From the recording TIME WAS
THE HOST OF THE AIR (words by William Butler Yeats)
O’Driscoll drove with a song, / The wild duck and the drake, / From the tall and the tufted reeds / Of the drear Hart Lake. / And he saw how the reeds grew dark / At the coming of night tide, / And dreamed of the long dim hair / Of Bridget his bride.
He heard while he sang and dreamed / A piper piping away, / And never was piping so sad, / And never was piping so gay.
He saw young men and young girls / Who danced on a level place / And Bridget his bride among them / With a sad and gay face. / The dancers crowded about him, / And many a sweet thing said, / And a young man brought him red wine / And a young girl white bread.
But Bridget drew him by the sleeve, / Away from the merry bands, / To old men playing at cards / With a twinkling of ancient hands. / The bread and the wine had a doom, / For these were the hosts of the air; / He sat and played in a dream of her long dim hair.
He played with the merry old men / And thought not of evil chance, / Until one bore Bridget his bride / Away from the merry dance. / He bore her away in his arms, / The handsomest young man there, / And his neck and his breast and his arms / Were drowned in her long dim hair.
O’Driscoll scattered the cards / And out of his dream he awoke; / Old men and young men and young girls / Were gone like drifting smoke; But he heard up high in the air / A piper piping away, / And never was piping so sad, / And never was piping so gay.
© 2012 Louis Rosen, Lullwater Music, ASCAP. All Rights Reserved.