Eclogue from Iceland

Scene: The Arnarvatn Heath. Craven, Ryan and the ghost of Grettir. Voice from Europe.

R. This is the place, Craven, the end of our way; Hobble the horses, we have had a long day.

C. The night is closing like a fist And the long glacier lost in mist.

R. Few folk come this time of year. What are those limping steps I hear?

C. Look, there he is coming now. We shall have some company anyhow.

R. It must be the mist--he looks so big; He is walking lame in the left leg.

G. Good evening, strangers. So you too Are on the run? I welcome you. I am Grettir Asmundson, Dead many years. My day is done. But you whose day is sputtering yet I forget. . . . What did I say? We forget when we are dead The blue and red, the grey and gay. Your day spits with a damp wick, Will fizzle out if you're not quick. Men have been chilled to death who kissed Wives of mist, forgetting their own Kind who live out of the wind. My memory goes, goes-----Tell me Are there men now whose compass leads Them always down forbidden roads? Greedy young men who take their pick Of what they want but have no luck; Who leap the toothed and dour crevasse

-29-

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The Earth Compels
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents 3
  • Carrickfergus 7
  • June Thunder 9
  • The Sunlight on the Garden 10
  • Chess 11
  • The Heated Minutes 12
  • Iceland 13
  • Solvitur Acris Hiems 16
  • Passage Steamer 17
  • Circus 18
  • Homage to Clichés 22
  • On Those Islands 25
  • Eclogue from Iceland 29
  • Eclogue Between the Motherless 40
  • Leaving Barra 47
  • Hidden Ice 49
  • Taken for Granted 50
  • Thank You 51
  • Books, Do Not Look at Me 52
  • Only Let It Form 53
  • Now That the Shapes of Mist 54
  • Christmas Shopping 55
  • Bagpipe Music 58
  • Rugby Football Excursion 60
  • Epilogue 62
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