by Arnold Edward Trevor Bax, Sir (1883 - 1953), as Dermot O'Byrne

Language: English 
As I walked at dusk in Eyré Square 
Of a sudden I became aware 
Of one who walked beside me there.
I could not hear his footfall's beat, 
He spoke no word my soul to greet, 
But I felt his mastering curious stare; 
And when I sought his eyes to meet 
In the infrequent places where 
The dingy dust-veiled street-lamps flare, 
He wrapped him in the misty glare 
Or hid in clouds of phantom sleer. 
He had corn-coloured, sea-bleached hair, 
He had pampooties on his feet, 
His shaking fingers lithe and spare 
Moved like long wind-waves in tall wheat, 
And at the corner of the street 
He sang a stave so piercing fair 
It stung like arrows the thin air. 
"A faery wind against the sheet, 
And opal glimmers on the sea, 
And far-strayed green-lipped mystery! 
What thing in your dull world of care 
Is wiser-hearted and more sweet 
Than the wind of faery in the sheet, 
The voices rocking on the sea? 
Sure that's the ship for you and me 
Come sad-eyed poet if you dare!" 
The wind whirled over a breached wall. 
I turned. He was not there at all 
But a drugged dream he'd laid upon 
The grass, the statue, and the gun, 
The silly solemn houses ranged 
About the square. 
All things were changed 
With some Atlantic magic dim 
And in enchantment seemed to swim. 
I thought a green bewitchment splashed 
Along the street, and pale gleams flashed 
Out of the clouded luring west 
A Danaan dream into my breast. 
And through all weathers and all climes 
I've chased that spinner of quaint rhymes; 
I've followed through sharp whirling sands 
The waving of his fading hands; 
And seen his antic shadow pass 
The railings of St. Nicholas; 
And heard his thin and silver laugh 
Along the Claddagh, on the wharf, 
Round foam-bespattered ledges drear 
Of Inishmaan and Inisheer, 
And in and out the standing stones 
That guard the Firbolg's powdered bones; 
But never find that hooker fleet 
With glamoured wind against the sheet, 
Nor that strange Aran Islander 
Who walked with me in Eyré Square, 
Through all days in the rainy year 
Or when the shy stars blink and peer 
I seek his shadow up and down 
The mouldering streets of Galway Town.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2021-12-29
Line count: 60
Word count: 377