(John Atkinson Grimshaw, The Harvest Moon, oil on canvas, found here)
Not soon shall I forget – a sheet
Of golden water, cold and sweet,
The young moon with her head in veils
Of silver, and the nightingales.
A wain of hay came up the lane –
O fields I shall not walk again,
And trees I shall not see, so still
Against a sky of daffodil!
Fields where my happy heart had rest,
And where my heart was heaviest,
I shall remember them at peace
Drenched in moon-silver like a fleece.
The golden water sweet and cold,
The moon of silver and of gold,
The dew upon the gray grass-spears
I shall remember them with tears.
Katharine Tynan was an Irish poet about whom I know no more than Wikipedia tells me. I found this poem in Walter de la Mare’s lovely anthology Come Hither. It is a bit weepy, but I love its music, and the image of the veiled moon. The first line, ‘Not soon shall I forget’ – but forget I shall, one day – is challenged by the repeated ‘I shall remember’ – and yet what might be several distinct memories (although perhaps not: before I saw the Atkinson Grimshaw painting I could not imagine a yellow sky and silver moonlight at the same time, yet there they are) are already bleeding a little into each other. It reminds me a bit of ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’.
Does anyone know more about Tynan? Do you like this poem?