Kathleen Jessie Raine

(14 June 1908 – 6 July 2003 / London / England)

The Ancient Speech


A Gaelic bard they praise who in fourteen adjectives
Named the one indivisible soul of his glen;
For what are the bens and the glens but manifold qualities,
Immeasurable complexities of soul?
What are these isles but a song sung by island voices?
The herdsman sings ancestral memories
And the song makes the singer wise,
But only while he sings
Songs that were old when the old themselves were young,
Songs of these hills only, and of no isles but these.
For other hills and isles this language has no words.

The mountains are like manna, for one day given,
To each his own:
Strangers have crossed the sound, but not the sound of the dark oarsmen
Or the golden-haired sons of kings,
Strangers whose thought is not formed to the cadence of waves,
Rhythm of the sickle, oar and milking pail,
Whose words make loved things strange and small,
Emptied of all that made them heart-felt or bright.
Our words keep no faith with the soul of the world.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: song, faith, dark, world, heart, memory, son

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Ancient Speech by Kathleen Jessie Raine )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  7. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. O Captain! My Captain!, Walt Whitman
  10. Dreams, Langston Hughes

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Which One Do I Choose?, Julie Johnson
  2. Beautiful Madness, Steven Rhoads
  3. I am a poet, Julie Johnson
  4. Life of War, Steven Rhoads
  5. Do It Well, Babatunde Aremu
  6. So Tired, Frank Lindquist
  7. BHARAT KE VEER, AVINASH PANDEY KHUSH
  8. Memories of river., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  9. Life musings., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  10. Record, Holy Man
[Hata Bildir]