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Imram (The Death of St. Brendan), part II, by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Apr. 2nd, 2006 | 03:08 pm

'O! stay now father! There's more to say.
  But two things you have told:
The Tree, the Cloud; but you spoke of three.
  The Star in mind do you hold?'

'The Star? Yes, I saw it high and far
  at the parting of the ways,
a light on the edge of the Outer Night
  beyond the Door of Days,
where the round world plunges steeply down,
   but on the old road goes,
as an unseen bridge that on arches runs
   to coasts that no man knows.'

'But men say, father, that ere the end
  you went where none have been.
I would have you tell me, father dear,
   of the last land you have seen.'

'In my mind the Star I still can find,
  and the parting of the seas,
and the breath as sweet and keen as death
  that was borne upon the breeze.
But where they bloom, those flowers fair,
   in what air or land they grow,
what words beyond this world I heard,
  if you would seek to know,
in a boat then, brother, far afloat
  you must labour in the sea,
and find for yourself things out of mind:
  you will learn no more of me.'

In Ireland, over wood and mire,
  in the tower tall and grey,
the knell of Clùain-ferta's bell
  was tolling in green Galway.
Saint Brendan had come to his life's end
  under a rain-clad sky,
and journeyed whence no ship returns,
  and his bones in Ireland lie.

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Comments {6}

Bloody Papist

(no subject)

from: bloodypapist
date: Apr. 2nd, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)


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(no subject)

from: daysprings
date: Apr. 3rd, 2006 12:51 am (UTC)

This is wonderful - thank you for posting!

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(no subject)

from: virescere
date: Apr. 3rd, 2006 04:29 am (UTC)

you're welcome!

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(no subject)

from: catholicpsyche
date: Apr. 3rd, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)


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death of brendan

from: seraphimsigrist
date: Apr. 5th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC)

I love this poem and have written
something on Brendan's Voyage
which was in Parabola Magazine last
year I think, one of my few recent
publications...well cant find a link just
now...dropped by as the livejournal thing
that ananlyzes who is near but not on
friends list brought me and I propose
to exchange friends relation if you
like...just as it seems ...in any case
+Seraphim Joseph Sigrist

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(no subject)

from: esinator87
date: Apr. 6th, 2006 02:09 am (UTC)

[In my mind the Star I still can find,
and the parting of the seas,
and the breath as sweet and keen as death
that was borne upon the breeze.]

Thanks for that, Brendan.

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