Lightplay in Irish Landscape: Hyde and O Driscoll.

The Mystery, by Douglas Hyde*

I am the wind which breathes upon the sea,
I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the murmur of the billows,
I am the ox of the seven combats,
I am the vulture upon the rocks,
I am the beam of the sun,
I am the fairest of the plants,
I am the wild boar in valour,
I am the salmon in the water,
I am a lake in the plain,
I am a word of science,
I am the point of the lance in battle,
I am the god who created in the head, the fire,
Who is it who throws light into the meeting on the mountain ?
Who announces the ages of the moon?
Who touches the place where couches the sun
(if not I)

I do not have a book for this one, it’s transcribed from a bilingual Spanish edition in the keeping of my wonderful friend, I will of course ask him to send me the details so I can publish it here. It’s a beautiful poem by Douglas Hyde.

From Skywriting, by Dennis O Driscoll

On midwinter day, sun excavates
the entrances of passage tombs,
surveys their corbelled vaults, revives
their spirits with light touch.
And slabs of weather-beaten stone-
wedged on heathery mountain tops
that offer panoramas of five fertile counties-
carry boulders like the weight
of the world on granite shoulders
receive a warm overspill of light,
as do these giant incisors- a ring of
standing stones- which form a sun trap.

I highly recommend ‘Skywriting’ by the way, it is taken from Reality Check by Dennis O Driscoll, publ. Anvil 2007, sure I know – was at the launch in RCSI on the Green.

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