Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
180. The Apple-Tree
By Nancy Campbell
I SAW the archangels in my apple-tree last night,
I saw them like great birds in the starlight—
Purple and burning blue, crimson and shining white.
And each to each they tossed an apple to and fro,
And once I heard their laughter gay and low;        5
And yet I felt no wonder that it should be so.
But when the apple came one time to Michael’s lap
I heard him say: “The mysteries that enwrap
The earth and fill the heavens can be read here, mayhap.”
Then Gabriel spoke: “I praise the deed, the hidden thing.”        10
“The beauty of the blossom of the spring
I praise,” cried Raphael. Uriel: “The wise leaves I sing.”
And Michael: “I will praise the fruit, perfected, round,
Full of the love of God, herein being bound
His mercies gathered from the sun and rain and ground.”        15
So sang they till a small wind through the branches stirred,
And spoke of coming dawn; and at its word
Each fled away to heaven, winged like a bird.


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