Not a St Patrick poem, but an Irish one, nevertheless. A
(St Columba banging on the gate of Bridei 1906,
J R Skelton)
From Crimthan, sly fox, to Columba,
dove of the church, was a coracle ride
and a conviction that the battle was His.
So the prince swapped his pillow for a stone,
his blackthorn cudgel for an olive branch,
dying daily till oratory steps
were illuminated with a white light.
And he who refused all wool and linen
was comforted by robes of righteousness
for his ultimate peregrination
in the hold of one who calmed the waters
and who was true High King of all Ireland.
* Celtic Christians called a spiritual journey which involved
self-sacrifice “white martyrdom”.
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