Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

The Banshee - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

THE Banshee cries on the rising wind
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'
The dead to free and the quick to bind--
(Close fast the shutter and draw the blind!)
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'

Why are you paler my dearest dear?
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'
'Tis but the wind in the elm tree near--
(Acushla, hush! lest the Banshee hear!)
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'

See, how the crackling fire up-springs,
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'
Up and up on its flame-red wings;
Hark, how the cheerful kettle sings!
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'

Core of my heart! How cold your lips!
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'
White as the spray the wild wind whips,
Still as your icy finger tips!
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'

On the rising wind the Banshee cries--
'O-hoho, O hoho-o-o!'
I kiss your hair. I kiss your eyes--
The kettle is dumb; the red flame dies!
'Ochone! Ochone! Ochone!'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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