Three rare, sublime poems, from ‘The Collected Poems’ by James Joyce

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James Joyce


Lightly come or lightly go:

Though thy heart presage thee woe,

Vales and many a wasted sun,

Oread let thy laughter run,

Till the irreverent mountain air

Ripple all thy flying hair.

Lightly, lightly — ever so:

Clouds that wrap the vales below

At the hour of evenstar

Lowliest attendants are;

Love and laughter song-confessed

When the heart is heaviest.


James Joyce letter


O bella bionda,
Sei come l’onda!

Of cool sweet dew and radiance mild
The moon a web of silence weaves
In the still garden where a child
Gathers the simple salad leaves.

A moondew stars her hanging hair
And moonlight kisses her young brow
And, gathering, she sings an air:
Fair as the wave is, fair, art thou!

Be mine, I pray, a waxen ear
To shield me from her childish croon
And mine a shielded heart for her
Who gathers simples of the moon.



Of the dark past

A child is born;

With joy and grief

My heart is torn.

Calm in his cradle

The living lies.

May love and mercy

Unclose his eyes!

Young life is breathed

On the glass;

The world that was not

Comes to pass.

A child is sleeping:

An old man gone.

O, father forsaken,

Forgive your son!

All images: Google 

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