Is acher ingaith innocht
fufuasan fairggae findfolt
ni agor reimm mora minn
dondlaechraid lainn ua
The wind is rough tonight
tossing the white combed ocean.
I need not dread fierce Vikings
crossing the Irish Sea.
—St. Gall Priscian, margin gloss.
The blossom’s almost done,
It falls without a sigh, my love,
Like mist dies in the sun.
The wind is blowing wild, my love,
It rattles the window pane,
It cries like a lost child, my love,
Her tears fall like the rain.
A child you’ll never know, my love,
For I could not make you stay,
You followed the high tide’s flow, my love,
And a ship took you away.
Our tears could fill the sea, my love,
Beneath this cruel sky,
For you’ll not come back to me, my love,
Though the tide is running high.
—"The running tide",
taking Christopher down with me,
Bitter and wild is the wind tonight,
tossing the tresses of the sea to white.
On such a night as this I lie at ease;
fierce Northmen only course the quiet seas.
—Early Irish poem (unattributed)
night with eyes of water in the field asleep
is in your eyes, a horse that trembles,
is in your eyes of a secret water.
Eyes of shadow-water,
eyes of well-water,
eyes of dream-water.
Silence and solitude,
two little animals moon-led,
drink in your eyes,
drink in those waters.
If you open your eyes,
night opens, doors of musk,
the secret kingdom of the water opens
flowing from the center of night.
And if you close your eyes,
a river fills you from within,
flows forward, darkens you:
night brings its wetness to beaches in your soul.
—"Agua Nocturna (Water Night)",
Octavio Paz (translation: Muriel Rukeyser)
Spring water, Japan. Photographed by Kicub Keane (Flickr).