Patrick Kavanagh


From sunlight and the too-green leaf we turn
Into the ancient contemplative library
Where a few bald heads gleam like moons,
The same monks that illumined the Twelfth century
Are copying out the masterpieces of the children of dancers.

The fantastic candle-ghosts still play
On the faces of the Scholars scratching the hag-skin vellum.
Nothing is changed. The excitement of the cloister-idea!
The Holy Ghost laughs again with the Brotherhood.

We close behind us the grey doors.
We shall not be disturbed by vexing surface trifles,
The pleasure-drunken song of Come-to-Fortune
And the cry of streets that have no history.
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