allingham | Create an image from this poem

Adieu to Belshanny

 Adieu to Belashanny! where I was bred and born; 
Go where I may, I'll think of you, as sure as night and morn.
The kindly spot, the friendly town, where every one is known, And not a face in all the place but partly seems my own; There's not a house or window, there's not a field or hill, But, east or west, in foreign lands, I recollect them still.
I leave my warm heart with you, tho' my back I'm forced to turn Adieu to Belashanny, and the winding banks of Erne! No more on pleasant evenings we'll saunter down the Mall, When the trout is rising to the fly, the salmon to the fall.
The boat comes straining on her net, and heavily she creeps, Cast off, cast off - she feels the oars, and to her berth she sweeps; Now fore and aft keep hauling, and gathering up the clew.
Till a silver wave of salmon rolls in among the crew.
Then they may sit, with pipes a-lit, and many a joke and 'yarn' Adieu to Belashanny; and the winding banks of Erne! The music of the waterfall, the mirror of the tide, When all the green-hill'd harbour is full from side to side, From Portnasun to Bulliebawns, and round the Abbey Bay, From rocky inis saimer to Coolnargit sand-hills gray; While far upon the southern line, to guard it like a wall, The Leitrim mountains clothed in blue gaze calmly over all, And watch the ship sail up or down, the red flag at her stern Adieu to these, adieu to all the winding banks of Erne! Farewell to you, Kildoney lads, and them that pull on oar, A lug-sail set, or haul a net, from the Point to Mullaghmore; From Killybegs to bold Slieve-League, that ocean-Mountain steep, Six hundred yards in air aloft, six hundred in the deep, From Dooran to the Fairy Bridge, and round by Tullen Strand, Level and long, and white with waves, where gull and Curlew stand; Head out to sea when on your lee the breakers you Discern! Adieu to all the billowy coast, and winding banks ofErne! Farewell, Coolmore - Bundoran! And your summercrowds that run From inland homes to see with joy th'Atlantic-setting sun; To breathe the buoyant salted air, and sport among the waves; To gather shells on sandy beach, and tempt the gloomy caves; To watch the flowing, ebbing tide, the boats, the crabs, The fish; Young men and maids to meet and smile, and form a tender wish; The sick and old in search of health, for all things have their turn And I must quit my native shore, and the winding banks of Erne! Farewell to every white cascade from the Harbour to Belleek And every pool where fins may rest, and ivy-shaded creek; The sloping fields, the lofty rocks, where ash and holly grow, The one split yew-tree gazing on the curving flood below; The Lough, that winds through islands under Turaw mountain green; And Castle Caldwell's stretching woods, with tranquil bays between; And Breesie Hill, and many a pond among the heath and fern For I must say adieu-adieu to the winding banks of Erne! The thrush will call through Camlin groves the live- long summer day; The waters run by mossy cliff, and banks with wild flowers gay; The girls will bring their work and sing beneath a twisted thorn, Or stray with sweethearts down the path among growing corn; Along the river-side they go, where I have often been, O never shall I see again the days that I have seen! A thousand chances are to one I never may return Adieu to Belashanny, and the winding banks of Erne! Adieu to evening dances, when merry neighbours meet, And the fiddle says to boys and girls, "Get up shake your feet!" To 'shanachus' and wise old talk of Erin's gone by - Who trench'd the rath on such a hill, and where the bones may lie Of saint, or king, or warrior chief; with tales of fairy power, And tender ditties sweetly sung to pass the twilight hour.
The mournful song of exile is now for me to learn Adieu, my dear companions on the winding banks of Erne! Now measure from the Commons down to each end of the Purt, Round the Abbey, Moy, and Knather - I wish no one any hurt; The Main Street, Back Street, College Lane, the Mall,and Portnasun, If any foes of mine are there, I pardon every one.
I hope that man and womankind will do the same by me; For my heart is sore and heavy at voyaging the sea.
My loving friends I'll bear in mind, and often fondly turn To think of Belashanny, and the winding banks of Erne.
If ever I'm a money'd man, I mean, please God, to cast My golden anchor in the place where youthful years were pass'd; Though heads that now are black and brown must meanwhile gather gray, New faces rise by every hearth, and old ones drop away Yet dearer still that Irish hill than all the world beside; It's home, sweet home, where'er I roam, through lands and waters wide.
And if the Lord allows me, I surely will return To my native Belashanny, and the winding banks of Erne.
Written by Henry Lawson | Create an image from this poem

