The Song of the Stone
(From The Stone of Destiny)
Beyond the wall of sea and sky,
Where hopes and fears and sorrows die
And cast-off dreams slip gently by
To join the day’s descending,
An island green laughs in the light
Of golden sun and silvery night,
Unveiling to the Second Sight
A joy that’s never ending.
There, where the sun goes down to sleep
Below the cellars of the deep
And fairy folk and angels keep
A vigil o’er its fires;
Out past the waves, beyond the pale
Of Circling Stream, where white ships sail,
Under the shade of Inisfail
End all the heart’s desires.
A piece of heaven touched the ground
At Heaven’s Gate, where Jacob found
A Pillow Stone, and to the sound
Of Seraphs on the stair
He laid him down and watched his dreams
Fly up to where the starlight gleams;
But when he woke, those golden beams
Had vanished into air.
Bold Gathelus, King Cecrops’ son,
In Egypt’s land where rivers run
Stretched out his hand to seize the Stone
From Israel in Goshen.
With Scota, his betrothed bride,
He dragged it over deserts wide
To Spain, far over the heaving tide
Of the dividing ocean.
There on Brigantium’s sea-swept coast
He built a kingdom on the boast
That he must reign to uttermost
Who claimed as his possession
This ancient talisman of power;
But in a late and evil hour
An enemy flung down his tower:
He fled with his obsession.
Then over the deeps in ships they flew,
Gathelus’ Danaan crew,
Breaching boundaries old and new,
Seeking the final shore;
From Falias and Gorias
To Finias and Murias,
And last to Eire’s sea of grass
Beyond the great Muir Mor.
They landed on the mountain’s head
In clouds and smokes of fiery red
And filled the Fomor with a dread
Of all that’s bright and fair.
On Tara’s plain they set the Stone,
And over it they raised a throne,
That it might roar and shriek and moan
Beneath the king’s true heir …
(To be continued)