The Celtic Twilight
THE CELTIC TWILIGHT.
MEN AND WOMEN, DHOULS AND
WITH A FRONTISPIECE BY J. B. YEATS.
MACMILLAN AND CO.
A good portion of this book has been printed in the 'National Observer,' and I have to thank the proprietors for leave to reprint it here.
Time drops in decay
Like a candle burnt out,
And the mountains and woods
Have their day, have their day;
But, kindly old rout
Of the fire-born moods,
You pass not away.
The host is riding from Knocknarea,
And over the grave of Clooth-na-bare;
Caolte tossing his burning hair,
And Niam calling, 'Away, come away;
'And brood no more where the fire is bright,
Tilling thy heart with a mortal dream;
For breasts are heaving and eyes a-gleam:
Away, come away, to the dim twilight.
'Arms are a-waving and lips apart;
And if any gaze on our rushing band,
We come between him and the deed of his hand,
We come between him afraid the hope of his heart.'
The host is rushing 'twixt night and day;
And where is there hope or deed as fair?
Caolte tossing his burning hair.
And Niam calling, 'Away, come away.'
Next to the desire, which every artist feels, to create for himself a little world out of the beautiful, pleasant, and significant things of this marred and clumsy universe, I have desired to show in a vision somthing of the face of Ireland to any of my own people who care for things of this kind. I have therefore written down accurately and candidly much that I have heard and seen, and, except by way of commentary, nothing that I have merely imagined. I have, however, been at no pains to separate my own beliefs from those of the peasantry, but have rather let my men and women, dhouls and faeries, go their way unoffended or defended by any argument of mine. The things a man has heard and seen are threads of life, and if he pull them carefully from the confused distaff of memory, any who will can weave them into whatever garments of belief please them best. I too have woven my garment like another, but I shall try to keep warm in it, and shall be well content if it do not unbecome me.
Hope and Memory have one daughter and her name is Art, and she has built her dwelling far from the desperate field where men hang out their garments upon forked boughs to be banners of battle. O beloved daughter of Hope and Memory, be with me for a little.