Lyra Celtica





Love, by that loosened hair
Well now I know
Where the lost Lilith went
So long ago.

Love, by those starry eyes
I understand
How the sea-maidens lure
Mortals from land.

Love, by that welling laugh
Joy claims his own
Sea-born and wind-wayward
Child of the sun.

The War-Song of Gamelbar.

Bowmen, shout for Gamelbar!
Winds, unthrottle the wolves of war!
Heave a breath
And dare a death
For the doom of Garmelbar!
Wealth for Gamel,
Wine for Gamel,
Crimson wine for Gamelbar!

Chorus:---Oh, sleep for a knave
With his sins in the sod!
And death for the brave,
With his glory up to God!
And joy for the girl,
And ease for the churl!
But the great game of war
For our lord Gamelbar,

Spearmen, shout for Gamelbar,
With his warriors thirty score!
Heave a sword
For our overlord,
Lord of warriors, Gamelbar!
Life for Gamel,
Love for Gamel,
Lady-loves for Gamelbar!

Horsemen, shout for Gamelbar!
Swim the ford and climb the scaur!
Heave a hand
For the maiden land,
The maiden land of Gamelbar!
Glory for Gamel,
Gold for Gamel,
Yellow gold for Gamelbar!

Armourers for Gamelbar,
Rivet and forge and fear no scar!
Heave a hammer
With anvil clamour,
To weld and brace for Gamelbar!
Ring for Gamel,
Rung for Gamel,
Ring-rung-ring for Gamelbar!

Yeomen, shout for Gamelbar,
And his battle-hand in war!
Heave his pennon;
Cheer his men on,
In the ranks of Gamelbar!
Strength for Gamel,
Song for Gamel,
One war-song for Gamelbar!

Roncliffe, shout for Gamelbar!
Menthorpe, Bryan, Castelfar!
Heave, Thorparch
Of the Waving Larch,
And Spofford's thane, for Gamelbar!
Blaise for Gamel,
Brame for Gamel,
Rougharlington for Gamelbar!

Maidens, strew for Gamelbar
Roses down his way to war!
Heave a handful,
Fill the land full
Of your gifts to Gamelbar!
Dream of Gamel,
Dance for Gamel,
Dance in the halls for Gamelbar!

Servitors, shout for Gamelbar!
Roast the ox and stick the boar!
Heave a bone
To gaunt Harone,
The great war-hound of Gamelbar!
Mead for Gamel,
Mirth for Gamel,
Mirth at the board for Gamelbar!

Trumpets, speak for Gamelbar!
Blare as ye never blared before!
Heave a bray
In the horns to-day,
The red war-horns of Gamelbar!
To-night for Gamel,
The North for Gamel,
With fires on the hills for Gamelbar!

Shout for Gamel, Gamelbar,
Till your throats can shout no more!
Heave a cry
As he rideth by,
Sons of Orm, for Gamelbar!
Folk for Gamel,
Fame for Gamel,
Years and fame for Gamelbar!

Chorus:-Oh, sleep for a knave
With his sins in the sod!
And death for the brave,
With his glory up to God!
And joy for the girl,
And ease for the churl!
But the great game of war
For our lord Gamelbar,

                Golden Rowan.

She lived where the mountains go down to the sea,
    And river and tide confer.
        Golden Rowan, in Menalowan,
Was the name they gave to her.

She had the soul no circumstance
    Can hurry or defer.
        Golden Rowan, of Menalowan,
How time stood still for her!

Her playmates for their lovers grew,
    But that shy wanderer,
        Golden Rowan, of Menalowan,
Knew love was not for her.

Hers was the love of wilding things
    To hear a squirrel chirr
        In the golden rowan of Menalowan
Was joy enough for her.

She sleeps on the hill with the lonely sun,
    Where in the days that were,
        The golden rowan of Menalowan
So often shadowed her.

The scarlet fruit will come to fill,
    The scarlet spring to stir
        The golden rowan of Menalowan,
And wake no dream for her.

Only the wind is over her grave,
    For mourner and comforter;
        And "Golden Rowan, of Menalowan,"
Is all we know of her.

            A Sea Child.

The lover of child Marjory
    Had one white hour of life brim full
Now the old nurse, the rocking sea,
    Hath him to lull.

The daughter of child Marjory
    Hath in her veins, to beat and run
The glad indomitable sea,
    The strong white sun.


            The Quest.

It was a heavenly time of life
    When first I went to Spain,
The lovely lands of silver mists,
    The land of golden grain.

My little ship through unknown seas
    Sailed many a changing day;
Sometimes the chilling winds came up
    And blew across her way.

Sometimes the rain came down and hid
    The shining shores of Spain,
The beauty of the silver mists
    And of the golden grain.

But through the rains and through the winds,
    Upon the untried sea,
My fairy ship sailed on and on,
    With all my dreams and me.

And now, no more a child, I long
    For that sweet time again,
When on the far horizon bar
    Rose up the shores of Spain.

O lovely land of silver mists,
    O land of golden grain,
I look for you with smiles, with tears,
    But look for you in vain!


