From the Hills of Dream by Fiona Macleod



O sands of my heart, what wind moans
  low along thy shadowy shore?
Is that the deep sea-heart I hear with the
  dying sob at its core ?
Each dim lost wave that lapses is like a
  closing door:
'Tis closing doors they hear at last who soon
  hall hear no more,
              Who soon shall hear no more.

Eily, Eily, Eily, call low, come back, call low
  to me:
My heart you have broken, your troth for-
  saken, but love even yet can be:
Come near, call low, for closing doors are as
  the waves o' the sea,
Once closed they are closed for ever, Eily,
  lost, lost, for thee and me,
               Lost, lost, for thee and me.


It dwells not in the skies,
       My Star of Beauty!
'Twas made of her sighs,
Her tears and agonies,
The fire in her eyes,
       My Star of Beauty!

Lovely and delicate,
       My Star of Beauty!
How could she master Fate,
Although she gave back hate
Great as my love was great,
       My Star of Beauty!

I loved, she hated, well:
       My Star of Beauty!
Soon, soon the passing bell:
She rose, and I fell:
Soft shines in deeps of hell
       My Star of Beauty!


O she will have the deep dark heart, for
  all her face is fair;
As deep and dark as though beneath the
  shadow of her hair:
For in her hair a spirit dwells that no white
  spirit is,
And hell is in the hopeless heaven of that
  lost spirit's kiss.

She has two men within the palm, the hollow
  of her hand:
She takes their souls and blows them forth
  as idle drifted sand:
And one falls back upon her breast that is
  his quiet home,
And one goes out into the night and is as
  wind -blown foam.

And when she sees the sleep of one, oft-
  times she rises there
And looks into the outer dark and calleth
  soft and fair:
And then the lost soul that afar within the
  dark doth roam
Comes laughing, laughing, laughing, and
  crying, Home! Home!

There is no home in faithless love, O fool
  that dreams her fair:
Bitter and drear that home you seek, the
  name of it Despair:
Drown, drown beneath the sterile kiss of the
  engulfing wave,
A heaven of peace it is beside this mockery
  of a grave.


Chuir Muiril mirr ann,
Chuir Uiril mil ann,
Chuir Muirinn fion ann,
'Schuir Michal ann buadh.

"Muriel placed myrrh in it:
Uriel placed honey in it:
Murien placed wine in it:
And Michael power."

The cup of bitter-sweet I know
That with old wine of love doth glow
The dew of tears to it doth go,
And wisdom is its hidden woe.

Were I but young again to throw
This cup where the wild thistles grow,
Or where, oblivious, ceaseless, slow,
The grey tumultuous waters flow!


Ah, bonnie darling, lift your dark eyes
See, the firelight fills the gloaming, though
  deep darkness glows without --

[Hush, dear, hush, I hear the sea-birds
And down beyond the haven the tide comes
  with a shout!]

Ah, birdeen, sweetheart, sure he is not
He who has your hand in his, while I have
  all your heart --

[Hush, dear, hush, I hear the wild bees
Far away in the underworld where true love
  shall not part!]

Darling, darling, darling, all the world is
Singing, singing, singing a song of joy for

[Hush, dear, hush, what wild sea-wind is
Gloom o' the sea about thy brow, athwart
  the eyes of thee?]

Ah, heart o' me, darling, darling, all my
  heart 's aflame!
Sure, at the last we are all in all, all in all
  we two!

At the Door
A Voice

This is the way I take my own, this is the
  boon I claim!
Sure at the last, ye are all in all, all in all,
  ye two --

(Later, in the dark, the living brooding
beside the dead:--

Ah, hell of my heart! Ye are dust to me --
  and dust with dust may woo!


Behind the Legions of the Sun, the Star
  Battalions of the night,
The reddening of the West I see, from morn
  till dusk, from dusk till light.
A day must surely come at last, and that day
When the Hidden People shall march out beneath the
  Crimson Moon.

Our palaces shall crumble then, our towers
  shall fall away,
And on the plains our burning towns shall
  flaunt a desolate day:
The cities of our pride shall wear tiaras of
  red flame,
And all our phantom glory be an idle wind-
  blown name.

What shall our vaunt be on that day, or who
  thereon shall hear
The laughter of our laughing lips become
  the wail of fear?
Our vaunt shall be the windy dust in eddies
  far and wide,
The hearing, theirs who follow us with swift
  and dreadful stride.

