The Book Of The Visions Seen By Orm The Celt

There is a mortal, and his name is Orm,
Born in the evening of the world, and looking
Back from the sunset to the gates of morning.

And he is aged early, in a time
When all are aged early,—he was born
In twilight times, and in his soul is twilight.

O brother, hold me by the hand, and hearken,
For these things I shall phrase are thine and mine,
And all men's,—all are seeking for a sign.

Thou wert born yesterday, but thou art old,
Weary to-day, to-morrow thou wilt sleep—
Take these for kisses on thy closing eyelids.

Troths

Yellow dust on a bumble
bee's wing,
Grey lights in a woman's
asking eyes,
Red ruins in the changing
sunset embers:
I take you and pile high
the memories.
Death will break her claws
on some I keep.


Two Neighbors

Faces of two eternities keep looking at me.
One is Omar Khayam and the red stuff
wherein men forget yesterday and to-morrow
and remember only the voices and songs,
the stories, newspapers and fights of today.
One is Louis Cornaro and a slim trick
of slow, short meals across slow, short years,
letting Death open the door only in slow, short inches.
I have a neighbor who swears by Omar.
I have a neighbor who swears by Cornaro.
Both are happy.


Two Songs From a Play

I

I saw a staring virgin stand
Where holy Dionysus died,
And tear the heart out of his side.
And lay the heart upon her hand
And bear that beating heart away;
Of Magnus Annus at the spring,
As though God's death were but a play.

Another Troy must rise and set,
Another lineage feed the crow,
Another Argo's painted prow
Drive to a flashier bauble yet.
The Roman Empire stood appalled:
It dropped the reins of peace and war
When that fierce virgin and her Star


Two Women

I know two women, and one is chaste
And cold as the snows on a winters waste,
Stainless ever I act and thought
(As a man, born dumb, in speech errs not) .
But she has malice toward her kind,
A cruel tongue and a jealous mind.
Void of pity and full of greed,
She judges the world by her narrow creed;
A brewer of quarrels, a breeder of hate,
Yet she holds the key to ‘Society’s’ Gate.

The other woman, with heart of flame,
Went mad for a love that marred her name:
And out of the grave of her murdered faith


Two swimmers wrestled on the spar

201

Two swimmers wrestled on the spar—
Until the morning sun—
When One—turned smiling to the land—
Oh God! the Other One!

The stray ships—passing—
Spied a face—
Upon the waters borne—
With eyes in death—still begging raised—
And hands—beseeching—thrown!


Translation of Petrarch's Rima, Sonnet 134

I FIND no peace, and all my war is done;
I fear and hope; I burn and freeze like ice;
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on;
That looseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not, yet can I 'scape nowise;
Nor letteth me live nor die at my device, [by my own choice]
And yet of death it giveth none occasion.
Withouten eyen, I see; and without tongue I plain; [lament]
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health;


Tommy's Dead

You may give over plough, boys,
You may take the gear to the stead,
All the sweat o' your brow, boys,
Will never get beer and bread.
The seed's waste, I know, boys,
There's not a blade will grow, boys,
'Tis cropped out, I trow, boys,
And Tommy's dead.

Send the colt to fair, boys,
He's going blind, as I said,
My old eyes can't bear, boys,
To see him in the shed;
The cow's dry and spare, boys,
She's neither here nor there, boys,
I doubt she's badly bread;
Stop the mill to-morn, boys,


Tommy Corrigan

You talk of riders on the flat, of nerve and pluck and pace --
Not one in fifty has the nerve to ride a steeplechase.
It's right enough, while horses pull and take their faces strong,
To rush a flier to the front and bring the field along;
Bur what about the last half-mile, with horses blown and beat --
When every jump means all you know to keep him on his feet.
When any slip means sudden death -- with wife and child to keep --
It needs some nerve to draw the whip and flog him at the leap --


Tomes

There is a section in my library for death
and another for Irish history,
a few shelves for the poetry of China and Japan,
and in the center a row of imperturbable reference books,
the ones you can turn to anytime,
when the night is going wrong
or when the day is full of empty promise.

I have nothing against
the thin monograph, the odd query,
a note on the identity of Chekhov's dentist,
but what I prefer on days like these
is to get up from the couch,
pull down The History of the World,


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