                What dost thou here,
                Thou dusky courtier,
Within the pinky palace of the rose?
        Here is no bed for thee,
        No honeyed spicery,--
        But for the golden bee,
        And the gay wind, and me
                Its sweetness grows.
        Rover, thou dost forget;--
        Seek thou the passion-flower
        Bloom of one twilight hour.
                Haste, thou art late!
        Its hidden savours wait.
                For thee is spread
        Its soft, purple coverlet;
                Moth, art thou sped?
        --Dim as a ghost he flies
        Through the night mysteries.


Of silvery-shining rains
    And noonday golds and shadows
June weaves wild-daisy chains
    For happy meadows.

She stoops to set the stream
    With scented alder-bushes,
And with the rainbow gleam
    Of iris 'mid the rushes,
She scatters eglantine
And scarlet columbine.

Ah, June, my lovely lass,--
    Sweetheart, dost thou not see
I stay to watch thee pass--
    What hast thou brought to me?

Thy mystic ministries
Of glorious far skies,
Thy wild-rose sermons, Sweet,
Like dreams profound and fleet,
    Thy woodland harmony
    Thou givest me.

The vision that can see,
    The loving will to learn,
How fair thy skies may be,
    What in thy roses burn,
Thy secret harmonies,--
Ah, give me these!


            Scent o' Pines.

Love, shall I liken thee unto the rose
    That is so sweet?
Nay, since for a single day she grows,
Then scattered lies upon the garden-rows
    Beneath our feet.

But to the perfume shed when forests nod,
    When noonday shines,
That lulls us as we tread the woodland sod,
Eternal as the peace of God
    The scent o' pines.


        The Reed-Player.

By a dim shore where water darkening
            Took the last light of spring.
I went beyond the tumult, harkening
            For some diviner thing.

Where the bats fiew Irom the black elms like leaves,
            Over the ebon pool
Brooded the bittern's cry, as one that grieves
            Lands ancient, bountiful.

I saw the fire-flies shine below the wood,
            Above the shallows dank,
As Uriel, from some great altitude,
            The planets rank on rank.

And now unseen along the shrouded mead
            One went under the hill;
He blew a cadence on his mellow reed,
            That trembled and was still.

It seemed as if a line of amber fire
            Had shot the gathered dusk,
As if had blown a wind from ancient Tyre
            Laden with myrrh and musk.

He gave his luring note amid the fern;
            Its enigmatic fall
Haunted the hollow dusk with golden turn
            And argent interval.

I could not know the message that he bore,
            The springs of life from me
Hidden; his incommunicable lore
            As much a mystery.

And as I followed far the magic player
            He passed the maple wood;
And, when I passed, the stars had risen there,
            And there was solitude.


                The Celtic Cross.

Through storm and fire and gloom, I see it stand
    Firm, broad, and tall,
The Celtic Cross that marks our Fatherland,
    Amid them all!
Druids and Danes and Saxons vainly rage
    Around its base;
It standeth shock on shock, and age on age,
    Star of our scatter'd race.

O Holy Cross! dear symbol of the dread
    Death of our Lord,
Around thee long have slept our martyr dead
    Sward over sward.
An hundred bishops I myself can count
    Among the slain:
Chiefs, captains, rank and file, a shining mount
    Of God's ripe grain.

The monarch's mace, the Puritan's claymore,
    Smote thee not down;
On headland steep, on mountain summit hoar,
    In mart and town,
In Glendalough, in Ara, in Tyrone,
    We find thee still,
Thy open arms still stretching to thine own,
    O'er town and lough and hill.

And would they tear thee out of Irish soil,
    The guilty fools!
How time must mock their antiquated toil
    And broken tools!
Cranmer and Cromwell from thy grasp retir'd,
    Baffled and thrown;
William and Anne to sap thy site conspir'd,--
    The rest is known.

Holy Saint Patrick, father of our faith,
    Belov'd of God!
Shield thy dear Church from the impending scaith,
    Or, if the rod
Must scourge it yet again, inspire and raise
    To emprise high
Men like the heroic race of other days,
    Who joyed to die.

Fear! wherefore should the Celtic people fear
    Their Church's fate?
The day is not--the day was never near--
    Could desolate
The Destin'd Island, all whose clay
    Is holy ground:
Its Cross shall stand till that predestined day
    When Erin's self is drown'd.

MARY C. G. BYRON (368)
        (M. C. Gillington)

                            The Tryst of the Night.

Out of the uttermost ridge of dusk, where the dark and the day are mingled,
The voice of the Night rose cold and calm--it called through the shadow--swept air ;
Through all the valleys and lone hillsides, it pierced, it thrilled, it tingled--
It summoned me forth to the wild sea-shore, to meet with its mystery there.

Out of the deep ineffable blue, with palpitant swift repeating
Of gleam and glitter and opaline glow, that broke in ripples of light--
In burning glory it came and went,--I heard, I saw it beating,
Pulse by pulse, from star to star,--the passionate heart of the Night!

Out of the thud of the rustling sea--the panting, yearning, throbbing
Waves that stole on the startled shore, with coo and mutter of spray--
The wail of the Night came fitful-faint,--I heard her stifled sobbing:
The cold salt drops fell slowly, slowly, gray into gulfs of gray.

