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Louise Imogen Guiney (Луиза Имоджен Гвини)

Columba and the Stork

The cliffs of Iona were red, with the moon to lee,
A finger of rock in the infinite wind and the sea;
And white on the cliffs as a volley of spray down-flying,
The beautiful stork of Eiré indriven and dying.

I stole from the choir; I fed him, I bathed his breast,
Till in late sunshine he lifted his wing to the west.
Oh, the bells of the Abbey were calling clearer and bolder,
And I feared the pale admonishing face at my shoulder.

Columb the saint’s! but I said, with mine arm in air,
(Of that banished body and homesick spirit aware,)
“The bird is of Eiré; out of the storm I bore him;
And lo, he is free, with the valleys of Eiré before him.”

Of the man that was Eiré-born, and in exile yet,
This the reproach I had, and cannot forget,
This the reproach I had, and never another:
“Blessed art thou, to have lightened the heart of my brother!”

Louise Imogen Guiney's other poems:
  1. Changes in the Temple
  2. A December Walk
  3. Undertones at Magdalen
  4. Port Meadow
  5. To a Child

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