A Dream of Solstice by Seamus Heaney

Qual e colui che sognando vede,
che dopo 'l sogno la passione impressa
rimane, and the other one is non-ried,
cotal son io…
Dante, Paradiso, Canto 33

Like someone who sees things when he's dreaming
and after the dream lives with the aftermath
of what he felt, no other trace remaining,

so I live now, for what I saw dearts
and is almost lost, although a distilled sweetness
still drops from it into my inner heart.

It is same with snow the sun releases,
the same as when in wind, the hurtled leaves
swirl around your ankles and the shaking hedges

that had flopped their catkin cuff-lace and green sleeves
are sleet-whipped bare. Dawn light began stealing
through the cold universe to county Meath,

over weirs where the river Boyne goes curling
imperturbably, over standing stones
millennia deep in their own unmoving

and unmoved alignment. And now the planet turns
its clay-cold brow as a watching crowd stands still
in the wired-off precinct of the burial mounds,

Flight 104 from New York audible
as it descends on schedule into Dublin,
the car park silent, assembled people

waiting for seedling light on roof and windscreen,
for the added sun to riddle through the murk
and overboiling cloud, for a mild glow

and eastern dazzle
to send first light like share-shine in a furrow
steadily deeper, further available,

creeping along the floor of the passage grave
to brick and capstone, holding its candle
to the world inside the astronomic cave.

Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney, published in “A Meath Anthology", by Tom French and Patrick Duffy

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