There through the darkness the great world reeled, and the great tides roared, assembling--
Murmuring hidden things that are past, and secret things that shall be;
There at the limits of life we met, and touched with a rapturous trembling--
One with each other, I and the Night, and the skies, and the stars, and sea.


                    The Doom-Bar.

O d'you hear the seas complainin', and complainin',
    whilst it's rainin'?
Did you hear it mourn in the dimorts,* when the surf
    woke up and sighed?
                    The choughs screamed on the sand,
                    And the foam flew over land,
And the seas rolled dark on the Doom-Bar at rising of
the tide.

I gave my lad a token, when he left me nigh heartbroken,
To mind him of old Padstow town, where loving souls
                    'Twas a ring with the words set
                    All round, "Can Love Forget?"
And I watched his vessel toss on the Bar with the
    outward-turning tide.

D'you hear the seas complainin', and complainin', while
    it's rainin'?
And his vessel has never crossed the Bar from the purple seas outside;
                    And down the shell-pink sands,
                    Where we once went, holding hands,
Alone I watch the Doom-Bar and the rising of the tide.

One day--'twas four years after--the harbour-girls, with
So soft and wild as sea-galls when they're playing seek-
                    Coaxed me out--for the tides were lower
                    Than had ever been known before;
And we ran across the Doom-Bar, all white and shining


I saw a something shinin', where the long, wet weeds
were twinin'
Around a rosy scallop; and a gold ring lay inside;
                    And around its rim were set
                    The words "Can Love Forget?"--
And there upon the Doom-Bar I knelt and sobbed and

I took my ring and smoothed it where the sand and
    shells had grooved it;
But O! St Petrock bells will never ring me home a
                    For the night my lad was leavin'
                    Me, all tearful-eyed and grievin"
He had tossed my keepsake out on the Bar to the rise
    and fall of the tide!

D'you hear the seas complainin', and complainin', while
    it's rainin'?
Did you hear them call in the dimorts, when the surf woke up and sighed?
                    Maybe it is a token
                    I shall go no more heart-broken--
And I shall cross the Doom-Bar at the turning of the

                            The Seven Whistlers.

Whistling strangely, whistling sadly, whistling sweet and clear,
The Seven Whistlers have passed thy house, Pentruan of Porthmeor;
It was not in the morning, nor the noonday's golden grace,
It was in the dead waste midnight, when the tide yelped loud in the Race:
The tide swings round in the Race, and they're plaining whisht and low,
And they come from the gray sea-marshes, where the gray sea-lavenders grow,
        And the cotton-grass sways to and fro;
        And the gore-sprent sundews thrive
With oozy hands alive.
Canst hear the curlews' whistle through thy dreamings dark and drear,
How they're crying, crying, crving,
        Pentruan of Porthmeor?

Shall thy hatchment, mouldering grimly in yon church amid the sands,
Stay trouble from thy household? Or the carven cherub-hands
Which hold thy shield to the font? Or the gauntlets on the wall
Keep evil from its onward course as the great tides rise and fall?
The great tides rise and fall, and the cave sucks in the breath
Of the wave when it runs with tossing spray, and the ground-sea rattles of Death;
            "I rise in the shallows," 'a saith,
            "Where the mermaid's kettle sings,
And the black shag flaps his wings!"
Ay, the green sea-mountain leaping may lead horror in its rear,
When thy drenched sail leans to its yawning trough,
        Pentruan of Porthmeor!

Yet the stoup waits at thy doorway for its load of glittering ore,
And thy ships lie in the tideway, and thy flocks along the moor;
And thine arishes gleam softly when the October moon-beams wane,
When in the bay all shining the fishers set the seine;
The fishers cast the seine, and 'tis "Heva!" in the town,
And from the watch-rock on the hill the huers are shouting down;
                    And ye hoist the mainsail brown,
                    As over the deep-sea roll
                    The lurker follows the shoal;
To follow and to follow, in the moonshine silver-clear,
When the halyards creek to thy dipping sail,
        Pentruan of Porthmeor!

And walling, and complaining, and whistling whisht and clear,
The Seven Whistlers have passed thy house, Pentruanof Porthmeor!
It was not in the morning, nor the noonday's golden grace,--
It was in the fearsome midnight, when the tide-dogs yelped in the Race:
--The tide swings round in the Race, and they're whistling whisht and low,
And they come from the lonely heather, where the fur-edged foxgloves blow,
                    And the moor-grass sways to and fro,
                    Where the yellow moor-birds sigh,
                    And the sea-cooled wind sweeps by.
Canst hear the curlews' whistle through the darkness wild and drear,--
How they're calling, calling, calling
        Pentruan of Porthmeor?



In sweet Irish clay may I lie
Heart clasped to my race,
O brothers and sisters of mine,
Give me your space.
For mine was the life that you lived,
The fight that you fought,
And bright in the gloom of mine own
Were deeds you had wrought.
So let the dear dust of your head
Drift over my face,
And this be the dirge that you sing
And song that you trace.
A pebble is thrown to the beach
From whence it was brought,
A leaf has dropped weary for rest
To those it had sought.

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