The Scribe

For weariness my hand writes ill,
My small, sharp quill runs rough and slow;
Its slender beak with failing craft
Puts forth its draught of dark, blue flow.

And yet God’s blessed wisdom gleams
And streams beneath my fair-brown palm
The while quick jets of holly ink
The letters link of prayer or psalm.

So, still my dripping pen is fain
To cross the plain of parchment white,
Unceasing at some rich man’s call,
Till wearied all am I to-night.

From the Irish of Saint Columbkille.