We've had the magpies back again,
We've had the birthday shower of rain,
The morning glinty,
And all the birds that know the song
Are pushing the quick tune along,
Big Red's twenty.
We Irish have our very own
Goddess of love, and paragon,
Name of Bridé.
The Bride's-day fires glow for her
Lustrous as her own red hair
And twice as tidy.
Red they call her, Shining-clear …
A Pagan? It depends, my dear,
On how you spell it.
She's like the sacred book itself,
Fresh-printed, yet not on the shelf,
To hear you tell it.
Now blue patches thin the sky,
The garden's left to call and cry
And streaming water,
The cats lie in the grass and peer
As if they might discover there
An elder daughter.
Anyway, the birds don't care,
They slide and glitter in the air
With songs of plenty
And need no urging, and no quarrel,
To sing as for a birthday carol,
Red is twenty.