Home  »  Anthology of Irish Verse  »  54. The Counsels of O’Riordan, the Rann Maker

Padraic Colum (1881–1972). Anthology of Irish Verse. 1922.

By T. D. O’Bolger

54. The Counsels of O’Riordan, the Rann Maker

THE choirs of Heaven are tokened in a harp-string,

A pigeon’s egg is as crafty as the stars.

My heart is shaken by the crying of the lap-wing,

And yet the world is full of foolish wars.

There’s gold on the whin-bush every summer morning.

There’s struggling discourse in the grunting of a pig:

Yet churls will be scheming, and churls will be scorning,

And half the dim world is ruled by thimble-rig.

The luck of God is in two strangers meeting,

But the gates of Hell are in the city street

For him whose soul is not in his own keeping

And love a silver string upon his feet.

My heart is the seed of time, my veins are star-dust,

My spirit is the axle of God’s dream.

Why should my august soul be worn or care-tost?…

Lo, God is but a lamp, and I his gleam.

There’s little to be known, and that not kindly,

But an ant will burrow through a five-inch wall;

There’s nothing rises up or falls down blindly:

That’s a poor share of wisdom, but it’s all.