The Monk Maelanfaid

A poem by Michael Earls

Maelanfaid saw a tiny bird
A-grieving on the ground,
And O, the sad lament he heard,
That sorrow's self might sound:
He could not read a note or word
The song of grief inwound.

Maelanfaid went within his cell
To keep a fast and pray,
To listen to a voice would tell
The mystery away:
What was the red long pain befell
The bird of grief all day?

"Maelanfaid," airy voices call,
"MacOcha Molv is dead,
Who killed no creature great or small,
Who helped all life instead:
Now griefs of bird and blossom fall
Around his funeral bed."

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