The City Bushman

 It was pleasant up the country, City Bushman, where you went, 
For you sought the greener patches and you travelled like a gent; 
And you curse the trams and buses and the turmoil and the push, 
Though you know the squalid city needn't keep you from the bush; 
But we lately heard you singing of the `plains where shade is not', 
And you mentioned it was dusty -- `all was dry and all was hot'.
True, the bush `hath moods and changes' -- and the bushman hath 'em, too, For he's not a poet's dummy -- he's a man, the same as you; But his back is growing rounder -- slaving for the absentee -- And his toiling wife is thinner than a country wife should be.
For we noticed that the faces of the folks we chanced to meet Should have made a greater contrast to the faces in the street; And, in short, we think the bushman's being driven to the wall, And it's doubtful if his spirit will be `loyal thro' it all'.
Though the bush has been romantic and it's nice to sing about, There's a lot of patriotism that the land could do without -- Sort of BRITISH WORKMAN nonsense that shall perish in the scorn Of the drover who is driven and the shearer who is shorn, Of the struggling western farmers who have little time for rest, And are ruined on selections in the sheep-infested West; Droving songs are very pretty, but they merit little thanks From the people of a country in possession of the Banks.
And the `rise and fall of seasons' suits the rise and fall of rhyme, But we know that western seasons do not run on schedule time; For the drought will go on drying while there's anything to dry, Then it rains until you'd fancy it would bleach the sunny sky -- Then it pelters out of reason, for the downpour day and night Nearly sweeps the population to the Great Australian Bight.
It is up in Northern Queensland that the seasons do their best, But it's doubtful if you ever saw a season in the West; There are years without an autumn or a winter or a spring, There are broiling Junes, and summers when it rains like anything.
In the bush my ears were opened to the singing of the bird, But the `carol of the magpie' was a thing I never heard.
Once the beggar roused my slumbers in a shanty, it is true, But I only heard him asking, `Who the blanky blank are you?' And the bell-bird in the ranges -- but his `silver chime' is harsh When it's heard beside the solo of the curlew in the marsh.
Yes, I heard the shearers singing `William Riley', out of tune, Saw 'em fighting round a shanty on a Sunday afternoon, But the bushman isn't always `trapping brumbies in the night', Nor is he for ever riding when `the morn is fresh and bright', And he isn't always singing in the humpies on the run -- And the camp-fire's `cheery blazes' are a trifle overdone; We have grumbled with the bushmen round the fire on rainy days, When the smoke would blind a bullock and there wasn't any blaze, Save the blazes of our language, for we cursed the fire in turn Till the atmosphere was heated and the wood began to burn.
Then we had to wring our blueys which were rotting in the swags, And we saw the sugar leaking through the bottoms of the bags, And we couldn't raise a chorus, for the toothache and the cramp, While we spent the hours of darkness draining puddles round the camp.
Would you like to change with Clancy -- go a-droving? tell us true, For we rather think that Clancy would be glad to change with you, And be something in the city; but 'twould give your muse a shock To be losing time and money through the foot-rot in the flock, And you wouldn't mind the beauties underneath the starry dome If you had a wife and children and a lot of bills at home.
Did you ever guard the cattle when the night was inky-black, And it rained, and icy water trickled gently down your back Till your saddle-weary backbone fell a-aching to the roots And you almost felt the croaking of the bull-frog in your boots -- Sit and shiver in the saddle, curse the restless stock and cough Till a squatter's irate dummy cantered up to warn you off? Did you fight the drought and pleuro when the `seasons' were asleep, Felling sheoaks all the morning for a flock of starving sheep, Drinking mud instead of water -- climbing trees and lopping boughs For the broken-hearted bullocks and the dry and dusty cows? Do you think the bush was better in the `good old droving days', When the squatter ruled supremely as the king of western ways, When you got a slip of paper for the little you could earn, But were forced to take provisions from the station in return -- When you couldn't keep a chicken at your humpy on the run, For the squatter wouldn't let you -- and your work was never done; When you had to leave the missus in a lonely hut forlorn While you `rose up Willy Riley' -- in the days ere you were born? Ah! we read about the drovers and the shearers and the like Till we wonder why such happy and romantic fellows strike.
Don't you fancy that the poets ought to give the bush a rest Ere they raise a just rebellion in the over-written West? Where the simple-minded bushman gets a meal and bed and rum Just by riding round reporting phantom flocks that never come; Where the scalper -- never troubled by the `war-whoop of the push' -- Has a quiet little billet -- breeding rabbits in the bush; Where the idle shanty-keeper never fails to make a draw, And the dummy gets his tucker through provisions in the law; Where the labour-agitator -- when the shearers rise in might -- Makes his money sacrificing all his substance for The Right; Where the squatter makes his fortune, and `the seasons rise and fall', And the poor and honest bushman has to suffer for it all; Where the drovers and the shearers and the bushmen and the rest Never reach the Eldorado of the poets of the West.
And you think the bush is purer and that life is better there, But it doesn't seem to pay you like the `squalid street and square'.
Pray inform us, City Bushman, where you read, in prose or verse, Of the awful `city urchin who would greet you with a curse'.
There are golden hearts in gutters, though their owners lack the fat, And we'll back a teamster's offspring to outswear a city brat.
Do you think we're never jolly where the trams and buses rage? Did you hear the gods in chorus when `Ri-tooral' held the stage? Did you catch a ring of sorrow in the city urchin's voice When he yelled for Billy Elton, when he thumped the floor for Royce? Do the bushmen, down on pleasure, miss the everlasting stars When they drink and flirt and so on in the glow of private bars? You've a down on `trams and buses', or the `roar' of 'em, you said, And the `filthy, dirty attic', where you never toiled for bread.
(And about that self-same attic -- Lord! wherever have you been? For the struggling needlewoman mostly keeps her attic clean.
) But you'll find it very jolly with the cuff-and-collar push, And the city seems to suit you, while you rave about the bush.
You'll admit that Up-the Country, more especially in drought, Isn't quite the Eldorado that the poets rave about, Yet at times we long to gallop where the reckless bushman rides In the wake of startled brumbies that are flying for their hides; Long to feel the saddle tremble once again between our knees And to hear the stockwhips rattle just like rifles in the trees! Long to feel the bridle-leather tugging strongly in the hand And to feel once more a little like a native of the land.
And the ring of bitter feeling in the jingling of our rhymes Isn't suited to the country nor the spirit of the times.
Let us go together droving, and returning, if we live, Try to understand each other while we reckon up the div.
Written by Charles Kingsley | Create an image from this poem

Ode to the Northeast Wind

 Welcome, wild Northeaster! 
Shame it is to see 
Odes to every zephyr; 
Ne'er a verse to thee.
Welcome, black Northeaster! O'er the German foam; O'er the Danish moorlands, From thy frozen home.
Tired are we of summer, Tired of gaudy glare, Showers soft and steaming, Hot and breathless air.
Tired of listless dreaming, Through the lazy day-- Jovial wind of winter Turn us out to play! Sweep the golden reed-beds; Crisp the lazy dike; Hunger into madness Every plunging pike.
Fill the lake with wild fowl; Fill the marsh with snipe; While on dreary moorlands Lonely curlew pipe.
Through the black fir-forest Thunder harsh and dry, Shattering down the snowflakes Off the curdled sky.
Hark! The brave Northeaster! Breast-high lies the scent, On by holt and headland, Over heath and bent.
Chime, ye dappled darlings, Through the sleet and snow.
Who can override you? Let the horses go! Chime, ye dappled darlings, Down the roaring blast; You shall see a fox die Ere an hour be past.
Go! and rest tomorrow, Hunting in your dreams, While our skates are ringing O'er the frozen streams.
Let the luscious Southwind Breathe in lovers' sighs, While the lazy gallants Bask in ladies' eyes.
What does he but soften Heart alike and pen? 'Tis the hard gray weather Breeds hard English men.
What's the soft Southwester? 'Tis the ladies' breeze, Bringing home their trueloves Out of all the seas.
But the black Northeaster, Through the snowstorm hurled, Drives our English hearts of oak Seaward round the world.
Come, as came our fathers, Heralded by thee, Conquering from the eastward, Lords by land and sea.
Come; and strong, within us Stir the Vikings' blood; Bracing brain and sinew; Blow, thou wind of God!

Written by Dylan Thomas | Create an image from this poem

Authors Prologue

 This day winding down now
At God speeded summer's end
In the torrent salmon sun,
In my seashaken house
On a breakneck of rocks
Tangled with chirrup and fruit,
Froth, flute, fin, and quill
At a wood's dancing hoof,
By scummed, starfish sands
With their fishwife cross
Gulls, pipers, cockles, and snails,
Out there, crow black, men
Tackled with clouds, who kneel
To the sunset nets,
Geese nearly in heaven, boys
Stabbing, and herons, and shells
That speak seven seas,
Eternal waters away
From the cities of nine
Days' night whose towers will catch
In the religious wind
Like stalks of tall, dry straw,
At poor peace I sing
To you strangers (though song
Is a burning and crested act,
The fire of birds in
The world's turning wood,
For my swan, splay sounds),
Out of these seathumbed leaves
That will fly and fall
Like leaves of trees and as soon
Crumble and undie
Into the dogdayed night.
Seaward the salmon, sucked sun slips, And the dumb swans drub blue My dabbed bay's dusk, as I hack This rumpus of shapes For you to know How I, a spining man, Glory also this star, bird Roared, sea born, man torn, blood blest.
Hark: I trumpet the place, From fish to jumping hill! Look: I build my bellowing ark To the best of my love As the flood begins, Out of the fountainhead Of fear, rage read, manalive, Molten and mountainous to stream Over the wound asleep Sheep white hollow farms To Wales in my arms.
Hoo, there, in castle keep, You king singsong owls, who moonbeam The flickering runs and dive The dingle furred deer dead! Huloo, on plumbed bryns, O my ruffled ring dove in the hooting, nearly dark With Welsh and reverent rook, Coo rooning the woods' praise, who moons her blue notes from her nest Down to the curlew herd! Ho, hullaballoing clan Agape, with woe In your beaks, on the gabbing capes! Heigh, on horseback hill, jack Whisking hare! who Hears, there, this fox light, my flood ship's Clangour as I hew and smite (A clash of anvils for my Hubbub and fiddle, this tune On atounged puffball) But animals thick as theives On God's rough tumbling grounds (Hail to His beasthood!).
Beasts who sleep good and thin, Hist, in hogback woods! The haystacked Hollow farms ina throng Of waters cluck and cling, And barnroofs cockcrow war! O kingdom of neighbors finned Felled and quilled, flash to my patch Work ark and the moonshine Drinking Noah of the bay, With pelt, and scale, and fleece: Only the drowned deep bells Of sheep and churches noise Poor peace as the sun sets And dark shoals every holy field.
We will ride out alone then, Under the stars of Wales, Cry, Multiudes of arks! Across The water lidded lands, Manned with their loves they'll move Like wooden islands, hill to hill.
Huloo, my prowed dove with a flute! Ahoy, old, sea-legged fox, Tom tit and Dai mouse! My ark sings in the sun At God speeded summer's end And the flood flowers now.
Written by Robert Herrick | Create an image from this poem


