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Bogac Bán

Darrell Figgis

A woman had I seen, as I rode by,
Stacking her turf and chanting an old song;
But now her voice came to me like a cry
Wailing an old immeasurable wrong,
Riding the road thro’ Bogac Bán.

Like a grey ribbon over the dark world,
Lying along the bog that rose each side,
The white road strayed upon the earth, and curled,
Staying its journey where the hills abide,
Riding the road thro’ Bogac Bán.

It was not that the Night had laid her cloak
About the valley, going thro’ the sky,
And yet a dimness like a distant smoke
Had fallen on the Earth as I rode by,
Riding the road thro’ Bogac Bán.

Sweeping the sides of the mountains gaunt and high,
Floating about their faces in the pool,
A shadowy presence with a rustling sigh
Crept thro’ the valley till the valley was full:
My horse’s hoofs fell softy as on wool:
Riding the road thro’ Bogac Bán.

In musical measures like an echo dim
The hoisting held its secret path unseen:
Slaibh Mór looked down on Mám, and Mám to him
Looked up, with Loch nan Ean between:
Riding the road thro’ Bogac Bán.

A new world and a new scene mixed its power
With the old world and the old scene of Earth’s face
A doorway had been folded back an hour;
And silver lights fell with a secret grace
Where I endeavoured the white path to trace,
Riding the road thro’ Bogac Bán.

Within my mind a sudden joy had birth,
For I had found an infinite company there:
The hosting of the companies of the earth,
The hosting of the companies of the air,
Treading the road thro’ Bogac Bán.
The white, strange road thro’ Bogac Bán.
Online text © 1998-2016 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From Anthology of Irish Verse | Boni and Liveright, 1922
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