From the Hills of Dream by Fiona Macleod

FROM THE HILLS OF DREAM

". . . . . .I would not find;
For when I find, I know
I shall have claspt the wandering wind
And built a house of snow."

FROM THE HILLS OF DREAM

Across the silent stream
Where the slumber-shadows go,
From the dim blue Hills of Dream
I have heard the west wind blow.

Who hath seen that fragrant land,
Who hath seen that unscanned west ?
Only the listless hand
And the unpulsing breast.

But when the west wind blows
I see moon-lances gleam
Where the Host of Faerie flows
Athwart the Hills of Dream.

And a strange song I have heard
By a shadowy stream,
And the singing of a snow-white bird
On the Hills of Dream.

 

THE UNKNOWN WIND

("There is a wind that has no name."
Gaelic Saying)

When the day darkens,
When dusk grows light,
When the dew is falling,
When Silence dreams. . . .
I hear a wind
Calling, calling
By day and by night.

What is the wind
That I hear calling
By day and by night,
The crying of wind?
When the day darkens,
When dusk grows light,
When the dew is failing?

LITTLE CHILDREN OF THE WIND

I hear the little children of the wind
Crying solitary in lonely places:
I have not seen their faces
But I have seen the leaves eddying behind,
The little tremulous leaves of the wind.

MILKING SIAN

Give up thy milk to her who calls
Across the low green hills of Heaven
And stream-cool meads of Paradise !

Across the low green hills of Heaven
How sweet to hear the milking call,
The milking call i' the meads of Heaven:

Stream-cool the meads of Paradise,
Across the low green hills of Heaven.

Give up thy milk to her who calls,
Sweet voiced amid the Starry Seven,
Give up thy milk to her who calls !

THE KYE-SONG OF ST. BRIDE

O sweet St. Bride of the
Yellow, yellow hair:
Paul said, and Peter said,
And all the saints alive or dead
Vowed she had the sweetest head,
Bonnie, sweet St. Bride of the
Yellow, yellow hair.

White may my milking be,
White as thee:
Thy face is white, thy neck is white,
Thy hands are white, thy feet are white,
For thy sweet soul is shining bright--
O dear to me,
O dear to see
St. Bridget white!

Yellow may my butter be,
Firm, and round:
Thy breasts are sweet,
Firm, round and sweet,
So may my butter be:
So may my butter be O
Bridget sweet !

Safe thy way is, safe, O
Safe, St. Bride:
May my kye come home at even,
None be fallin', none be leavin',
Dusky even, breath-sweet even,
Here, as there, where O
St. Bride thou
Keepest tryst with God in heav'n,
Seest the angels bow
And souls be shriven--
Here, as there, 'tis breath-sweet even
Far and wide--
Singeth thy little maid
Safe in thy shade
Bridget, Bride !

ST. BRIDE'S LULLABY

Oh, Baby Christ, so dear to me,
Sang Bridget Bride:
How sweet thou art,
My baby dear,
Heart of my heart !

Heavy her body was with thee,
Mary, beloved of One in Three,
Sang Bridget Bride--
Mary, who bore thee, little lad:
But light her heart was, light and glad
With God's love clad.

Sit on my knee,
Sang Bridget Bride:
Sit here
O Baby dear,
Close to my heart, my heart:
For I thy foster-mother am,
My helpless lamb!
O have no fear,
Sang good St. Bride.

None, none,
No fear have I:
So let me cling
Close to thy side
While thou dost sing,
O Bridget Bride!

My Lord, my Prince, I sing:
My Baby dear, my King!
Sang Bridget Bride.

WHEN THE DEW IS FALLING

When the dew is falling
I have heard a calling
Of aerial sweet voices o'er the low green hill;
And when the moon is dying
I have heard a crying
Where the brown burn slippeth thro' the hollows green
and still.

And O the sorrow upon me,
The grey grief upon me,
For a voice that whispered once, and now for aye is
still:
O heart forsaken, calling
When the dew is falling,
To the one that comes not ever o'er the low green hill.

INVOCATION OF PEACE

AFTER THE GAELIC

Deep peace I breathe into you,
O weariness, here
O ache, here !
Deep peace, a soft white dove to you;
Deep peace, a quiet rain to you;
Deep peace, an ebbing wave to you!
Deep peace, red wind of the east from you;
Deep peace, grey wind of the west to you;
Deep peace, dark wind of the north from you;
Deep peace, blue wind of the south to you !
Deep peace, pure red of the flame to you;
Deep peace, pure white of the moon to you;
Deep peace, pure green of the grass to you;
Deep peace, pure brown of the earth to you;
Deep peace, pure grey of the dew to you,
Deep peace, pure blue of the sky to you !
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you !
Deep peace of the Yellow Shepherd to you,
Deep peace of the Wandering Shepherdess to you,
Deep peace of the Flock of Stars to you,
Deep peace from the Son of Peace to you,
Deep peace from the heart of Mary to you,
From Bridget of the Mantle
Deep peace, deep peace !