A cry of lamentation, then, shall sweep from
  land to land:
A myriad wavering hands shall shake above
  a myriad strand:
The Day shall swoon before a Shade of vast
  ancestral Night,
Till a more dreadful Morn awake to flood
  and spume of light.

This is the prophecy of old, before the run-
  ning tribes of Man
Spread Multitude athwart the heirdom of
  an earlier Clan --
Before the gods drank Silence, and hid their
  way with cloud,
And Man uprose and claimed the Earth and
  all the starry crowd.

So Man conceived and made his dream, till
  at the last he smiled to see
Its radiant skirts brush back the stars from
He crowned himself with the Infinite, and
  gave his Soul a Home,
And then the quiet gods awoke and blew his
  life to foam.

This is the Dream I see anew, when all the
  West is red with light,
Behind the Legions of the Sun, the Star
  Battalions of the night.
Verily the day may come at last, and that
  day soon,
When the Hidden People shall march out
  beneath the Crimson Moon.


Queen Hynde was in the rowan-wood
  with scarlet fruit aflame,
Her face was as the berries were, one sun-
  hot wave of shame.

With scythes of fire the August sun mowed
  down vast swathes of shade:
With blazing eyes the waiting queen stared
  on her steel-blue blade.

"What, thirsty hound," she muttered low,
  "with thirst you flash and gleam:
Bide, bide a wee, my bonnie hound, I'll show
  ye soon a stream!"

The sun had tossed against the West his
  broken scythes of fire
When Lord Gillanders bowed before his
  Queen and Sweet Desire.

She did not give him smile or kiss; her hand
  she did not give:
"But are ye come for death," she said, " or
  are ye come to live ?"

Gillanders reined and looked at her: "Hynde,
  Queen and Love," he said,
"I wooed in love, I come in love, to this the
  tryst we made;

"Why are your eyes so fierce and wild: why
  is your face so white:
I love you with all my love," he said, "by
  day and by night."

"What o' the word that's come to me, of
  how my lord's to wed
The lilywhite maid o' one that has a gold
  crown on his head?

"What o' the word that yesternight ye wan-
  toned with my name,
And on a windy scorn let loose the blown
  leaf o'my shame?"

The Lord Gillanders looked at her, and never
  a word said he,
But sprang from off his great black horse
  and sank upon his knee.

"This is my love," said white Queen Hynde,
  "and this, and this, and this--"
Four times she stabbed him to the heart
  while she his lips did kiss.

She left him in the darkling wood: and as
  she rode she sang
(The little notes swirled in and out amid the
  horse-hoof clang)

My love was sweet, was sweet, was sweet, but
  not so sweet as now!
A deep long sleep my sweet love has beneath the   rowan-bough.

They let her in, they lifted swords, his head
  each one did bare:
Slowly she bowed, slowly she passed, slowly
  she clomb the stair:

Her little son she lifted up, and whispered
  'neath his cries --
"The old king's son, they say; mayhap; he
  has Gillander's eyes."


When by the twilit sea these twain were come
Dermid spake no one word,Grainne was dumb,
And in the hearts of both deep silence was.
"Sorrow upon me, love," whispered the grass;
"Sorrow upon me, love," the sea-bird cried;
"Sorrow upon me, love," the lapsed wave sighed.

"For what the King has willed, that thing must be,
O Dermid! As two waves upon this sea
Wind-swept we are,--the wind of his dark mind,
With fierce inevitable tides behind."
"What would you have, O Grainne: he is King."
"I would we were the birds that come with Spring,
The purple-feathered birds that have no home,
The birds that love, then fly across the foam."

"Give me thy mouth, O Dermid," Grainne said.
Thereafter, and whispering thus she leaned her head --
Ah, supple, subtle snake she glided there
Till, on his breast, a kiss-deep was her hair
That twisted serpent-wise in gold-red pain
From where his lips held high their proud disdain.
"Here, here," she whispered low, "here on my mouth
The swallow, Love, hath found his haunted South."

Then Dermid stooped and passionlessly kissed.
But therewith Grainne won what she had missed,
And that night was to her, and all sweet nights
Thereafter, as Love's flaming swallow-flights
Of passionate passion beyond speech to tell.
But Dermid knew how vain was any spell
Against the wrath of Finn: and Grainne's breath
To him was ever chill with Grainne's death;
Full well he knew that in a soundless place
His own wraith stood and with a moon-white face
Watched its own shadow laugh and shake its spear
Far in a phantom dell against a phantom deer.


