Padraic Colum

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

The Furrow And The Hearth - Poem by Padraic Colum

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I
STRIDE the hill, Sower,
Up to the sky ridge,
Flinging the seed,
Scattering, exultant!
Mouthing great rhythms
To the long sea-beats
On the wide shore, behind
The ridge of the hillside.

Below in the darkness
The slumber of mothers,
The cradles at rest,
The fire-seed sleeping
Deep in white ashes!

Give to darkness and sleep,
O Sower, O Seer!
Give me to the earth
With the seed I would enter!
Oh, the growth through the silence
From strength to new strength;
Then the strong bursting forth
Against primal forces,
To laugh in the sunshine,
To gladden the world!

II
Who will bring the red fire
Unto a new hearth?
Who will lay the wide stone
On the waste of the earth?

Who is fain to begin
To build day by day
To raise up his house
Of the moist yellow clay?

There's clay for the making
Moist in the pit,
There are horses to trample
The rushes through it.

Above where the wild duck
Arise up and fly,
There one can build
To the wind and the sky.

There are boughs in the forest
To pluck young and green,
O'er them thatch of the crop
Shall be heavy and clean.

I speak unto him
Who in dead of the night
Sees the red streaks
In the ash deep and white;

While around him he hears
Men stir in their rest,
And the stir of the babe
That is close to the breast!

He shall arise,
He shall go forth alone,
Lay stone on the earth,
And bring fire to stone.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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