Celtic Speech


Never forgetful silence fall on thee,

Nor younger voices overtake thee,

Nor echoes from thine ancient hills forsake thee,

Old music heard by Mona of the sea;

And where with moving melodies there break thee,

Pastoral Conway, venerable Dee.


Like music lives, nor may that music die,

Still in the far, fair Gaelic places;

The speech, so wistful with its kindly graces,

Holy Croagh Patrick knows, and holy Hy;

The speech, that wakes the soul in withered faces,

And wakes remembrance of great things gone by.


Like music by the desolate Land's End,

Mournful forgetfulness hath broken;

No more words kindred to the winds are spoken,

Where upon iron cliffs whole seas expend

That strength, whereof the unalterable token

Remains wild music, even to the world's end.


~~Lionel Johnson


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