Orkney: Carol – George Mackay Brown


Fix on one star, at last,
Any star
In the circling star blizzard.
That star will take you
To Death and Birth and Love.

Folded it is now, the dove,
Furled, star-folded.
The black rain falls,
The bitter floods rise still.
What hand
Will take the branch from the dove’s beak?

We stand, three vagrants, at the last door.
A black fist
Lingers, a star, on withered wood.

This poem has been set to music by  Peter Maxwell Davies and I heard it on the radio as part of the Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings College, Cambridge.

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