Sunday, 22 June 2014

A Walk In Coole

One of the woodland paths towards Coole lake

Down to the water

Along the water's edge

Through the rocky flower filled field

Back to the woods

Past reminders of Yeats

At the sign for Pairc Na Tarbh

Pairc na Tarbh ( there is no v in the Irish language )

Back to the garden walls, heart and mind full of Yeats and Lady Gregory

                    I walked among the seven woods of Coole:
                    Shan-walla, where a willow-bordered pond
                    Gathers the wild duck from the winter dawn;
                    Shady Kyle-dortha; sunnier Kyle-na-no,
                    Where many hundred squirrels are as happy
                    As though they had been hidden by green boughs
                    Where old age cannot find them; Pairc-na-lee,
                    Where hazel and ash and privet blind the paths:
                    Dim Pairc-na-carraig, where the wild bees fling
                    Their sudden fragrances on the green air;
                    Dim Pairc-na-tarav, where enchanted eyes
                    Have seen immortal, mild, proud shadows walk;
                    Dim Inchy wood, that hides badger and fox
                    And marten-cat, and borders that old wood
                    Wise Biddy Early called the wicked wood:
                    Seven odours, seven murmurs, seven woods.
                    I had not eyes like those enchanted eyes,
                    Yet dreamed that beings happier than men
                    Moved round me in the shadows, and at night
                    My dreams were cloven by voices and by fires;
                   And the images I have woven in this story
                   Of Forgael and Dectora and the empty waters
                   Moved round me in the voices and the fires,
                   And more I may not write of, for they that cleave
                   The waters of sleep can make a chattering tongue
                   Heavy like stone, their wisdom being half silence.
                   How shall I name you, immortal, mild, proud shadows?
                   I only know that all we know comes from you,
                   And that you come from Eden on flying feet.
                   Is Eden far away, or do you hide
                   From human thought, as hares and mice and coneys
                  That run before the reaping-hook and lie
                  In the last ridge of the barley? Do our woods
                  And winds and ponds cover more quiet woods,
                  More shining winds, more star-glimmering ponds?
                  Is Eden out of time and out of space?
                  And do you gather about us when pale light
                  Shining on water and fallen among leaves,
                  And winds blowing from flowers, and whirr of feathers
                  And the green quiet, have uplifted the heart?
                  I have made this poem for you, that men may read it
                  Before they read of Forgael and Dectora,
                  As men in the old times, before the harps began,
                  Poured out wine for the high invisible ones.

                       The Shadowy Waters: Introduction
                                                            W. B. Yeats

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