Broom out the floor now, lay the fender by,
And plant this bee-sucked bough of woodbine there,
And let the window down. The butterfly
Floats in opun the sunbeam, and the fair
Tanned face of June, the nomad gipsy, laughts
Above her widespread wares,the while she tells
The farmer's fortunes in the fields, and quaffs
The water from the spider-peopled wells.
The hedges are all drowned in green grass seas,
And bobbing poppies flare like Elmo's light
While siren-like the pollen-stained bees
Drone in the clover depths. And up the height
The cuckoo's voice is hoarse and broke with joy.
And on the lowland crops the crows make raid,
Nor fear the clappers of the farmer's boy,
Who sleeps, like drunken Noah, in the shade.
And loop this red rose in that hazel ring
That snares your little ear, for June is short
And we must joy in it and dance and sing,
And from her bounty draw her rosy worth.
Ay! soon the swallows will be flying south,
The wind wheel north to gather in the snow
Even the roses spilt on youth's red mouth
Will soon blow down the road all roses go.
I saw her coming through the flowery grass,
Round her swift ankles butterfly and bee
Blent loud and silent wings; I saw her pass
When foam-bows shivered on the sunny sea.
Then came the swallow crowding up the dawn,
and cuckoo-echoes filled the dewy South.
I left my love upon the hill, alone,
My last kiss burning on her lovely mouth.
To One Who Comes Now And Then
When you come in, it seems a brighter fire
Crackles opun the hearth invitingly,
The household routine which was wont to tire
Grows full of novelty.
You sit upon our home-upholstered chair
And talk of matters wonderful and strange,
Of books, and travel, customs old which dare
The gods of Time and Change.
Till we with inner word our care refute
Laughing that this our bosoms yet assails,
While there are maidens dancing to a flute
In Andalusian vales.
And sometimes from my shelf of poems you take
And secret meanings to our hearts disclose,
As when the winds of June the mid bush shake
We see the hidden rose.
And when the shadows muster, and each tree
A moment flutters, full of shutting wings,
You take the fiddle and mysteriously
Wake wonders on the strings.
And in my garden, grey with misty flowers,
Low echos fainter than a beetle's horn
Fill all the corners with it, like sweet showers
Of bells, in the owl's morn.
Come often, friend; with welcome and surprise
We'll greet you from the sea or from the town;
Come when you like and from whatever skies
Above you smile or frown.
Francis Ledwidge Museum, Janeville, Slane, Co.Meath, Ireland.
Tel: +353 41 9824544 www.francisledwidge.com