Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
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Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
 
177. A Silent Mouth
 
By Cathal O'Bryne
 
 
O LITTLE green leaf on the bough, you hear the lark in morn,
You hear the grey feet of the wind stir in the shimmering corn,
You hear, low down in the grass,
The Singing Sidhe as they pass,
Do you ever hear, O little green flame,        5
My loved one calling, whispering my name?
 
O little green leaf on the bough, like my lips you must ever be dumb,
For a maiden may never speak until love to her heart says “Come.”
A mouth in its silence is sweet
But my heart cries loud when we meet,        10
And I turn my head with a bitter sigh
When the boy who has stolen my love, unheeding, goes by.
 
I have made my heart as the stones in the street for his tread,
I have made my love as the shadow that falls from his dear gold head,
But the stones with his footsteps ring,        15
And the shadow keeps following,
And just as the quiet shadow goes ever beside or before,
So must I go silent and lonely and loveless for evermore.
 

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