Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
4. A Day in Ireland
By Michael Cavanagh (Translated)
FOUR sharp scythes sweeping—in concert keeping
  The rich-robed meadow’s broad bosom o’er,
Four strong men mowing, with bright health glowing
  A long green swath spread each man before;
With sinews springing—my keen blade swinging,—        5
  I strode—the fourth man in that blithe band;
As stalk of corn that summer morn,
  The scythe felt light in my stalwart hand.
Oh, King of Glory! How changed my story,
  Since in youth’s noontide—long, long ago,        10
I mowed that meadow—no cloudy shadow
  Between my brow and the hot sun’s glow;
Fair girls raking the hay—and making
  The fields resound with their laugh and glee,
Their voices ringing—than cuckoo’s singing,        15
  Made music sweeter by far to me.
Bees hovered over the honied clover,
  Then nestward hied upon wings of light;
No use in trying to trace them flying—
  One brief low hum and they’re out of sight,        20
On downy thistle bright insects nestle,
  Or flutter skyward on painted wings,
At times alighting on flowers inviting—
  ’Twas pleasant watching the airy things.
From hazel bushes came songs of thrushes        25
  And blackbirds—sweeter than harper’s lay;
While high in ether—with sun-tipped feather—
  The skylark warbled his anthem gay;
With throats distended, sweet linnets blended
  A thousand notes in one glorious chime,        30
Oh, King Eternal, ’twas life supernal
  In beauteous Erin, that pleasant time.


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