And with the kindness too of the Haughty Father,
Peace !
In the name of the Three who are One,
And by the will of the King of the Elements,
Peace! Peace!

IN THE SILENCES OF THE WOODS

In the silences of the woods
I have heard all day and all night
The moving multitudes
Of the Wind in flight.
He is named Myriad:
And I am sad
Often, and often I am glad,
But oftener I am white
With fear of the dim broods
That are his multitudes.

MATER CONSOLATRIX

Heart's joy must fade . . . though it borrow
Heaven's azure for its clay:
But the Joy that is one with Sorrow
Treads an immortal way:
For each, is born To-Morrow,
For each, is Yesterday.

Joy, that is clothed with shadow,
Shall arise from the dead,
But Joy that is clothed with the rainbow
Shall with the bow be sped: . . .
Where the Sun spends his fires is she,
And where the Stars are led.

THE SOUL'S ARMAGEDDON

I know not where I go,
O Wind, that calls afar:
O Wind that calls for war,
Where the Death-Moon doth glow
In a darkness without star.

Nor do I know the blare
Of the bugles that call:
Nor who rise, nor who fall:
Nor if the torches flare
Where the gods laugh, or crawl.

But I hear, I hear the hum,
The multitudinous cry,
Where myriads fly,
And I hear a voice say, Come:
And the same voice say, Die !

What is the war, O Wind?
Lo, without shield or spear
How can I draw near?
I am deaf and dumb and blind
With immeasurable fear.

CANTILENA MUNDI

Where rainbows rise through sunset rains
By shores forlorn of isles forgot,
A solitary Voice complains
"The World is here, the World is not."

The Voice the wind is, or the sea,
Or spirit of the sundown West:
Or is it but a breath set free
From off the Islands of the Blest ?

It may be: but I turn my face
To that which still I hold so dear:
And lo, the voices of the days--
"The World is not, the World is here."

'Tis the same end whichever way,
And either way is soon forgot:
"The World is all in all, To-day:
To-morrow all the World is not."

THE HILLS OF RUEL

"Over the hills and far away"--
That is the tune I heard one day
When heather-drowsy I lay and listened
And watched where the stealthy sea-tide glistened.

Beside me there on the Hills of Ruel
An, old man stooped and gathered fuel--
And I asked him this: if his son were dead,
As the folk in Glendaruel all said,
How could he still believe that never
Duncan had crossed the shadowy river.

Forth from his breast the old man drew
A lute that once on a rowan-tree grew:
And, speaking no words, began to play
"Over the hills and far away."

"But how do you know," I said, thereafter,
"That Duncan has heard the fairy laughter
How do you know he has followed the cruel
Honey-sweet folk of the Hills of Ruel?"
"How do I know?" the old man said,
Sure I know well my boy's not dead:
For late on the morrow they hid him, there
Where the black earth moistens his yellow hair,
I saw him alow on the moor close by,
I watched him low on the hillside lie,
An' I heard him laughin' wild up there,
An' talk, talk, talkin' beneath his hair--
For down o'er his face his long hair lay
But I saw it was cold and ashy grey.
Ay, laughin' and talkin'wild he was,
An' that to a Shadow out on the grass,
A Shadow that made my blood go chill,
For never its like have I seen on the hill.
An' the moon came up, and the stars grew white,
An, the hills grew black in the bloom o' the night,
An' I watched till the death -star sank in the moon
And the moonmaid fled with her flittermice shoon,
Then the Shadow that lay on the moorside there
Rose up and shook its wildmoss hair,
And Duncan he laughed no more, but grey
As the rainy dust of a rainy day,
Went over the hills and far away."

"Over the hills and far away"
That is the tune I heard one day.
O that I too might bear the cruel
Honey-sweet folk of the Hills of Ruel.

THE BUGLES OF DREAMLAND

Swiftly the dews of the gloaming are falling:
Faintly the bugles of Dreamland are calling.
O hearken, my darling, the elf-flutes are blowing,
The shining-eyed folk from the hillside are flowing,
I' the moonshine the wild-apple blossoms are
snowing,
And louder and louder where the white dews are
falling
The far-away bugles of Dreamland are calling.

O what are the bugles of Dreamland calling
There where the dews of the gloaming are falling?
Come away from the weary old world of tears,
Come away, come away to where one never hears
The slow weary drip of the slow weary years,
But peace and deep rest till the white dews are
falling
And the blithe bugle laughters through Dreamland
are calling.

Then bugle for us, where the cool dews are falling,
O bugle for us, wild elf-flutes now calling--
For Heart's-love and I are too weary to wait
For the dim drowsy whisper that cometh too late,
The dim muffled whisper of blind empty fate--
O the world's well lost now the dream-dews are
falling,
And the bugles of Dreamland about us are calling.

