The swelling of the year

Because today is Imbolc and because the Earthweal prompt mentions it, here’s another poem for Brigid.

Painting by Evelyn de Morgan.

The swelling of the year

The rising of the first milk is come again
to the full bellies of the ewes,
and the rising of spring water into rushing rills.

Will we light the fire to burst the buds and melt the snow?
Will we pick the first snowdrops in the hollows
where Brigid’s feet have trod?

Listen to the church bell ring,
bronze and thin, it calls in the wind,
but some hear an older song.

The gull swallows its lament, easy as a silver mackerel,
while in the hollows of Brigid’s fiery tread,
white bells rise and nod, unstilled.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

13 thoughts on “The swelling of the year”

  1. This is gorgeous, if you’ll pardon the gush, and it holds the essence of the oldest promises of Spring, which brought back life to a dead landscape and a hungry people. This spell-song to Brigid is the perfect messenger, and sung on every right note here.

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you like this! We need something to hold onto at this time of the year when the hungriest time is still to come, and maybe the coldest time too. If Brigid didn’t exist, we’d have had to invent her 🙂

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