 Till I shall come again, let this suffice,
I send my salt, my sacrifice
To thee, thy lady, younglings, and as far
As to thy Genius and thy Lar;
To the worn threshold, porch, hall, parlour, kitchen,
The fat-fed smoking temple, which in
The wholesome savour of thy mighty chines,
Invites to supper him who dines:
Where laden spits, warp'd with large ribs of beef,
Not represent, but give relief
To the lank stranger and the sour swain,
Where both may feed and come again;
For no black-bearded Vigil from thy door
Beats with a button'd-staff the poor;
But from thy warm love-hatching gates, each may
Take friendly morsels, and there stay
To sun his thin-clad members, if he likes;
For thou no porter keep'st who strikes.
No comer to thy roof his guest-rite wants; Or, staying there, is scourged with taunts Of some rough groom, who, yirk'd with corns, says, 'Sir, 'You've dipp'd too long i' th' vinegar; 'And with our broth and bread and bits, Sir friend, 'You've fared well; pray make an end; 'Two days you've larded here; a third, ye know, 'Makes guests and fish smell strong; pray go 'You to some other chimney, and there take 'Essay of other giblets; make 'Merry at another's hearth; you're here 'Welcome as thunder to our beer; 'Manners knows distance, and a man unrude 'Would soon recoil, and not intrude 'His stomach to a second meal.
'--No, no, Thy house, well fed and taught, can show No such crabb'd vizard: Thou hast learnt thy train With heart and hand to entertain; And by the arms-full, with a breast unhid, As the old race of mankind did, When either's heart, and either's hand did strive To be the nearer relative; Thou dost redeem those times: and what was lost Of ancient honesty, may boast It keeps a growth in thee, and so will run A course in thy fame's pledge, thy son.
Thus, like a Roman Tribune, thou thy gate Early sets ope to feast, and late; Keeping no currish waiter to affright, With blasting eye, the appetite, Which fain would waste upon thy cates, but that The trencher creature marketh what Best and more suppling piece he cuts, and by Some private pinch tells dangers nigh, A hand too desp'rate, or a knife that bites Skin-deep into the pork, or lights Upon some part of kid, as if mistook, When checked by the butler's look.
No, no, thy bread, thy wine, thy jocund beer Is not reserved for Trebius here, But all who at thy table seated are, Find equal freedom, equal fare; And thou, like to that hospitable god, Jove, joy'st when guests make their abode To eat thy bullocks thighs, thy veals, thy fat Wethers, and never grudged at.
The pheasant, partridge, gotwit, reeve, ruff, rail, The cock, the curlew, and the quail, These, and thy choicest viands, do extend Their tastes unto the lower end Of thy glad table; not a dish more known To thee, than unto any one: But as thy meat, so thy immortal wine Makes the smirk face of each to shine, And spring fresh rose-buds, while the salt, the wit, Flows from the wine, and graces it; While Reverence, waiting at the bashful board, Honours my lady and my lord.
No scurril jest, no open scene is laid Here, for to make the face afraid; But temp'rate mirth dealt forth, and so discreet- Ly, that it makes the meat more sweet, And adds perfumes unto the wine, which thou Dost rather pour forth, than allow By cruse and measure; thus devoting wine, As the Canary isles were thine; But with that wisdom and that method, as No one that's there his guilty glass Drinks of distemper, or has cause to cry Repentance to his liberty.
No, thou know'st orders, ethics, and hast read All oeconomics, know'st to lead A house-dance neatly, and canst truly show How far a figure ought to go, Forward or backward, side-ward, and what pace Can give, and what retract a grace; What gesture, courtship, comeliness agrees, With those thy primitive decrees, To give subsistence to thy house, and proof What Genii support thy roof, Goodness and greatness, not the oaken piles; For these, and marbles have their whiles To last, but not their ever; virtue's hand It is which builds 'gainst fate to stand.
Such is thy house, whose firm foundations trust Is more in thee than in her dust, Or depth; these last may yield, and yearly shrink, When what is strongly built, no chink Or yawning rupture can the same devour, But fix'd it stands, by her own power And well-laid bottom, on the iron and rock, Which tries, and counter-stands the shock And ram of time, and by vexation grows The stronger.
Virtue dies when foes Are wanting to her exercise, but, great And large she spreads by dust and sweat.
Safe stand thy walls, and thee, and so both will, Since neither's height was raised by th'ill Of others; since no stud, no stone, no piece Was rear'd up by the poor-man's fleece; No widow's tenement was rack'd to gild Or fret thy cieling, or to build A sweating-closet, to anoint the silk- Soft skin, or bath[e] in asses' milk; No orphan's pittance, left him, served to set The pillars up of lasting jet, For which their cries might beat against thine ears, Or in the damp jet read their tears.
No plank from hallow'd altar does appeal To yond' Star-chamber, or does seal A curse to thee, or thine; but all things even Make for thy peace, and pace to heaven.
--Go on directly so, as just men may A thousand times more swear, than say This is that princely Pemberton, who can Teach men to keep a God in man; And when wise poets shall search out to see Good men, they find them all in thee.
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem


