Padraic Colum

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

The Wayfarer - Poem by Padraic Colum

I. THE TREES
THERE is no glory of the sunset here!
Heavy the clouds upon the darkening road,
And heavy, too, the wind upon the trees!
The trees sway, making moan
Continuous, like breaking seas.
impotent, bare things,
You give at last the very cry of earth!
I walk this darkening road in solemn mood:
Within deep hell came Dante to a wood
Like him I marvel at the crying trees!


II. THE STAR
A mighty star anear has drawn and now
Is vibrant on the air

The half-divested, trembling trees of his
Bright presence are aware

Below within the stream I him behold
Between the marge and main -

My bone and flesh, what dust they'll be when he,
That star, dips here again!


III. THE CAPTIVE ARCHER
To-morrow I will bend the bow:
My soul shall have her mark again,
My bosom feel the archer's strain.
No longer pacing to and fro
With idle hands and listless brain:

As goes the arrow, forth I go.
My soul shall have her mark again,
My bosom feel the archer's strain.
To-morrow I will bend the bow.


IV. TRIUMPHATORS
The drivers in the sunset race
Their coal-carts over cobble-stones
Not draymen but tnumphators:
Their bags are left with Smith and Jones,
They let the horses take their stride,
Which toss their forelocks in their pride.

Not blue nor green these factions wear
Which make career o'er Dublin stones;
But Pluto his own livery
Is what each whip-carrier owns.
The Caesar of the cab-rank, I
Salute the triumph speeding by.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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