The Song of Wandering Aengus…

I WENT out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.


by: W.B. Yeats

‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ is reprinted from An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A. Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.

As I lay half awake, my head scrambled with odd weary dreams, debating my next turn on this winding road we travel as Life, my 3rd and let’s now hope, the final Ephiphany occurred!

Why was I still ‘wandering’ rather aimlessly along, dipping in and out of interests, people’s lives, my own life? Particularly as the ‘gift’ had always lain there often unused or developed but still in essence a part of who I am – and my role as Seanachai – storyteller – still unlived, unheard, laying dormant.

It was time to wake up – literally and metaphorically. The unwritten book, the oft mused upon novel, the half-printed page…..time to indulge, divulge, and finally utter the words so long concealed and webbed within the confines of my meandering mind.

Chance meetings with the ‘right’ people, people who instantaneously ‘got’ me, who ‘saw’ me, recently inspired a return to the ‘old’ ways. I had missed that person – waxing lyrical at will, gaining insight and energy from words, both written and spoken, from philosophy and people who inadvertently crossed my path and relit that torch within. I had missed that gentle, undemanding urge that willed me to rise in the night or at dawn writing for my pleasure, for catharsis, for posterity – yet never, really, for others.

So now My Time has finally come.
An abandoned holiday plan has renewed my need to shed the world awhile and retreat to some place special, to hear the sea, and watch the sun rise and set, alone in contemplation as I once again and with far more inspiration than in recent years ‘cut and peel a hazel wand’
and attach my words, my gift, to the pliable pen now in my hands – having ultimately listened to ‘the fire in my head’

SLAINTE !! one and all ….

4 thoughts on “The Song of Wandering Aengus…

  1. This not only beautiful, lyrical writing but it reminds me so much of myself, somehow … the free and gracious spirit that rises and then is trampled in the need to earn some gold coins, but ever yearning for the fire to never go out. Beautiful and thank you.

  2. Thankyou Philip

    Well, am home and refreshed by my ‘time by the sea!’ and hoping – unlike your good self – to spill out at least a monthly tirade on here 🙂
    Watch this space….!

  3. well , here I am again – ‘alone and lonely loitering’ as Keates penned – and what of this space I created for my sojourn? very little as one can see…it has lain forgotten again for almost 6 months….I surely need to go a-wandering and gather me some more hazel wands very soon……

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