Padraic Colum

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

Dedication: To M. C. M. C. - Poem by Padraic Colum

THE well-
They come to it and take
Their cupful or their palmful out of it.

The well-
Stones are around it, and an elder bush
Is there; a high rowan tree; and so
The well is marked.

Who knows
Whence come the waters? Through what passages
Beneath? From what high tors
Where forests are? Forests dripping rain!
Branches pouring to the ground; trunks, barks, roots,
Letting the streamlets down: through the dark earth
The water flows, and in that secret flood
That's called a spring, that finds this little hollow.
Who knows
Whence come the waters that fill cup and palm?

Sweetheart and comrade, I give you
The waters' marches and the forest's bound,
The valley-filling cloud, the trees that set
The rains beneath their roots, out of this well.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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