The Curse of Mora

by Ethna Carbery (Anna MacManus)

The fretted fires of Mora
Blew o’er him in the night,
He thrills no more at loving,
Nor weeps for lost delight,
For when those flames have bitten
Both joy and grief take flight.

Around his path the shadows
Stalk ever grim and high:
Spears flash in hands long withered,
And dented shields give cry;
Or misty woman-faces
Laugh out, and pass him by.

He hath the curse of Mora —
Yet blessed of all is he
Whose dew-wet eyes uplifted
See what we fain would see —
One crowned with scarlet berries
Of the sacred quicken tree.

He hears the wild Green Harper
Chant sweet a fairy rune,
And through the sleeping-silence
His feet must track the tune
When the world is barred and speckled
With silver of the moon.

Thus is he doomed till Judgment —
Although the cairn should hold
His fevered heart in quiet,
And hide his hair of gold,
His soul shall wander seeking,
And its quest be never told.