 Indignant at the fumbling wits, the obscure spite
Of our old paudeen in his shop, I stumbled blind
Among the stones and thorn-trees, under morning light;
Until a curlew cried and in the luminous wind
A curlew answered; and suddenly thereupon I thought
That on the lonely height where all are in God's eye,
There cannot be, confusion of our sound forgot,
A single soul that lacks a sweet crystalline cry.
Written by Adrian Green | Create an image from this poem

Walking on the Estuary Hill

 The curlew and the heron call,
the hissing mud and whispering wings
beat eery through the idle air
until the moonlit midnight silence falls
and then the tide flows softly
through the gut and sluice of estuary sands
and dark against the dreamlit sky
the trees arise from hedgerows,
and the hills
alive with monstrous shapes
are menacing with soundless fear,
and still below the blundering man,
the beery and uncertain head,
the stubbled fields hold secrets now
and silence fills the river bed.
Written by William Butler Yeats | Create an image from this poem

Baile And Aillinn

Baile and Aillinn were lovers, but Aengus, the Master of Love, wishing them to he happy in his own land among the dead, told to each a story of the other's death, so that their hearts were broken and they died.
I hardly hear the curlew cry, Nor thegrey rush when the wind is high, Before my thoughts begin to run On the heir of Uladh, Buan's son, Baile, who had the honey mouth; And that mild woman of the south, Aillinn, who was King Lugaidh's heir.
Their love was never drowned in care Of this or that thing, nor grew cold Because their hodies had grown old.
Being forbid to marry on earth, They blossomed to immortal mirth.
About the time when Christ was born, When the long wars for the White Horn And the Brown Bull had not yet come, Young Baile Honey Mouth, whom some Called rather Baile Little-Land, Rode out of Emain with a band Of harpers and young men; and they Imagined, as they struck the way To many-pastured Muirthemne, That all things fell out happily, And there, for all that fools had said, Baile and Aillinn would be wed.
They found an old man running there: He had ragged long grass-coloured hair; He had knees that stuck out of his hose; He had puddle-water in his shoes; He had half a cloak to keep him dry, Although he had a squirrel's eye.
O wandering hirds and rushy beds, You put such folly in our heads With all this crying in the wind, No common love is to our mind, And our poor kate or Nan is less Than any whose unhappiness Awoke the harp-strings long ago.
Yet they that know all things hut know That all this life can give us is A child's laughter, a woman's kiss.
Who was it put so great a scorn In thegrey reeds that night and morn Are trodden and broken hy the herds, And in the light bodies of birds The north wind tumbles to and fro And pinches among hail and snow? That runner said: 'I am from the south; I run to Baile Honey-Mouth, To tell him how the girl Aillinn Rode from the country of her kin, And old and young men rode with her: For all that country had been astir If anybody half as fair Had chosen a husband anywhere But where it could see her every day.
When they had ridden a little way An old man caught the horse's head With: "You must home again, and wed With somebody in your own land.
" A young man cried and kissed her hand, "O lady, wed with one of us"; And when no face grew piteous For any gentle thing she spake, She fell and died of the heart-break.
' Because a lover's heart s worn out, Being tumbled and blown about By its own blind imagining, And will believe that anything That is bad enough to be true, is true, Baile's heart was broken in two; And he, being laid upon green boughs, Was carried to the goodly house Where the Hound of Uladh sat before The brazen pillars of his door, His face bowed low to weep the end Of the harper's daughter and her friend For athough years had passed away He always wept them on that day, For on that day they had been betrayed; And now that Honey-Mouth is laid Under a cairn of sleepy stone Before his eyes, he has tears for none, Although he is carrying stone, but two For whom the cairn's but heaped anew.
We hold, because our memory is Sofull of that thing and of this, That out of sight is out of mind.
