The Wayfarer


The Wayfarer by Padraic Pearse is a somewhat sombre poem. He talks about the joyful things in life, but ends with the negative note that all good things come to an end.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

The Wayfarer was voted as Ireland’s 20th favourite poem by readers of the Irish Times in 1999.

As well as being a successful writer, Pearse was also a fierce Irish nationalist and was a leading member of the Easter Rising.

In Memory of my Mother by Patrick Kavanagh. Image copyright Ireland Calling

The Wayfarer

The beauty of the world has made me sad.
This beauty that will pass.

Sometimes my heart has shaken with great joy
To see a leaping squirrel on a tree
Or a red ladybird upon a stalk.

Or little rabbits, in a field at evening,
Lit by a slanty sun.

Or some green hill, where shadows drifted by,
Some quiet hill,
Where mountainy man has sown, and soon will reap,
Near to the gate of heaven.

Or little children with bare feet
Upon the sands of some ebbed sea,
Or playing in the streets
Of little towns in Connacht.

Things young and happy.

And then my heart has told me –
These will pass,
Will pass and change,
Will die and be no more.

Things bright, and green.
Things young, and happy.

And I have gone upon my way, sorrowful.

The Wayfarer by Padraic Pearse. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems