Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONG OF A TURF-SOD, by WILLIAM A. BYRNE

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SONG OF A TURF-SOD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Draw in your stools, good folk, for heating
Last Line: In my antiquity.
Alternate Author Name(s): Dara, William
Subject(s): Ireland

DRAW in your stools, good folk, for heating
And gaze into mine eyes,
And see what sets the kind hearts beating,
Where the lonesome cricket cries.

I was the broom and crooked heather,
I was the moss that grew,
But time has moulded us together
Beneath the years of dew.

I kissed the elk's feet in my branches
And trembled at his tramp
Ages before my purple ranches
Were cut to make a clamp.

I heard the wild-ducks and the wild-geese
Cackling about the lakes,
Where nothing now disturbs the mild peace
The bog-rush meadow makes.

I show that winsome past is dying:
Time hid it in my heart
Where, by a small stream's endless crying,
I heard my youth depart.

I hold that past, but I will show it
To the Irish faces only.
Folk, if you light me, you will know it,
When the cricket makes you lonely!

Draw near, when round you chills are creeping
From winds among the broom,
And shadows, from your shoulders leaping,
Dance jigs about the room.

I have surprises, hid for showing,
When by my light you start,
Watching the old, queer faces going
Across my burning heart.

And while I doze in ashes piling,
Perhaps yourself you'll see,
Through some old Gaelic gateway smiling
In my antiquity.

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