from Deirdre Remembers a Glen

Fruitful glen of fish-filled pools
rounded hills of lovely wheat;
the memory brings me great distress,
glen of bees and the wild horned ox.

Glen of cuckoo, thrush, and blackbird,
precious cover for every fox;
glen of garlic, green with cress,
flowering clover curly-crested.

The clear cries of the red-backed deer
under the oak-thick ridge
gentle hinds and they so timid
well hidden in the wooded glade.

Glen of the red berried rowan
fruit fit for every flock of birds,
fatted badgers slumbering
quiet in burrows with their young.

Glen of the silent blue-eyed hawk
glen of the bountiful harvest
sheltered every side by pointed peaks
glen of the wild plum and blackberry.

Glen of the sleek-brown flat-nosed otter
leaping lightly, freely fishing,
many are the stately white-winged swans,
salmon spawning in the stony brook.

Glen of the star-tangled yew
dew-touched glen of gentle kine
glen of the shining chalk-white sun
and graceful women, perfect as pearls.

(Irish, poss. 14th century; a reworking from three published versions)

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