The School Bag

The Reverie

Egan O’Rahilly

One morning before Titan thought of stirring his feet
     I climbed alone to a hill where the air was kind,
And saw a throng of magical girls go by
     That had lived to the north in Croghan time out of mind.

All over the land from Galway to Cork of the ships,
     It seemed that a bright enchanted mist came down,
Acorns on oaks and clear cold honey on stones,
     Fruit upon every tree from root to crown.

They lit three candles that shone in the mist like stars
     On a high hilltop in Connello and then were gone.
But I followed through Thomond the track of the hooded queens
     And asked them the cause of the zeal of their office at dawn.

The tall queen, Eevul, so bright of countenance, said
     ‘The reason we light three candles on every strand
Is to guide the king that will come to us over the sea
     And make us happy and reign in a fortunate land.’

And then, so suddenly did I start from my sleep,
     They seemed to be true, the words that had been so sweet —
It was just that my soul was sick and spent with grief
     One morning before Titan thought of stirring his feet.

Irish - c.1700 - translated by Frank O’Connor

spoken = Leon Fernandez