A sunless maze of tangled lanes enfold
The magic dwellings of the forest race,
Whose hidden shapes are flames that leave no trace
At mid-moon when the Druid’s dream is told;
The shadows of enchanted orchards hold
Red thatch of wings and woad-stained doors that face
The wandering stars, and guard the sacred place
Where faery women thread their warps with gold
The dragon knight shall lose his strength of hand
Nor ever raise his long leaf-shapen shield,
If he but follow where the white deer roam;
And never will the mariner reach land
When harps ring seaward as the dawn fires yield
The golden caer upon the ninth wave’s foam.
A Druid Town is one of Six Celtic Sonnets written by Thomas Samuel Jones and included in From the Isles of Dream: Visionary Stories and Poems of the Celtic Renaissance, selected by John Matthews and with a foreword by Robin Williamson (Floris Books, 1993).
Thomas Samuel Jones (1882-1932) came from Welsh and Irish stock and was born in Oneida County, New York State, near the Adirondack Mountains. Each of the six sonnets reflects a facet of Celtic tradition. They were originally published in 1930 as part of the collection Aknahton and Other Sonnets. For those of us who resonate with Druid and Celtic spirituality, they are part of our modern cultural ancestry.