David Ap Gwillam At The Mass Of The Birds

THE Thrush, the Lark, and, chief, the Nightingale,
With one small bird whose name I do not ken,
Offered a Mass; the little bird was clerk,
At intervals he struck his silver bell.
The stars above that were but whitened then
The candles were; the altar was a stone;
Myself was there, with meet observances
Hearing the Mass the birds said in the dell.

It was the Lark who sang in dark's decrease
Kyrie Eleison; then the Nightingale
The Consecration chanted solemnly.
(The silver bell was rung for him in chief.)
And then the Thrush, the dweller in the vale,
Orate Fratres sang how near, how clear!
The Thrush it was who, as the sun appeared,
Held up the Monstrance, a dew-circled leaf!

by Padraic Colum

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