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THE WILD SWANS AT COOLE The trees are in their autumn beauty,The woodland paths are dry,Under the October twilight the waterMirrors a still sky;Upon the brimming water among the stonesAre nine and fifty swans. The nineteenth Autumn has come upon meSince I first made my count;I saw, before I had well finished,All suddenly mountAnd scatter wheeling in great broken ringsUpon their clamorous wings. I have looked upon those brilliant... more...

At the end of the ’eighties my father and mother, my brother and sisters and myself, all newly arrived from Dublin, were settled in Bedford Park in a red-brick house with several mantelpieces of wood, copied from marble mantelpieces designed by the brothers Adam, a balcony and a little garden shadowed by a great horse-chestnut tree. Years before we had lived there, when the crooked ostentatiously picturesque streets with great trees casting... more...

THE HOSTING OF THE SIDHE The host is riding from KnocknareaAnd over the grave of Clooth-na-bare;Caolte tossing his burning hairAnd Niamh calling Away, come away:Empty your heart of its mortal dream.The winds awaken, the leaves whirl round,Our cheeks are pale, our hair is unbound,Our breasts are heaving, our eyes are a-gleam,Our arms are waving, our lips are apart;And if any gaze on our rushing band,We come between him and the deed of his hand,We... more...

Why does my heart beat so?Did not a shadow pass?It passed but a moment ago.Who can have trod in the grass?What rogue is night-wandering?Have not old writers saidThat dizzy dreams can springFrom the dry bones of the dead?And many a night it seemsThat all the valley fillsWith those fantastic dreams.They overflow the hills,So passionate is a shade,Like wine that fills to the topA grey-green cup of jade,Or maybe an agate cup.(speaking) The hour... more...

THE CRUCIFIXION OF THE OUTCAST. A man, with thin brown hair and a pale face, half ran, half walked, along the road that wound from the south to the town of Sligo. Many called him Cumhal, the son of Cormac, and many called him the Swift, Wild Horse; and he was a gleeman, and he wore a short parti-coloured doublet, and had pointed shoes, and a bulging wallet. Also he was of the blood of the Ernaans, and his birth-place was the Field of Gold; but... more...


THE LAND OF HEART'S DESIRE The kitchen of MAURTEEN BRAIN'S house. An open grate with a turf fire is at the left side of the room, with a table in front of it. There is a door leading to the open air at the back, and another door a little to its left, leading into an inner room. There is a window, a settle, and a large dresser on the right side of the room, and a great bowl of primroses on the sill of the window. MAURTEEN BRUIN, FATHER HART;... more...

THE LAND OF HEART'S DESIRE SCENE.—A room with a hearth on the floor in the middle of a deep alcove to the Right. There are benches in the alcove and a table; and a crucifix on the wall. The alcove is full of a glow of light from the fire. There is an open door facing the audience to the Left, and to the left of this a bench. Through the door one can see the forest. It is night, but the moon or a late sunset glimmers through the trees and... more...

SCENE: A large room with a door at the back and another at the side opening to an inner room. A desk and a chair in the middle. An hour-glass on a bracket near the door. A creepy stool near it. Some benches. The WISE MAN sitting at his desk. WISE MAN [turning over the pages of a book]. Where is that passage I am to explain to my pupils to-day? Here it is, and the book says that it was written by a beggar on the walls of Babylon: "There are two... more...

HIS DREAM I swayed upon the gaudy stern The butt end of a steering oar, And everywhere that I could turn Men ran upon the shore. And though I would have hushed the crowd There was no mother’s son but said, “What is the figure in a shroud Upon a gaudy bed?” And fishes bubbling to the brim Cried out upon that thing beneath, It had such dignity of limb, By the sweet name of Death. Though I’d my finger... more...

CUCHULAIN AND HIS CYCLE The Church when it was most powerful taught learned and unlearned to climb, as it were, to the great moral realities through hierarchies of Cherubim and Seraphim, through clouds of Saints and Angels who had all their precise duties and privileges. The story-tellers of Ireland, perhaps of every primitive country, imagined as fine a fellowship, only it was to the æsthetic realities they would have had us climb. They... more...