by Eva Gore-Booth
Nay, though green fields are fair
And the fiords are blue,
I need a clearer air,
I need a region new,
Out beyond the Northern Lights,
Where the white Polar Day
To herself in silence sings,
Without thought of words or wings
The secret of a hundred nights.
I shall find there I know
The lost city of my birth,
Innocent white wastes of snow,
A new heaven and a new earth.
Neither lamb, nor calf nor kid,
In those lovely meadows play,
All things calm and silent are
Underneath the polar star;
Where all my dreams are hid.
I am sick of wind and tide –
Tired of this rocking boat,
Creaking ever as we glide
Into the white remote;
Out there no sound is heard
Save the iceberg’s crash and grind,
No human voice e’er shudddered through
The realms of white, the realms of blue,
Nor cry of a seabird.
Lying at ease in the dark ship
I watched the last pale night depart,
I dreamt I saw blue shadows slip
O’er the white snowfields of my heart;
And the world has grown so wide
There was room for all mankind-
The icebergs round about the Pole
Crashed in the silence of my soul,
And hemmed in every side.
In that crowded world of white
There are many joys unknown,
Without colour there is light,
Loneliness of the alone,
Heedless stars, that blaze and shine,
O’er the world’s untrodden edge;
You come with me you who dare
Leave the cart and the plough-share
For the white horizon line.
Over many seas we sail,
Passing many peopled shores,
Like the Greek in the old tale
Homeward sailing from the wars.
Gentle voices bid us rest
From green isle or barren sedge,
‘In our world all things are new,
We have passed away from you,
You must seek another guest.’
Voices of enchanted time
Call us to leave our ships,
Hyacinths of honeyed rhyme
Float from Aphrodite’s lips;
We for Circe born unkind,
All the songs the sirens sing
Seem but idly to oppress
Hearts in love with loneliness,
Sails that flutter in the wind.
O’er the wide cold wastes serene
Rise the walls of wandering white,
Circles of strange gods unseen
In the electric arc unite.
Arctic faces flash and glide,
Glimmers many a flaming wing,
Where the aether strains to hold
The hard heart of the Manifold
All the greater gods abide.
Extract from Dreamtime (Dublin, 2009) by John Moriarty p.170