Irish, author, unknown, ninth century
￼Fair woman, will you go with me to the high land
where sweet music is? There your hair is like the primrose
And people stroll with snow-white skin.
In the high land, there is neither yours nor mine.
The women’s teeth are white; the men’s eyes are black and clear.
Every cheek is the pink of foxglove.
The meadows of Ireland are fair to see –
But they are like a desert when you have seen the high land;
Irish ale is fine to drink – but in the high land
the wine they serve will turn your head into a cloud.
In the place, I speak of, the young do not die before their time;
They serve the old ones, who are wise
and shield the young in turn.
￼Sweet dreams flow always through the fair land
and the minds of the people are clear
as skin with no blemish,
as a child’s face in the virgin morning.
When we walk together there, you will see
these men and ladies,
you will see them on all sides, tall, and fair and kind.
But they will not see us.
For Adam’s transgression is a dark cloak around us,
￼and it means we cannot be seen, or counted among them.
(Martin Shaw & Tony Hoagland, Cinderbiter)
The missus almost immediately picked up that C.S. Lewis, consciously or unconsciously, echoed this old Irish poem in The Great Divorce.