DALUA

I have heard you calling, Dalua,
Dalua!
I have heard you on the hill,
By the pool-side still,
Where the lapwings shrill

Dalua. . . Dalua . . . Dalua!

What is it you call, Dalua,
Dalua?
When the rains fall,
When the mists crawl
And the curlews call

Dalua . . .Dalua . . . Dalua!

I am the Fool, Dalua
Dalua!
When men hear me, their eyes
Darken: the shadow in the skies
Droops: and the keening-woman cries

DALUA . . . DALUA . . . DALUA !

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dalua, one of the names of a mysterious being in the Celtic mythology, the Fairy Fool.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE LORDS OF SHADOW

Where the water whispers mid the shadowy rowan-trees
I have heard the Hidden People like the hum of swarming bees:
And when the moon has risen and the brown burn glisters grey
I have seen the Green Host marching in laughing disarray.

Dalua then must sure have blown a sudden magic air
Or with the mystic dew have sealed my eyes from seeing fair:
For the great Lords of Shadow who tread the deeps of night
Are no frail puny folk who move in dread of mortal sight.

For sure Dalua laughed alow, Dalua the fairy Fool,
When with his wild-fire eyes he saw me 'neath the rowan-shadowed pool:
His touch can make the chords of life a bitter jangling tune,
The false glows true, the true glows false, beneath his moontide rune.

The laughter of the Hidden Host is terrible to hear,
The Hounds of Death would harry me at lifting of a spear:
Mayhap Dalua made for me the hum of swarming bees
And sealed my eyes with dew beneath the  shadowy rowan-trees.

MORAG OF THE GLEN

When Morag of the Glen was fy
They took her where the Green Folk stray:
And there they left her, night and day,
A day and night they left her, fy.

And when they brought her home again,
Aye of the Green Folk was she fain:
They brought her leannan, Roy M'Lean,
She looked at him with proud disdain.

For I have killed a man, she said,
A better man than you to wed:
I slew him when he clasped my head,
And now he sleepeth with the dead.

And did you see that little wren ?
My sister dear it was flew, then!
That skull her home, that eye her den,
Her song is, Morag o' the Glen!

For when she went I did not go,
But washed my hands in blood-red woe:
O wren, trill out your sweet song's flow,
Morag is white as the driven snow!

THE MOON-CHILD

Little lonely child am I
That have not any soul:
God made me as the homeless wave,
That has no goal.

A seal my father was, a seal
That once was man:
My mother loved him tho' he was
'Neath mortal ban.

He took a wave and drownd her,
She took a wave and lifted him:
And I was born where shadows are
In sea-depths dim.

All through the sunny blue-sweet hours
I swim and glide in waters green:
Never by day the mournful shores
By me are seen.

But when the gloom is on the wave
A shell unto the shore I bring:
And then upon the rocks I sit
And plaintive sing.

I have no playmate but the tide
The seaweed loves with dark brown eyes:
The night-waves have the stars for play,
For me but sighs.

THE RUNE OF THE FOUR WINDS

By the Voice in the corries
When the Polestar danceth:

By the Voice on the summits
The dead feet know:

By the soft wet cry
When the Heat-star troubleth:

By the plaining and moaning
Of the Sigh of the Rainbows:

By the four white winds of the world,
Whose father the golden Sun is,
Whose mother the wheeling Moon is,
The North and the South and the East and the West:
By the four good winds of the world,
That Man knoweth,
That One dreadeth,
That God blesseth--

Be all well
On mountain and moorland and lea,
On loch-face and lochan and river,
On shore and shallow and sea !

By the Voice of the Hollow
Where the worm dwelleth:

By the Voice of the Hollow
Where the sea-wave stirs not:

By the Voice of the Hollow
That sun hath not seen yet:

By the three dark winds of the world;
The chill dull breath of the Grave,
The breath from the depths of the Sea,
The breath of To-morrow:
By the white and dark winds of the world,
The four and the three that are seven,
That Man knoweth,
That One dreadeth,
That God blesseth--

Be all well
On mountain and moorland and lea,
On loch-face and lochan and river,
On shore and shallow and sea !

NAOI MIANNAIN

Miann mna sithe, braon:
Miann Sluagh, gaoth;
Miann fitheach, fuil:
Miann eunarag, an fasaich:
Miann faoileag, faileagan mhara:
Miann Brd, fith-cheol-min lhuchd nan trusganan uaine:
Miann fear, gaol bhean:
Miann mna, chlann beag:
Miann nama, ais.

NINE DESIRES

The desire of the fairy women, dew:
The desire of the fairy host, wind:
The desire of the raven, blood:
The desire of the snipe, the wilderness:
The desire of the seamew, the lawns of the sea
The desire of the poet, the soft low music of the Tribe of
The Green Mantles:
The desire of man, the love of woman:
The desire of women, the little clan:
The desire of the soul, wisdom.

 


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