Matthew Deneau Hyndman, The Stolen Child
On September 30, 1999, five years ago today, Matthew Deneau Hyndman came into our lives ... and left. Matthew was stillborn after Nicky carried him (almost) to full term. The day remains the worst in our lives and we can only hope that our loss of Matthew will endure as our biggest personal tragedy. Time and life have dulled the intensity of the emotions from five years ago, but Matthew keeps an important place in our hearts and our lives. Nicky and I will always think of him as our second child. And Alex and Abby know of him and have some small sense of the loss (a very small sense: they're 4 and 6). My lack of any real creative ability limits my avenues for expression to my small knack for discovering and selecting music appropriate to an occasion or audience. To deal with our loss of Matthew and to share my grief with family and friends I put together a CD at the time, Dear Matthew. One of the songs on the CD was The Stolen Child, the poem by WB Yeats, beautifully put to music by The Waterboys. The poem was read when we spread Matthew’s ashes at the point in front of our family cottage in Keppoch.
Where dips the rocky highland Of Sleuth Wood in the lake, There lies a leafy island Where flapping herons wake The drowsy water-rats; There we've hid our faery vats, Full of berries And of reddest stolen cherries Come away, human child To the water and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Where the wave of moonlight glosses The dim grey sands with light, Far off by furthest Rosses We foot it all the night, Weaving olden dances, Mingling hands and mingling glances Till the moon has taken flight; To and fro we leap And chase the frothy bubbles, While the world is full of troubles And is anxious in its sleep Come away, human child To the water and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Where the wandering water gushes From the hills above Glen-Car, In pools among the rushes That scarce could bathe a star, We seek for slumbering trout And whispering in their ears Give them unquiet dreams; Leaning softly out From ferns that drop their tears Over the young streams Come away, human child To the water and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Away with us he's going, The solemn-eyed: He'll hear no more the lowing Of the calves on the warm hillside Or the kettle on the hob Sing peace into his breast, Or see the brown mice bob Round and round the oatmeal-chest For he comes, the human child, To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, From a world more full of weeping than he can understand
Lately I've been listening to another song that makes me think of Matthew, Ben Harper's Amen Omen. I'll make it available for download here to share with family and friends.
We love you, Matthew.