“The Rose of Silence”: A Celtic poem by Ella Young

In a green stillness hidden from sun and moon
Under the sea,
A blossom swings by the High-Queen’s doon…

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I cannot claim much knowledge of Ella Young beyond her Wikipedia article, nor have I studied this poem. But it seems to speak of a little bit of myth, something magical and beautiful, and I like it.

The Rose of Silence

By Ella Young (1867 – 1956)

In a green stillness hidden from sun and moon

Under the sea,

A blossom swings by the High-Queen’s doon.*

On a silver tree;

And every poet has dreamed since time begun

Of that hidden place,

But only those who have said farewell to the sun

May come to the doon by the silver tree

Or find in hollow or height,

Under the still green tideless sea

The Rose of Silence and Night.

*fortress

The Book of Celtic Verse, ed. John Matthews. New York: Metro Books, 2010, 21.

Author: David

I’m a young Christian American reader writer dreamer wanderer walker flier listener talker scholar adventurer musician word-magician romantic critic religious idealist optipessimist man.

4 thoughts on ““The Rose of Silence”: A Celtic poem by Ella Young”

  1. I am liking this one as well. It has that mythic quality that permeates Celtic literature that always leaves one feeling as if she’s seen some sort of mirror behind the screen, a place within or beneath the world we think we know. I’d be interested to read more by her; can you dig up any more information?

    1. Well, beyond her Wikipedia article you can do a Google search on her. This site says she was part of the Celtic Revival and an Irish mystic. Doubt we’d think much of her spiritual beliefs, but it seems she had a nice gift for poetry and storytelling. Also interesting, she apparently ran guns for the IRA during the Rising in the 1910s, later coming to America to teach at UC Berkeley. *shrug*

  2. Ella was an amazing poet and authority on Celtic myth. If you are interested in learning more about her and her work you will be pleased to know about the book I co-edited with John Matthews “At the Gates of Dawn: A Collection of Writings by Ella Young” available on Amazon. She is well worth exploring!

    1. Thanks!!! I will look for “At the Gates of Dawn” – as I already have treasures by John and Caitlin Matthews. I’ll add that “Celtic Wonder Tales,” which Ella Young crafted in her own way in 1910 as part of the resurgence of Irish language/lore – (note: the tales reflect the traditional Tuatha de Danaan characters) – is a treasure. In the poem above “the rose of silence and night” echoes how the Danaan lords and Brigid faced the chaos of earth – it’s dark monsters and its wailing – because Earth dreamed of beauty and music light. The opening song sung by Brigid is so poetic. Together, with her encouragement and her mantle, and the 4 jewels of SWORD, SPEAR, CAULDRON, and STONE, they co-create a place for beauty and stillness – called Ireland.

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