The Fallen Angels left all there And hid from God under the laurels Till the trouble passed; the war over. Eden was there [sic] own forever If they did not become bold Coming into the open, to argue, to scold. The outsiders are always waiting For some kinsman of the House to unlock the door Businessmen, politicians they know That mystery works but is not in their taking. The outsiders are always asking Why this is and that is: Birthplace of what had no father, Name of sister, name of brother, The schools to which an idea went - How many hundred pounds were spent? How many miles to Babylon? The wheat is green on This sidey hill - walk back-ways up it. There's a primeval plain to the south, There's a flashing river-mouth. There's virgin soil - no flesh hand can crop it. 3 A woman is washing potatoes for the dinner And the stick she churns the water with is white And you must not require to understand But be the virgin surrendering to the delight. An old man opens a garden gate and looks Among the stumps of winter cabbages Through the unawakened poplar he lifts his glance To watch a train go by drawing marvellous carriages. And he wonders if on his eyes it is A cataract's delusion. A tin-can rings On the flag-stones of a well that's running low And a townland drinks from love's unreasonable springs. An eight-bull harrow is thrown from a cart On to a black ridge by a young man who whistles - He stops to ponder over something mislaid And questions a self that is too alive to listen. A girl is leaning over the handle-bars Of her bicycle and talking through a hedge To a woman who is searching in the nettles With a long pot-stick for the turkey's secret eggs. A donkey is trying to open Rooney's gate To get his daily feed from the pit of mangolds But the chain is twisted once too many round The post and all he gets is rusty jangles. 4 Chickens on a kitchen floor, White wyandottes like powder-puffs, Meaning nothing meaning most - "Come, come" their mother calls severely, "A raw potato is good for you" They gather round. Her commentary Is a deep important bass. The cat sneaks past, screwing his nature To a denial of all his race. Why should sin Be the pleasure in the bite Of day-old chickens when a sparrow Can be eaten in daylight? To eat a mouse is virtue, To eat A chicken is to be Kicked out into the infernal street. 5 Day passes by the front window round by the stables Like a neighbour coming to borrow a graip or a spade Or to see how the farrowing sow is getting on To day he is a little taller than he was yesterday And a little brighter of the eye. Now is is [sic] gone Round by the end of the boiler-house, shining on the west gables. 6 Girls linked in threes like factory workers Walze [sic] on the long evening roads of Lent Dreaming of after-Easter when the dance-hall Will be the womb of their world - of blocked cement. A coloured paper placenta sticky with sweat Will fold close the embryo of a generation. See, there's Pat the Gent Letting his cow to a bull! The girls stand Upon the grassy bank of a fence and one holds a briar That cuts the vision in two aside with her hand. 7 A boy who has not smoked or sinned For nearly forty nights and days Walks to the village with his head in the air Christ and His angels are around In primroses in daisies, in the east wind. His boots are white With dried clay. His feet Are sore from tramping pointed arrises His shoulders are tired from carrying a sowing sheet And galled under his roped gallowses. But in the still clouds, in the motionless trees In the football that that schoolboy is pumping, holding it between his knees Profound wisdom is spoken for easy consciences. He does not speak to the girls, he does not see them He only sees what's unmortal. He does not care If this moment ouside time he has lived in Should be in time hereafter time's despair.
§ On verso of the manuscript (stanzas 6 and 7) is
‘stubborn virgin soul’.