Friday, March 16, 2012

All Things of Ireland


A Celtic Prayer

Deep peace of the
running waves to you.

Deep peace of the 
flowing air to you.

Deep peace of the 
quiet earth to you.

Deep peace of the 
shining stars to you.

Deep peace of the
Son of Peace to you.

I arise today 
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, 
Through a belief in the Threeness, 
Through confession of the Oneness  
Of the Creator of creation. 

I arise today  
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,  
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,  
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension, 
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today 
Through the strength of the love of cherubim, 
In obedience of angels, 
In service of archangels, 
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward, 
In the prayers of patriarchs,  
In preachings of the apostles, 
In faiths of confessors, 
In innocence of virgins, 
In deeds of righteous men. 

I arise today through the strength of Heaven 
the rays of the sun, 
the radiance of the moon, 
the splendor of fire, 
the speed of lightening, 
the swiftness of the wind, 
the depth of the sea, 
the stability of the earth 
the firmness of rock.

I arise today through the power of God: 
God's might to comfort me,  
God's wisdom to guide me, 
God's eye to look before me, 
God's ear to hear me, 
God's word to speak for me, 
God's hand to lead me,  
God's way to lie before me, 
God's shield to protect me, 
God's Heavenly Host to save me 
from the snares of the devil, 
from temptations to sin, 
from all who wish me ill, 
from near and afar, 
alone and with others.

May Christ shield me today 
against poison and fire, 
against drowning and wounding, 
so that I may fulfill my mission 
and bear fruit in abundance. 
Christ behind and before me, 
Christ behind and above me, 
Christ with me and in me,  
Christ around and about me, 
Christ on my right and on my left, 
Christ when I lie down at night, 
Christ when I rise in the morning, 
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, 
Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me, 
Christ in every eye that sees me, 
Christ in every ear that hears me.

- St Patrick

There Are Too Many Saviors on My Cross

There are too many saviors on my cross, 
lending their blood to flood out my ballot box with needs of their own. 
Who put you there? 
Who told you that that was your place?

You carry me secretly naked in your heart 
and clothe me publicly in armor 
crying “God is on our side,” yet I openly cry 
Who is on mine? 
Tell me, who? 
You who bury your sons and cripple your fathers 
whilst you bury my father in crippling his son.

The antiquated Saxon sword, 
rusty in its scabbard of time now rises— 
you gave it cause in my name, 
bringing shame to the thorned head 
that once bled for your salvation.

I hear your daily cries 
in the far-off byways in your mouth 
pointing north and south 
and my Calvary looms again, 
desperate in rebirth. 
Your earth is partitioned, 
but in contrition 
it is the partition 
in your hearts that you must abolish.

You nightly watchers of Gethsemene 
who sat through my nightly trial delivering me from evil— 
now deserted, I watch you share your silver. 
Your purse, rich in hate, 
bleeds my veins of love, 
shattering my bone in the dust of the bogside and the Shankhill road.

There is no issue stronger than the tissue of love, 
no need as holy as the palm outstretched in the run of generosity, 
no monstrosity greater than the acre you inflict. 
Who gave you the right to increase your fold 
and decrease the pastures of my flock? 
Who gave you the right? 
Who gave it to you? 
And in whose name do you fight?

I am not in heaven, 
I am here, 
hear me. 
I am in you, 
feel me. 
I am of you, 
be me. 
I am with you, 
see me. 
I am for you, 
need me. 
I am all mankind; 
only through kindness will you reach me.

What masked and bannered men can rock the ark 
and navigate a course to their annointed kingdom come? 
Who sailed their captain to waters that they troubled in my font, 
sinking in the ignorant seas of prejudice?

There is no virgin willing to conceive in the heat of any bloody Sunday. 
You crippled children lying in cries on Derry’s streets, 
pushing your innocence to the full flush face of Christian guns, 
battling the blame on each other, 
do not grow tongues in your dying dumb wounds speaking my name. 
I am not your prize in your death. 
You have exorcized me in your game of politics.

Go home to your knees and worship me in any cloth, 
for I was never tailor-made. 
Who told you I was? 
Who gave you the right to think it? 
Take your beads in your crippled hands, 
can you count my decades? 
Take my love in your crippled hearts, 
can you count the loss?

