Padraic Colum

(8 December 1881 – 11 January 1972 / County Longford)

Crows - Poem by Padraic Colum

THEN, suddenly, I was aware indeed
Of what he said, and was revolving it:
How, in the night, crows often take to wing,
Rising from off the tree-tops in Drumbarr,
And flying on: I pictured what he told.

The crows that shake the night-damp off their wings
Upon the stones out yonder in the fields,
The first live things that we see in the mornings;
The crows that march across the fields, that sit
Upon the ash-trees' branches, that fly home
And crowd the elm-tops over in Drumbarr;
The crows we look on at all hours of light,
Growing, and full, and going these black beings have
Another lifetime!

Crows flying in the dark
Blackness in darkness flying; beings unseen
Except by eyes that are like to their own
Trespassers' eyes!

And you, old man, with eyes so quick and sharp,
Who've told me of the crows, my fosterer;
And you, old woman, upon whose lap I've lain
When I was taken from my mother's lap;
And you, young girl, with looks that have come down
From forefathers, my kin ye have another life
I've glimpsed it, I becoming trespasser-
Blackness in darkness flying like the crows!

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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