Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
63. The King’s Son
By Thomas Boyd
WHO rideth through the driving rain
  At such a headlong speed?
Naked and pale he rides amain
  Upon a naked steed.
Nor hollow nor height his going bars,        5
  His wet steed shines like silk,
His head is golden to the stars
  And his limbs are white as milk.
But, lo, he dwindles as the light
  That lifts from a black mere,        10
And, as the fair youth wanes from sight,
  The steed grows mightier.
What wizard by yon holy tree
  Mutters unto the sky
Where Macha’s flame-tongued horses flee        15
  On hoofs of thunder by?
Ah, ’tis not holy so to ban
  The youth of kingly seed:
Ah! woe, the wasting of a man
  Who changes to a steed!        20
Nightly upon the Plain of Kings,
  When Macha’s day is nigh,
He gallops; and the dark wind brings
  His lonely human cry.


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