Patrick Kavanagh

On Reading a Book on Common Wild Flowers

O the prickly sow thistle that grew in the hollow of the Near Field. I used it as a high jump coming home in the evening – A hurdle race over the puce blossoms of the sow thistles. Am I late? Am I tired? Is my heart sealed From the ravening passion that will eat it out Till there is not one pure moment left? O the greater fleabane that grew at the back of the potato-pit. I often trampled through it looking for rabbit burrows! The burnet saxifrage was there in profusion And the autumn gentian – I knew them all by eyesight long before I knew their names. We were in love before we were introduced. Let me not moralize or have remorse, for these names Purify a corner of my mind; I jump over them and rub them with my hands, And a free moment appears brand new and spacious Where I may live beyond the reach of desire.

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