Turlough O'Carolan At Brabazon House
When she met him in Swinford, touching his famous hand,
she could not have known the desire within his silence,
could not have guessed her own influence, her care-free voice
entering him, planting visions in his sleepless future.
Nor, as she wheeled the harp to her father's banquet table,
that their blind guest might conjure an imageless beauty,
could she have imagined O'Carolan committing to memory,
so minutely, the sea-whispers of her gown.
Far from the simplicity other youth was the musician's hunger,
far his porter-wet beard, his bed of frozen grass crackling
under a bodhran moon. Far too his final night, that old fondness
almost quenching the apparition: Her, the Brabazon waneen,
Approaching him across a field, like the field's intention;
picking the tether of his mind from the earth, standing over him,
rousing with her laughter the voles in their nettle baskets,
and prompting the near-dead harper to speak to the darkness.