But the grey rush under the wind And the grey bird with crooked bill rave such long memories that they still Remember Deirdre and her man; And when we walk with Kate or Nan About the windy water-side, Our hearts can Fear the voices chide.
How could we be so soon content, Who know the way that Naoise went? And they have news of Deirdre's eyes, Who being lovely was so wise - Ah! wise, my heart knows well how wise.
Now had that old gaunt crafty one, Gathering his cloak about him, mn Where Aillinn rode with waiting-maids, Who amid leafy lights and shades Dreamed of the hands that would unlace Their bodices in some dim place When they had come to the matriage-bed, And harpers, pacing with high head As though their music were enough To make the savage heart of love Grow gentle without sorrowing, Imagining and pondering Heaven knows what calamity; 'Another's hurried off,' cried he, 'From heat and cold and wind and wave; They have heaped the stones above his grave In Muirthemne, and over it In changeless Ogham letters writ - Baile, that was of Rury's seed.
But the gods long ago decreed No waiting-maid should ever spread Baile and Aillinn's marriage-bed, For they should clip and clip again Where wild bees hive on the Great Plain.
Therefore it is but little news That put this hurry in my shoes.
' Then seeing that he scarce had spoke Before her love-worn heart had broke.
He ran and laughed until he came To that high hill the herdsmen name The Hill Seat of Laighen, because Some god or king had made the laws That held the land together there, In old times among the clouds of the air.
That old man climbed; the day grew dim; Two swans came flying up to him, Linked by a gold chain each to each, And with low murmuring laughing speech Alighted on the windy grass.
They knew him: his changed body was Tall, proud and ruddy, and light wings Were hovering over the harp-strings That Edain, Midhir's wife, had wove In the hid place, being crazed by love.
What shall I call them? fish that swim, Scale rubbing scale where light is dim By a broad water-lily leaf; Or mice in the one wheaten sheaf Forgotten at the threshing-place; Or birds lost in the one clear space Of morning light in a dim sky; Or, it may be, the eyelids of one eye, Or the door-pillars of one house, Or two sweet blossoming apple-boughs That have one shadow on the ground; Or the two strings that made one sound Where that wise harper's finger ran.
For this young girl and this young man Have happiness without an end, Because they have made so good a friend.
They know all wonders, for they pass The towery gates of Gorias, And Findrias and Falias, And long-forgotten Murias, Among the giant kings whose hoard, Cauldron and spear and stone and sword, Was robbed before earth gave the wheat; Wandering from broken street to street They come where some huge watcher is, And tremble with their love and kiss.
They know undying things, for they Wander where earth withers away, Though nothing troubles the great streams But light from the pale stars, and gleams From the holy orchards, where there is none But fruit that is of precious stone, Or apples of the sun and moon.
What were our praise to them? They eat Quiet's wild heart, like daily meat; Who when night thickens are afloat On dappled skins in a glass boat, Far out under a windless sky; While over them birds of Aengus fly, And over the tiller and the prow, And waving white wings to and fro Awaken wanderings of light air To stir their coverlet and their hair.
And poets found, old writers say, A yew tree where his body lay; But a wild apple hid the grass With its sweet blossom where hers was, And being in good heart, because A better time had come again After the deaths of many men, And that long fighting at the ford, They wrote on tablets of thin board, Made of the apple and the yew, All the love stories that they knew.
Let rush and hird cry out their fill Of the harper's daughter if they will, Beloved, I am not afraid of her.
She is not wiser nor lovelier, And you are more high of heart than she, For all her wanderings over-sea; But I'd have bird and rush forget Those other two; for never yet Has lover lived, but longed to wive Like them that are no more alive.