• Deirdre


Action and glory make the life of man.
Here I have room for neither : here there's room
Only for solitudes interminable,
For desert vastness and vacuity.
I see yon wave that never felt a keel
Since first it rose, break white along the beach
So far beneath my feet, I hear it not.
The winds that whistle by me through the grass
Bring never sound of life but 'tis a beast
Or bird that sends it ; save, perchance, at times
My brothers' or -my house-knave's hunting-cry
May stir the silence to a moment's life.
I am impatient to consort again
With men, my equals : once again to speak
My thoughts in council, or in public court.
Swaying the judgments of attending throngs,
And charming minds to unanimity
With manly, warm-persuasive argument ;
Or in the front ranks of embattled hosts
To interchange the cast of flying spears,
'Mong bloody Mar's high competitors.
With poets to record us standing by.
Nay, at the fair, the games, the feasting board,
To look on friendly faces and to grasp
The trusted hands of other men, were joy
Worth even daring the worst ; and back again
Taking my customed place on Eman Green,
Though there he sat, and all his hosts were there.

Alas, infatuate, who would shelter me
When thou, fast bound, shouldst see me dragged away
To death it might be, or to worse than death ?

Keel, Silence, Judgements
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg037", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Fri, 12/03/2021 - 19:56, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg037