A Poem for National Poetry Day

I was planning to write a book review tonight, but it seems that my muse has deserted me. But maybe that’s happened for a reason. Today is National Poetry Day, so it seems like it’s time to post that poem that’s been in the back of my mind for a while now.

The given theme for the day is heroes and heroines. I’m interpreting that fairly widely – my poem provided one of my literary heroines with a title, and maybe it inspired her.

Earlier in the year I read The Swan in the Evening by Rosamond Lehmann. I had a feeling the title came from a poem, but I couldn’t place it. I was right, but it was a poem I had only come across in a musical setting. It is lovely set to music but I think it is even lovelier to simply read.

Here it is:

She Moved Through The Fair
by Padraic Colum

My young love said to me,
My mother won’t mind
And my father won’t slight you
For your lack of kind”
And she stepped away from me
And this she did say:
It will not be long, love,
Till our wedding day”

As she stepped away from me
And she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there
And then she turned homeward
With one star awake
Like the swan in the evening
Moves over the lake

The people were saying,
No two e’er were wed
But one had a sorrow
That never was said
And I smiled as she passed
With her goods and her gear,
And that was the last
That I saw of my dear.

Last night she came to me,
My dead love came in
So softly she came
That her feet made no din
As she laid her hand on me
And this she did say
It will not be long, love,
‘Til our wedding day

You can learn more about the poet, and read more of his work, here.

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