A Cradle Song

O men from the fields,
Come gently within.
Tread softly, softly
O men coming in!
Mavourneen is going
From me and from you,
Where Mary will fold him
With mantle of blue!
From reek of the smoke
And cold of the floor
And the peering of things
Across the half-door.
O men of the fields,
Soft, softly come thro'
Mary puts round him
Her mantle of blue.

by Padraic Colum

Comments (2)

Beautifully set to music by Arnold Bax.
Tender, sensitive, vaguely ominous (lines 5 and 6) . Am I misreading this as telling of the dying of his child? If 'Mary' is the Virgin (her color is blue) , then we might assume the child is being taken to heaven wrapped in her mantle. Remarkable poem.