Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SORROW OF FINDEBAR, by FRANCIS LEDWIDGE

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THE SORROW OF FINDEBAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Why do you sorrow, child? There is loud cheer
Last Line: "and that is why it pines and will not break."
Subject(s): Banshees; Graves; Grief; Tombs; Tombstones; Sorrow; Sadness

"WHY do you sorrow. child? There is loud cheer
In the wide halls, and poets red with wine
Tell of your eyebrows and your tresses long,
And pause to let your royal mother hear
The brown bull low amid her silken kine.
And you who are the harpstring and the song
Weep like a memory born of some old pain."

And Findebar made answer, "I have slain
More than Cuculain's sword, for I have been
The promised meed of every warrior brave
In Tain Bo Cualigne wars, and I am sad
As is the red banshee that goes to keen
Above the wet dark of the deep brown grave,
For the warm loves that made my memory glad."

And her old nurse bent down and took a wild
Curl from her eye and hung it on her ear,
And said, "The woman at the heavy quern,
Who weeps that she will never bring a child,
And sees her sadness in the coming year,
Will roll up all her beauty like a fern;
Not you, whose years stretch purple to the end."

And Findebar, "Beside the broad blue bend
Of the slow river where the dark banks slope
Wide to the woods sleeps Ferdia apart.
I loved him, and then drove him for pride's sake
To early death, and now I have no hope,
For mine is Maeve's proud heart, Ailill's kind heart,
And that is why it pines and will not break."

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