Sleep, sleep, brothers dear, sleep and dream,
Nothing so sweet lies hid in all your years
     Life is a storm-swept gleam
     In a rain of tears:

Why wake to a bitter hour, to sigh, to weep?
How better far to sleep--
     To sleep and dream.

To sleep and dream, ah, that is well indeed:
Better than sighs, better than tears,
Ye can have nothing better for your meed
     In all the years.

Why wake to a bitter hour, to sigh, to weep?
     How better far to sleep --
To sleep and dream, ah, that is well indeed !


Dim face of Beauty haunting all the world,
Fair face of Beauty all too fair to see,
Where the lost stars adown the heavens are hurled,
               There, there alone for thee

For here where all the dreams of men are whirled
Like sere torn leaves of autumn to and fro,
There is no place for thee in all the world,
               Who driftest as a star,
                Beyond, afar.

Beauty, sad face of Beauty, Mystery, Wonder,
What are these dreams to foolish babbling men --
Who cry with little noises 'neath the thunder
                Of ages ground to sand,
                 To a little sand.



When they had made the cradle
Of ivory and of gold,
Their hearts were heavy still
With the sorrow of old.

And ever as they rocked, the tears
Ran down, sad tears:
Who is it lieth dead therein,
Dead all these weary years?

And still they rock that cradle there
Of ivory and of gold:
For in their minds the shadow is
The Shadow of Old.

They weep, and know not what they weep;
They wait a vain re-birth:
Vanity of vanities, alas,
For there is but one birth
On the wide green earth.



(Heard sung by an old woman of
The Island of Tiree)

It is the grey rock I am,
And the grey rain on the rock:
It is the grey wave . . .
That grey hound.

What (is it) to be old:
(It is to be as) the grey moss in winter:
It is long since my laughter.

The breast is shrivelled
That you said was white
As canna in the wind.


O thou that on the hills and wastes of Night art
Whose folds are flameless moons and icy planets,
Whose darkling way is groomed with ancient sorrows:
Whose breath lies white as snow upon the olden,
Whose sigh it is that furrows breasts grown milkless,
Whose weariness is in the loins of man
And is the barren stillness of the woman:
O thou whom all would flee, and all must meet,
Thou that the Shadow art of Youth Eternal,
The gloom that is the hush'd air of the Grave,
The sigh that is between last parted love,
The light for aye withdrawing from weary eyes,
The tide from stricken hearts forever ebbing !

O thou the Elder Brother whom none loveth,
Whom all men hail with reverence or mocking,
Who broodest on the brows of frozen summits
Yet dreamest in the eyes of babes and children:
Thou, Shadow of the Heart, the Mind, the Life,
Who art that dusk What-is that is already Has-Been.
To thee this rune of the fathers to the sons
And of the sons to the sons, and mothers to new
  mothers --
To thee who art Aois,
To thee who art Age !
Breathe thy frosty breath upon my hair, for I am weary!
Lay thy frozen hand upon my bones that they support not,
Put thy chill upon the blood that it sustain not;
Place the crown of thy fulfilling on my forehead;
Throw the silence of thy spirit on my spirit;
Lay the balm and benediction of thy mercy
On the brain-throb and the heart-pulse and the life-
For thy child that bows his head is weary,
For thy child that bows his head is weary.
I the shadow am that seeks the Darkness.
Age, that hath the face of Night unstarr'd and moonless,
Age, that doth extinguish star and planet,
Moon and sun and all the fiery worlds,
Give me now thy darkness and thy silence!


I have seen all things pass and all men go
Under the shadow of the drifting leaf:
Green leaf, red leaf, brown leaf,
Grey leaf blown to and fro
Blown to and fro.

I have seen happy dreams rise up and pass
Silent and swift as shadows on the grass:
Grey shadows of old dreams,
Grey beauty of old dreams,
Grey shadows in the grass.


I hear the sea-wind sighing
Where the dune-grasses grow,
The sighing of the dying
Where the salt tides flow.

For where the salt tides flow
The sullen dead are lifting
Tired arms, and to and fro
Are idly drifting.

So through the grey dune-grasses
Not the wind only cries,
But a dim sea-wrought Shadow
Breathes drownd sighs.



A Voice

                                               . . . I am He,
The Veiled Avenger. I am clothed with shadow,
The silence and the shadow of your soul
Where it has withered slowly from the light.

