Above me stand, worn from their ancient use,
The King’s, the Bishop’s, and the Warrior’s house,
Quiet as folds upon a grassy knoll:
Stark-grey they stand. wall joined to ancient wall,
Chapel, and Castle, and Cathedral.
It is not they are old, but stone by stone
Into another lifetime they have grown,
The life of memories an old man has:
They dream upon what things have come to pass,
And know that stones grow friendly with the grass.
The name has crumbled-cashel that has come
from conqueror-challenging Castellum-
Walls in a name ! No citadel is here,
Now a fane the empty walls uprear
Where green and greener grass spreads far and near.
The Poet’s Circuits, Collected Poems of Ireland. Padraic Colum.
Dolmen Press. 1981 , Centenary Edition. Introduction by Benedict Kiely.
Pinned on the fieldpark
stand saplings stark,
their boughs drawing the eye skywards
to find, then, night has not come
yet, sky is still green, edged in chrome,
the bare branches outling
unknown ebony letters
and between above in sliced green
the evening star glitters.
And a Bunch of tulips inside.
Weathered like a traveller
so battered they are
these sweaty envoys
mumbling the lost lines
of their message made flesh:
their beauty launches- (through the slash
of the knife the knife that cut them
through the hand that bought and washed
the shop that sold them
through unbreachable mesh
of a cordon the heart’s startled cries
and hands’ hand’s-off clutch)-
their beauty launches the sizzling
thunderbolt into water, into my eyes.
From Between , by Agnes Nemes Nagy, Trans Hugh Maxton. Publ. Corvina Press Budapest and Dedalus Press, Dublin.