I am not orange. 
I am not green. 
I am a half-ripe fruit needing both colors to grow into ripeness, 
and shame on you to have withered my orchard. 
I in my poverty, 
alone without trust, 
cry shame on you 
and shame on you again and again 
for converting me into a bullet and shooting me into men’s hearts.

The ageless legend of my trial grows old 
in the youth of your pulse staggering shamelessly from barricade to grave, 
filing in the book of history my needless death one April. 
Let me, in my betrayal, lie low in my grave, 
and you, in your bitterness, lie low in yours, 
for our measurements grow strangely dissimilar.

Our Father, who art in heaven, 
sullied be thy name.

~ Richard Harris

O stony grew soil of Monaghan
 The laugh from my love you thieved
 You took the gay child of my passion
 And gave me your clod-conceived.

 You clogged the feet of my boyhood
 and I believed that my stumble
 Had the poise and stride of Apollo
 And his voice my thick-tongued mumble.

 You told me the plough was immortal
 O green-life-conquering plough!
 Your mandril strained, your coulter blunted
 In the smooth lea-field of my brow.

 You sang on steaming dunghills
 A song of cowards' brood,
 You perfumed my clothes with weasel itch,
 You fed me on swinish food.

 You flung a ditch on my vision
 Of beauty love and truth.
 O stony grey soil of Monaghan
 You burgled my bank of youth!

 Lost the long hours of pleasure
 All the women that love young men
 O can I still stroke the monster's back
 Or write with unpoisioned pen

 His name in these lonely verses
 Or mention the dark fields where
 The first gay flight of my lyric
 Got caught in a peasant's prayer.

 Mullahinsha, Drummeril, Black Shanco--
 Wherever I turn I see
 In the stony grey soil of Monaghan
 Dead loves that were born for me.
~ Patrick Kavanagh

Easter, 1916

I have met them at close of day   
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey   
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head   
Or polite meaningless words,   
Or have lingered awhile and said   
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done   
Of a mocking tale or a gibe   
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,   
Being certain that they and I   
But lived where motley is worn:   
All changed, changed utterly:   
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent   
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers   
When, young and beautiful,   
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school   
And rode our wingèd horse;   
This other his helper and friend   
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,   
So sensitive his nature seemed,   
So daring and sweet his thought.

This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,   
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,   
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone   
Through summer and winter seem   
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road,   
The rider, the birds that range   
From cloud to tumbling cloud,   
Minute by minute they change;   
A shadow of cloud on the stream   
Changes minute by minute;   
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,   
And a horse plashes within it;   
The long-legged moor-hens dive,   
And hens to moor-cocks call;   
Minute by minute they live:   
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.   
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part   
To murmur name upon name,   
As a mother names her child   
When sleep at last has come   
On limbs that had run wild.   
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;   
Was it needless death after all?

For England may keep faith   
For all that is done and said.   
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;   
And what if excess of love   
Bewildered them till they died?   
I write it out in a verse—
MacDonagh and MacBride   
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:   
A terrible beauty is born.

William Butler Yeats 




  2. Hi Nick ~~ I hope you had a good St. Patrick's Day and your post was very good. I
    liked the little Celtic Prayer. I hope you are keeping reasonably well my friend, Thank you so much for the blessings. Much appreciated, Take care,
    Cheers, Merle.
    I see you still have some good jokes.

  3. After reading your post, SSN, I believe that I shall be wearing green today!

  4. Bíodh spraoi Naomh Pádraig lá

  5. Happy St P's day to you, sir!

  6. Thanks for sharing all things Irish with me today. Great post!

  7. Thanks for the post, SSN! Hope you and the kitties are having a nice Saint's Day.

  8. Thank you, Pastor Nick. I miss your celtic worship

  9. Wonderful Saint Patrick's Day post!

  10. Well done, Rev Saint! I especially appreciate the Richard Harris poem.

  11. This is a very nice website. Can I ask where was the first photo taken? The road and the mountains. I want to go there on my next trip. Thanks.

    1. Thank you, Debra. I appreciate your comment. I, too, would like to go there!

      According to my records, that photo was taken near Killarney, a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland.