Patrick Kavanagh

The Seed and the Soil

Old Soldier

I return to the fields
Of tillage peace
Who have wandered and found
No Golden Fleece

But only a nag
On a lifting thorn:
An ironic flag
brow-pecked, forlorn

Love's frosted buds
That could not shake
The nursing gods
Of green awake

Petty squabbling
My eyes did see,
And Achilles wobbling
In jepardy [sic]

And men of thought
Being hustled on
Till there was not
Under the sun

An unflustered bird
Of evening mood
On a poets word
In the interlude

Over the war-land
Fields I went
Strumming the crowd-
False instrument

One with the savage
And insane.


God keep you child
When you go down
The faithless streets
Of Pleasure's town

High temples house
The meanest gods
And silken-vested
Priests are clods

And when you sell
Your beauty sweet
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