Unseen Chorus

The Veiled Avenger speaks. He knows him not.

The Man

I hear a honey voice that murmureth peace,
Peace and oblivion. O ye secret doves
That feed the mind with sweet and perilous breaths
And murmur ever among gossamer dreams,
Bring me the tidings out of the hidden place
Wherein your wings wake fire.
Come once again, wild doves
Of Beauty and Desire and the Twin Flame!
Wild doves, wild doves, bear unto me the flame
That rises moonwhite amid scarlet fire. . . .

(A lapwing wails.)

O melancholy bird, Dalua's messenger!
I am too weary now for further thought.

The Veiled Avenger

Pillows of sleepless sorrow. . . . Bow your head.
To-night I shall build up for you a place
Where sleep shall not be silent and where dreams
Shall whisper, and a little infinite voice
Shall wail as a wailing plover in your ears.
Then you shall know that shaken voice, and wake,
Crying your own name.

The Man

                              Again, the wheeling cry
Where in the dusk the lapwing slips and falls
From ledge to ledge of darkness.

Unseen Chorus

                                      He knoweth not
His own bitter infinite cry we hear him cry!


In the great darkness where the shimmering stars
Are as the dazzle on the herring wave
Moveth the shadow of the end of wars:
But nightly comes as from a bloody grave
The Red Swineherd, who has no other name,
But who is grand and terrible, a flame
Fed upon blood and perishing lives and tears:
His feet are heavy with the bewildering years
Trodden dim bygone ages; and his eyes
Are vast and empty as the midnight skies.

Beware of the White Hound whose baying none hears
Although it is the wind that shakes the stars:
It is the Hound men saw, in ancient wars:
It is the Hound that hunts the stricken years:
Pale souls in the ultimate silence see it gleam
Like a long lance o' the moon: it comes as a beam--
The soul is as blown dust within the wood
Wherein the White Hound moves and shadows brood.

Heed too the Flock of Birds from twilight places,
And from the desolate ways of ancient wars
Bewildered, terrible, and winged faces
Of souls adrift under the drifting stars:
But this I surely know, that the Red Flame
And the White Hound and the Dark Flock of Birds
Appal me no more, who never never again
Through rise and set and set and rise of pain
Shall bear the lips of her I loved whispering words
Or her hair cloud my lips moaning her name.


The tide was dark an' heavy with the
  burden that it bore,
I heard it talkin', whisperin', upon the weedy
  shore :
Each wave that stirred the sea-weed was like
  a closing door,
'Tis closing doors they hear at last who hear
  no more, no more,
                  My Grief,
                  No more!

The tide was in the salt sea-weed, and like a
  knife it tore,
The hoarse sea-wind went moaning, sooing,
  moaning o'er and o'er,
The wild sea-heart was brooding deep upon
  its ancient lore,
I heard the sob, the sooing sob, the dying
  sob at its core,
                  My Grief,
                  Its core!

The white sea-waves were wan and grey its
  ashy lips before;
The whirled spume between its jaws in floods
  did seaward pour --
O whisperin' weed, O wild sea-waves, O
  hollow baffled roar,
Since one thou hast, O dark dim Sea, why
  callest thou for more,
                  My Grief,
                  For more.


It is not only when the sea is dark and
  chill and desolate
I hear the singing of the queen who lives
  beneath the ocean:
Oft have I heard her chanting voice when
  noon swings wide his golden gate,
Or when the moonshine fills the wave with
  snowwhite mazy motion.

And some day will it hap to me, when the
  black waves are leaping,
Or when within the breathless green I see
  her shell-strewn door,
The fatal bells will lure me where my sea-
  drown'd death lies sleeping
Beneath the slow white hands of her who
  rules the sunken shore.

For in my heart I hear the bells that ring
  their fatal beauty,
The wild, remote, uncertain bells that chant
  their dim to-morrow:
The lonely bells of sorrow, the bells of fatal
From lonely heights within my heart tolling
  their lonely sorrow.


MIiannghaol, Sonas:
Miann bhithe, Sith:
Miann anama, Flathas:
Miann Dhe
. . .gilt rn gu brath.


The Desire of Love, Joy:
The Desire of Life, Peace
The Desire of the Soul, Heaven:
The Desire of God
. . .a flamewhite secret for ever.

                    Gleidb sinn a glinn man diar
                    'Us a taigh nan diamha dubhra.

          Keep us from The Glen of Tears
         And from The House of Sorrow.