Friday, 3 February 2012

Patrons in Poetry: Saint Brigid by Michael Walsh



I can think of no better illustration of Brigid the saint of agricultural life than this poem by Michael Walsh (1897-1938), the 'poet of the Ben of Fore' in County Westmeath.

St. Brigid

Thou art the saint of Eire's farms and hills,
Her hawthorn fields, her lanes of singing birds -
The saint who tended Spring's green growing things,
The heavenly sheperdress of flocks and herds.

I think of thee as one with quiet scenes
Of rock and stream, of marshes white with flower,
Of children at an open cottage door,
Of rosary-voices in the evening hour.

I link thy name with homely craft and trade,
The wheel that spins, the loom, the milk-maid's pail;
The very memory like a sweetness dwells
Around the hearth and homestead of the Gael!

Michael Walsh, 'Walls in the Grass' in Michael Walsh - Collected Poems, (Dublin 1996), p.110

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