.                           THE MASS OF THE BIRDS.

++++++ (From the Welsh of Davyth Ap Gwylym,

+++++ an Anglesea Bard of the Fourteenth Century.)

+++ This morning, lying couched amid the grass
+++ In the deep deep dingle south of Llangwyth’s Pass,
+++++ While it was yet neither quite bright nor dark,
+++ I heard a new and wonderful High Mass.
+++++ The Chief Priest was the Nightingale : the Lark
+++ And Thrush assisted him ; and some small bird
+++++ (I do not weet his name) acted as Clerk.
+++ My spirit was lapt in ecstasy : each word,
+++ Word after word, thrilled through me like the deep
+++ Rich music of a dream : not wholly asleep
+++ Nor all awake was I, but, as it were,
+++++ Tranced somewhere between one state and the other.
+++++ All heavy thoughts that through the long day smother
+++ Man’s heart and soul with weariness and care
+++++ Were gone, and in their place reigned pure delight.
+++++ The nightingale, sent from a far and bright
+++ Land by my golden sister, prophesied
+++++ Of blessèd days to come, in a sweet voice ;
+++++ And the small Bird responding, sang, “Rejoice ! Rejoice !”
+++ I heard his little bell tinkle and jingle
+++ With a clear silver sound that filled the dingle.
+++ Heaven is a state wherein Bliss and Devotion mingle,
+++++ And such was mine this morn : I could have died
+++ Of rapture !  Never knelt upon his hassock
+++++ Bishop or deacon with a holier feeling.
+++ How beautifully shone the Thrush’s cassock,
+++++ Covered all over with a thousand strange
+++++ And lovely flowers, like those upon an Arabesque ceiling !
+++ The altar seemed of such resplendent gold
+++++ As no man, even a miser, would exchange
+++ For all the jewels in the East of old.
+++ Two hours I lay admiring all I saw,
+++++ Yet those two hours appeared to me no more
+++ Than as a moment : I look back with awe
+++ And wonder at what then I thought and felt,
+++++ And would give all my fame, and all my lore,
+++++ Yea, even almost my life, but to restore
+++ The rapturous emotions that then dwelt
+++++ Within my bosom !  Ah ! this may not be—
+++ But glory unto Gᴏᴅ, who in His infinite love
+++++ Created Man to enjoy to eternity
+++ Even greater happiness in His own Heaven above !


++++++++++++++++++++– translation by James Clarence Mangan





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