Poetry Pick

THE LITTLE BLACK ROSE

Little Black Rose and Silk of the Kine
are mystical names for Ireland


Aubrey De Vere (1814-1902)


The Little Black Rose shall be red at last;
    What made it black but the March wind dry,
And the tear of the widow that fell on it fast?
    It shall redden the hills when June is nigh.

The Silk of the Kine shall rest at last;
    What drove her forth but the dragon-fly?
In the golden vale she shall feed full fast,
    With her mild gold horn and slow, dark eye.

The wounded wood-dove lies dead at last!
    The pine long bleeding, it shall not die!
This song is secret. Mine ear it passed
    In a wind o'er the plains of Atherenry.

From 1000 Years of Irish Poetry,
edited by Kathleen Hoagland


 

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