Patrick Kavanagh

April Dusk

    April dusk
    It is tragic to be a poet now
    And not a lover
    Paradised under the mutest bough.

    I look through my window and see
    The ghost of life flitting bat-winged.
    O I am as old as a sage can even be,
    O I am as lonely as the first fool kinged.

    The horse in his stall turns away
    From the hay-filled manger, dreaming of grass
    Soft and cool in hollows. Does he neigh
    Jealousy-words for John MacGuigan's ass
    That never was civilised in stall or trace.

    An unmusical ploughboy whistles down the lane
    Not worried at all about the fate of Europe.
    While I sit here feeling the subtle pain
    Of one whose Tree of God has been uprooted.

* A different version of this poem opens 'The Seed and The Soil' collection.
In that version, line 11 reads: '…O does he neigh'. Its final line is:
'That every silenced poet has endured.'
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