| A Taste of Ireland's Poets | Early Verses | Middle Ages to Modern | Joseph Mary Plunkett | W.B. Yeats |
Ardmore, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland
Anonymous Verses
8th-10th  centuries (translated by Robin Flower)
The Good Man
This is the song the Devil sang to Saint Moling.

Pure gold, bright sky about the sun,
A silver goblet filled with wine,
An angel wise is everyone
That still hath done God's will divine.

A caught bird fluttering in the snare,
A leaky ship that wild winds shake,
A wineglass drained, a rotten tree -- 
Even such they be that God's law break.

A breathing branch that flowers in spring,
A vessel brimmed with honey sweet,
A precious ruby beyond price -- 
Such he that follows Christ's own feet.

A hollow nut that none desire,
A savour foul, a rotten wood,
A flowerless crabtree growing wild,
Are those defiled that Christ withstood.

The man that does Christ's heavenly will,
He is the sun that warms the year,
God's image through his heart doth pass,
He is a glass of crystal clear.

A racehorse straining for the goal,
Heaven is the mark for which he tries;
That chariot driven by a king,
A precious thing shall be his prize.

A sun that warms all Heaven round,
God loves him more than things of price:
A noble temple and divine,
A golden shrine of sacrifice.

An altar with the wine outpoured
Where sweet choirs sing in linen stoled,
A chalice with God's blood therein
Of findruine or precious gold.

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager