a child made me see the light grew dim seer of one small primrose flowering in flame moments to find one small primrose holy ghosting then my sign i read it is said i will never find one small primrose then wealth it is said one small page a tear and a seer the holy ghost in the lenses of a chair and a tree ghost in flame moments to heaven and the glass stars the light was very beautiful and kind and here was its shadow a tear one small primrose flowers in the stars the lenses of a tree light was but the shadow of a chair truth’s manuscript made see wonders nevermore hanged
Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer
Of one small primrose flowering in my mind.
Better than wealth it is, said I, to find
One small page of Truth’s manuscript made clear.
I looked at Christ transfigured without fear—
The light was very beautiful and kind,
And where the Holy Ghost in flame had signed
I read it through the lenses of a tear.
And then my sight grew dim, I could not see
The primrose that had lighted me to Heaven,
And there was but a shadow of a tree
Ghostly among the stars. The years that pass
Like tired soldiers nevermore have given
Moments to see wonders in the grass.
Source & further reading: Kavanagh, Patrick. "Primrose." Collected Poems. New York: W. W. Norton, 1964. Print, p. 75. Fitts, Dudley. "Loving Evocation of Irish Life." New York Times, 24 August 1947. Web. Garratt, Robert F., "Patrick Kavanagh and the Killing of the Irish Revival." Colby Library Quarterly, Volume 17, no.3, September 1981. Web.