Monday, 2 May 2016

Poetry Revisited: May Day by Thomas MacDonagh

May Day

(from Irish Review: IV [May, 1914] 135)

I wish I were to- day on the hill behind the wood-
My eyes on the brown bog there and the Shannon river-
Behind the wood at home, a quickened solitude
When the winds from Slieve Bloom set the branches there a-quiver.

The winds are there now and the Green of May
On every feathery tree-bough, tender on every hedge:
Over the bog-fields there larks carol to-day,
And a cuckoo is mocking them out of the woodland’s edge.

Here a country warmth is quiet on the rocks
That alone make never a change when the May is duly come;
Here sings no lark, and to-day no cuckoo mocks:
Over the wide hill a hawk floats, and the leaves are dumb.

Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916)
Irish political activist, poet, playwright, educationalist and revolutionary leader

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