Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Statute of the Blessed Virgin in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Church, UCD Belfield

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Dream

I dreamt I met the mother of my birth
I'd never met before. Her house was dark.
Her looks were strange. Her accent made it hard
For me to understand her.  The same blood
Ran in our veins, but oh, how far apart!

She was so proud, so proud; stuck-up, perhaps.
She smiled at me, indeed, but said: "How long
It took you to come here!". "Well, here I am."

I thought about the land from which I'd come;
The rolling meadows, hedgerows, merry streams,
So long explored, yet so much more to see!
Its sights and sounds had seeped into my blood.
That dear dear land; my home...but not my home.

"Come see your ancestors", she said to me.
We went from wall to wall, and though she held
A lamp, I barely made each picture out.
"You see the kingly features in his face?"
She asked. "And her, is she not beautiful,
Surpassing all the beauty that you've seen?"
"Indeed", I said, but all that I could see
Were foreign faces in a lake of gloom.

"You have not seen the gardens yet", she said,
Sensing perhaps my want of eagerness.
"Come with me. Gardens, did I say? Far more!".

I walked with her through chilly corridors
Stealing a glance or two. How old she was!
And yet, a sort of beauty in her face.

She fumbled for a key, unlocked a door,
And out we stepped into the moonlit night.

"Behold", she said; and a horizon stretched
As far as I could see; we stood atop
A sort of peak; below, a wilderness
As vast and wild as my romantic heart
Could ever ask for. "Here is home!", I cried.
"Here is my home, at last! A whole new world!"

"Well, keep your head", she chuckled girlishly.
"This land is wild; you do not know its ways.
Heir of this land, possess your heritage!"
She pushed me forward, laughter in her voice.

I stumbled, fell, and hit the stony ground.
I rolled downhill. Above, my mother laughed
As blithely as a girl. I hit a tree.

I rose again. I fell again. The moon
Gave little light. The night was cold. It seemed
The trees themselves fought with me. Still again
I struggled forward. Still again I fell.

"Oh brave new world!", my mother laughed. "Perhaps
The happy hamlets and the rolling roads
You left behind you are your real home?"

"This is my real home", I shouted. "Laugh!
By God, this is my home, and I will be
Its dweller, let it break my bones to bits!"

"And you thought me the proud one!", she replied.
"Perhaps-- deluded too? Well, after all,
You are my flesh and blood." She stepped inside
And closed the door, still laughing like a girl.

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