Oh Paddy, oh Paddy! Long have you and I
held difference perspectives, not seen eye to eye,
nor found much in common, through legend or faith,
or some shared experience wrangling with wraiths.
I wonder, St. Patrick; and wonder makes doubt:
disabling sureness of what one’s about.
Is that what’s called “testing” or “trials” in life,
when words said against you cut like a dull knife
and nip at your ankles, like so many snakes,
while waiting so patient for your heart to break?
There is no reward save a deed in itself,
so never mind waiting in silence and stealth,
but swing that shillelagh as hard as you can!
The wheat and the chaff that cling fast to a man
can turn him to shadow and blind him to truth,
and leave him a feeble reminder of youth.
I wonder, St. Paddy, if a shallow grave,
the rest for both cowards and foolishly brave,
grows grass that is greener than one dug so deep
that who lies there never awakens from sleep.
17 MAR 2016