Be Still As You Are Beautiful

WORDS: Patrick MacDonagh (1902 - 1961)
MUSIC: Tim Dennehy
VIOLA: Nollaig Ní Chathasaigh
KEYBOARD: Garry O'Briain

MacDonagh was born in the North of Ireland in 1902. The best of his work is gathered in the 1958 volume, 'One Landscape Still'. Broadcaster Liam O Murchú chose 'Be Still As You Are Beautiful' as his favourite poem when contributing to the 'Lifelines', collection. In his introduction he writes, 'A perfect lyric, as lovely as the best of Yeats and with a haunting and masterly sense of rhythm and sound'.
Be still as you are beautiful,
Be silent as the rose;
Through miles of starlit countryside
Unspoken worship flows
To find you in your loveless room
From lonely men whom daylight gave
The blessing of your passing face
Impenetrably grave.

A white owl in the lichened wood
Is circling silently,
More secret and more silent yet
Must be your love to me.
Thus, while about my dreaming head
Your soul in ceaseless vigil goes,
Be still as you are beautiful,
Be silent as the rose.