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              Lionel Johnson (1867-1902)

                         CELTIC SPEECH

    NEVER forgetful silence fall on thee,
        Nor younger voices overtake thee,
    Nor echoes from thine ancient hills forsake thee,
        Old music heard by Mona of the sea :
    And where with moving melodies there break thee,
        Pastoral Conway, venerable Dee.

    Like music lives, nor may that music die,
        Still in the far, fair Gaelic places :
    The speech, so wistful with its kindly graces,
        Holy Croagh Patrick knows, and holy Hy :
    The speech, that wakes the soul in withered faces,
        And wakes remembrance of great things gone by.

    Like music by the desolate Land's End,
        Mournful forgetfulness hath broken :
    No more words kindred to the winds are spoken,
        Where upon iron cliffs whole seas expend
    That strength, whereof the unalterable token
        Remains wild music, even to the world's end.


The above poem can be found in:
  • Yeats, W. B. A Book of Irish Verse (3rd Edition). London: Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1911.