We speak another language
Time has made it smooth
As the river makes the stone smooth.
It is a language teeming with light
Bold as a bell at midnight
Old as a feather on still waters
Ripe as a mountain at dusk.
We speak another language:
Fickle as the salt breeze
Elusive as a well is deep,
It nests among the tall reeds.
The language we speak is untarnished and bright
But far from home
The words become wooden
Because the river will flow in one bed only
Because the light is keenest closest to the source.
We speak another language,
And when we do,
Skylarks fly off the tongue,
The sounds are purple berries
– geimhreadh, tine; solas, coinneal; leanbh, dreoilín.
The words speak of things, as words will,
But their meaning is a journey
To a continent rich in harbourage
And when we sing them
They fill the sail the mast creaks
And the boats race homeward
On a quick tide.