Isabella Valancy Crawford

(25 December 1850 – 12 February 1887 / Dublin, Ireland)

March


Shall Thor with his hammer
Beat on the mountain,
As on an anvil,
A shackle and fetter?

Shall the lame Vulcan
Shout as he swingeth
God-like his hammer,
And forge thee a fetter?

Shall Jove, the Thunderer,
Twine his swift lightnings
With his loud thunders,
And forge thee a shackle?

'No,' shouts the Titan,
The young lion-throated;
'Thor, Vulcan, nor Jove
Cannot shackle and bind me.'

Tell what will bind thee,
Thou young world-shaker,
Up vault our oceans,
Down fall our forests.

Ship-masts and pillars
Stagger and tremble,
Like reeds by the margins
Of swift running waters.

Men's hearts at thy roaring
Quiver like harebells
Smitten by hailstones,
Smitten and shaken.

'O sages and wise men!
O bird-hearted tremblers!
Come, I will show ye
A shackle to bind me.

I, the lion-throated,
The shaker of mountains!
I, the invincible,
Lasher of oceans!

'Past the horizon,
Its ring of pale azure
Past the horizon,
Where scurry the white clouds,

There are buds and small flowers--
Flowers like snow-flakes,
Blossoms like rain-drops,
So small and tremulous.

Therein a fetter
Shall shackle and bind me,
Shall weigh down my shouting
With their delicate perfume!'

But who this frail fetter
Shall forge on an anvil,
With hammer of feather
And anvil of velvet?

Past the horizon,
In the palm of a valley,
Her feet in the grasses,
There is a maiden.

She smiles on the flowers,
They widen and redden,
She weeps on the flowers,
They grow up and kiss her.

She breathes in their bosoms,
They breathe back in odours;
Inarticulate homage,
Dumb adoration.

She shall wreathe them in shackles,
Shall weave them in fetters;
In chains shall she braid them,
And me shall she fetter.

I, the invincible;
March, the earth-shaker;
March, the sea-lifter;
March, the sky-render;

March, the lion-throated.
April the weaver
Of delicate blossoms,
And moulder of red buds--

Shall, at the horizon,
Its ring of pale azure,
Its scurry of white clouds,
Meet in the sunlight.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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