Rate this poem:(3.00 / 1 vote)

Introit : VIII. The Golden Joy

Thomas MacDonagh 1878 (Cloughjordan) – 1916 (Kilmainham Gaol)



What has the poet but a glorious phrase
And the heart's wisdom? -- Oh, a Joy of gold!
A Joy to mint and squander on the Kind,--
Pure gold coined current for eternity,
Giving dear wealth to men for a long age,
And after, lost to sight and touch of hands,
Leaving a memory that will bud and bloom
And blossom all into a lyric phrase--
The glorious phrase again on other lips,
The heritage of Joy, the heart again,
Wisdom anew that ages not but lives
To Sappho-sing the Poet else forgot.

O Joy! O secret transport of mystic vision,
Who hold'st the keys of Ivory and Horn,
Who join'st the hands of Earth and Faerie!
Thou art the inmate of the hermit soul
That shuns the touch of every street-worn wind
Sweet to all else, the shuns doctrine and doubt,
To wait in trembling quietness for thee.
Thou art the spouse of the busy human mind
That bravely, sanely, bears his worldly part
And claims no favour for the gift of thee:
But, Nature's child, lives true in Nature's right,
Filling the duties of the Tribe of Man,
Keeping the heart, O Joy! untarnished still
And pinion-strong to soar the exalted way.

The Poet guards the philosophic soul
In contemplation that no importunate thought
May mar his ecstasy or change his song;
And though he see the gloom and sing of sorrow,
He is the world's Herald of Joy at last:
His song is Joy, the music that needs sorrow
To fill its closes, as Death fulfils Life,
As Life fills Time, and Time Eternity:
Joy that sees Death, yet in Death sees not woe.

O Joy! the Spring is green -- on many a wall
The roses straggle, on many a tree dew-laden;
And now the waters murmur 'neath their banks
And all the flocks are loud with firstling cries,
And in the heart of life Joy wakes anew
To live a long day ere the winter falls;
And now the song of an invisible lark,
And now a child's voice makes the morning glad;
The kindling sky and the mist-wreathed earth
Have broken from the drowsihood of night,--
Dawn widened grey, but now the orient blush
Is over all the roses on the wall,
Over the drooping trees that wait the winds
To join them to the murmur of the day.

The Pilgrim Seer who journeyed silently
When all the ways were Winter, wild and bare,
Tarries to-day to hear the call of bliss,--
Of Joy, Joy, Joy! thou emblem, symbol, sign
Of all the Pilgrim's dream of Paradise--
The Beatific Vision of Beauty supreme!
Thou art the Angel of the Gate of Heaven!
Thou art the great Vice-regent of the King!

Then forward goes and will not brook Life's house,
Yearning to dwell far away, far away,
In the wide palace of Eternity--
To hold a life beyond this birth and death
With the high Prophets in their calm sublime.--
Ah yet, in Joy's despite, his heart will keep
Memorial futile melancholy thought
Of this and some that never knew the gold!
And so he turns, bows down to toil with men,
To toil and strive and care for earthy cares;
The common life that has her claim on all
Claims him, and yet leaves him his ecstasy;
Knowing the glooms of life and the dark nights,
Sure of the dawns and the white Summer days,
He sings in twilight and the state of Job
One golden Dawn and one enduring Wealth!
So he keeps ever burning in his heart
The fire eternal that will flame and shine
When the man lies compounded with the rest
Who never knew to look upon his light,
Whose light none saw, whose lives are all forgot.
One is Eternity to common man,
Twain to the poet soul;-- though his name die,
Though after fall of years many or few
His phrases wander out of memory's fold,
His soul is twain, a heritage has he,
His dreams are children dreams and parent dreams.

What has the Poet but a glorious phrase
And the heart's wisdom? He has naught to do
With April changes that your lives endue,
Sunshine and shadow. Him your blame and praise
Trouble in calm along the spirit's ways
That are with the great Change, unchanging, true,
With the great Silence where no voice is new
And no voice old -- a train of prophet days.
What but the Golden Joy that sacred stands
As gift of Paradise to human art?
For though the lust of the world still claims and brands
All others, the Joy stands for us apart
And will not fail or tarnish touched by hands
That highly bear the trust of poet heart.

So would I rhythm and rime the glorious phrase
In this Spring lyric morning of my day,
When brown and green and nebulous silver lie
Quiet and happy 'neath the vernal pomp
Of that rich sky,--- the trees a dome of song,
Song in the waters, in the s
Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:17 min read
107 Views

Thomas MacDonagh

Thomas MacDonagh was an Irish political activist, poet, playwright, educationalist and revolutionary leader. He was one of the seven leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916, a signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and Commandant of the 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, which fought in Jacob's biscuit factory. He was executed for his part in the Rising at the age of thirty-eight. MacDonagh was a teacher at St. Enda's School and later as a lecturer at University College Dublin. He was a member of the Gaelic League, where he befriended Patrick Pearse and Eoin MacNeill. He was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers with MacNeill and Pearse. He wrote poetry and plays. more…

All Thomas MacDonagh poems | Thomas MacDonagh Books

(0 fans)

Discuss this Thomas MacDonagh poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Introit : VIII. The Golden Joy" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 7 Oct. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/43543/introit-%3A-viii.-the-golden-joy>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    October 2022

    Poetry Contest

    Enter our monthly contest for the chance to win cash prizes and gain recognition for your talent.
    24
    days
    12
    hours
    50
    minutes

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Who wrote the poem One Art?
    • A. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    • B. E. E. Cummings
    • C. Sylvia Plath
    • D. Elizabeth Bishop