Thursday, March 17, 2005

For Saint Patrick's Day, A Poem by Walt Whitman

I've always loved this piece. It'll probably bore most of you to tears though--so move on if that's case.

Old Ireland
by Walt Whitman

Far hence amid an isle of wondrous beauty,
Crouching over a grave an ancient sorrowful mother,
Once a queen, now lean and tattered seated on the ground,
Her old white hair drooping disheveled round her shoulders,
At her feet fallen an unused royal harp,
Long silent, she too long silent, mourning her shrouded hope and heir,
Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow because most full of love.

Yet a word ancient mother,
You need crouch there no longer on the cold ground with forehead between your knees,
O you need not sit there veiled in your old white hair so disheveled,
For know you the one you mourn is not in that grave,
It was an illusion, the son you love was not really dead,
The Lord is not dead, he is risen again young and strong in another country,
Even while you wept there by your fallen harp by the grave,
What you wept for was translated, passed from the grave,
The winds favoured and the sea sailed it,
And now with rosy and new blood,
Moves today in a new country


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