Padráic Colum Back in Dublin

Lorna Reynolds

Little man, with wondering head,
Bird profile and roving feet,
Asking where had all the goddesses
Gone? - DUBLIN is much decayed,
Since I was young.

When I was young,
DUBLIN was a lovely city.
There was this lady and the other lady,
Each with her drawing-room
And her at-home day.

Where tea was served at five,
And conversation flowered,
Like the chrysanthemums, in the firelight.
The art of conversation requires
The drawing-room,

The drawing-room and ladies at home,
At ease, weli-dressed, where politics and fashion
And horses are discussed,
As much as the latest play,
Some recent verse and someone's exhibition.

Listening to these gentle plaints,
Questions unbidden came to birth,
Was it, I wondered, in the drawing-room,
Of some lost goddess,
The Old Woman of the Roads
Was conceived?

Was it there drifted into mind
The Drover behind his plodding beasts,
With his thoughts on the King of Spain's daughter,
Did some lady in a silken gown,
Suggest, by contrast, these images,
Of the Outeast and the Wild?

Page 24, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 3