Primrose

Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer
Of one small primrose flowering in my mind.
Better than wealth it is, I said, to find
One small page of Truth's manuscript made clear.
I looked at Christ transfigured without fear--
The light was very beautiful and kind,
And where the Holy Ghost in flame had signed
I read it through the lenses of a tear.
And then my sight grew dim, I could not see
The primrose that had lighted me to Heaven,
And there was but the shadow of a tree
Ghostly among the stars. The years that pass
Like tired soldiers nevermore have given
Moments to see wonders in the grass.


Submitted by Andrew Mayers

by Patrick Kavanagh

Comments (1)

Kavanagh speaks from a moment of childhood illumination, and resorts to religious parallels to describe the impact the transfigured primrose has on his youthful sensibilities. The flower is perceived through tears of gratitude until the blessed moment passes. But it survives as a memory, or epiphany, that continues to flower, lending meaning to his later adult life.