The Trepidation of the Druids
by William Wordsworth
SCREAMS round the Arch-druid
's brow the seamew
's foam; and toward the mystic ring
s stand, the Future questioning,
Slowly the cormorant
aims her heavy flight,
Portending ruin to each baleful rite,
That, in the lapse of ages
, hath crept o'er
truths, and patriarchal lore
Haughty the Bard
: can these meek doctrines blight
His transports? Wither his heroic strains?
But all shall be fulfilled;--the Julian
A way first opened; and, with Roman
The tidings come of Jesus
They come--they spread--the weak, the suffering, hear;
Receive the faith
, and in hope abide
One of William Wordsworth's more obscure poems. Essentially the story of the coming of Christianity to Ireland. We begin with the druid and all the sybol's of the old pagan Celtic religion. The cormorant is a bad omen for the ancient priests. Diluvian truths or the flood stories and patriarchal lore are both allusions to the religion of Abraham's children. The poem ends with Rome conquering Ireland and bringing their religion. It is quickly adopted (though some might ay adapted) by the Irish. But that last line, that one is the clincher, pure Wordsworth. Elegantly powerfull even in its simplicity.
"Receive the faith and in hope abide."
This poem is best read aloud, preferably on a lonely, windy hilltop.