The long song
The song is always: if only.
(Not the song of the trees
Not the song of the falling waters,
Nor the wind that carries the grey storm wrack),
But the song of those huddled about the fires,
Bone thin, crack-voiced.
And the song too
Of the squire and laird,
Dissatisfied with their winnings,
Their great gambled losses.
Only those covered by the hills
Covered by the rath, the dun,
The hawthorn bent and ringing,
Only the eternal dancers
Have found another song,
They sing of the edges between things,
The instant when one slips into other,
The knife blade of love into hate,
The cry of the oystercatcher
That spins from joy to grief to joy,
And is all and is none of these things.
They know the call of gold,
Have tasted its dust.
They know the answer to freedom,
(What all seek and none understand),
Have left it, found it,
Given it up.
Those in dream need no other dream.
Those who know they are in dream
Delight in twilights,
The subtle glance,
The hesitant dance.
But here, bombastic, needy
Sure of something, the nation stands
Once more calling for something
That cannot be given.
It cannot be given,
This independence, this freedom you seek.
It cannot be offered, it cannot be bargained for,
It cannot be voted in, it cannot be passed in law.
You will never see it, never reach it.
Nor is it a haven, a prize, a reward, a right.
The house of freedom
Is the empty wall by the long shore.
The house of independence
Is a house open to clouds,
A mist of trees within.