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The Wind Among the Reeds

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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 come between him and the hope of his heart.The host is rushing 'twixt night and day,And where is there hope or deed as fair?Caolte tossing his burning hair,And Niamh calling Away, come away.

THE EVERLASTING VOICES O sweet everlasting Voices be still;Go to the guards of the heavenly foldAnd bid them wander obeying your willFlame under flame, till Time be no more;Have you not heard that our hearts are old,That you call in birds, in wind on the hill,In shaken boughs, in tide on the shore?O sweet everlasting Voices be still.

THE MOODS Time drops in decay,Like a candle burnt out,And the mountains and woodsHave their day, have their day;What one in the routOf the fire-born moods,Has fallen away?

AEDH TELLS OF THE ROSE IN HIS HEART All things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and old,The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering cart,The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould,Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart. The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told;I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart,With the earth and the sky and the water, remade, like a casket of goldFor my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

THE HOST OF THE AIR O'Driscoll drove with a song,The wild duck and the drake,From the tall and the tufted reedsOf the drear Hart Lake. And he saw how the reeds grew darkAt the coming of night tide,And dreamed of the long dim hairOf Bridget his bride. He heard while he sang and dreamedA piper piping away,And never was piping so sad,And never was piping so gay. And he saw young men and young girlsWho danced on a level placeAnd Bridget his bride among them,With a sad and a gay face. The dancers crowded about him,And many a sweet thing said,And a young man brought him red wineAnd a young girl white bread. But Bridget drew him by the sleeve,Away from the merry bands,To old men playing at cardsWith a twinkling of ancient hands. The bread and the wine had a doom,For these were the host of the air;He sat and played in a dreamOf her long dim hair. He played with the merry old menAnd thought not of evil chance,Until one bore Bridget his brideAway from the merry dance. He bore her away in his arms,The handsomest young man there,And his neck and his breast and his armsWere drowned in her long dim hair. O'Driscoll scattered the cardsAnd out of his dream awoke:Old men and young men and young girlsWere gone like a drifting smoke; But he heard high up in the airA piper piping away,And never was piping so sad,And never was piping so gay.