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.

Orthodox

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
Beware!
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