The Night Watch: Caoilte’s Song for Ailbhe

Hushed the night, all in their sleeping,
Dark, with misty cloak, draws near,
I the silent vigil keeping,
O’er you, and many dreaming here.

With the wonder of a child,
Among the trees these wakeful hours,
I will watch the land born wild,
This wood and all beyond, is ours.

In the shadows I am here
Beneath the hearth fires of the sky,
Though creatures creep where nothing’s clear,
I will see they pass us by.

Alone, the night song all about me
Soft spun, woven threads of moon
Rise, as if a tide within me
Spilled over with these thoughts of you.

Soon enough the day’s bright dawning,
Soon to wake the world astir,
And we with sun’s flight take our wandering,
I’ll see you just the way you were.

Swift the days in endless passing,
Uncertainty, our path wound through,
But long since this brief moment’s lasting,
I will ne’er be far from you.


4 thoughts on “The Night Watch: Caoilte’s Song for Ailbhe

  1. Éilis,,that is soooòooo beautiful! So sensitive, so thoughtful. I’m wondering, is he in love with her?

    1. Thanks, Ali! Yes, he was. 🙂 Actually they were both in love with each other for awhile. But ultimately Ailbhe didn’t want children, and Caoilte did, so as I understand they found other relationships but have always stayed fond of each other. They still are. 🙂 Often, Caoilte sang this song to himself on watch, and this was one of those times he shared with me in pictures of a memory.

    1. Thanks! There’s a melody but unfortunately I was singing it during that week when I had to turn everything for the job market, and by the end of the day I couldn’t remember how the melody went. My intuition is that the song’s melody was whatever it happened to be on a particular night and didn’t stay the same. So I might just come up with one. 🙂

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