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Title: Sprays of Shamrock
Author: Scollard, Clinton, 1860-1932
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sprays of Shamrock" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.







  MUCKROSS                                  3
  THE HILL OF MAEVE                         5
  AT KILLYBEGS                              7
  THE CRIPPLE                               8
  AN EXILE                                  9
  ABBEYDORNEY                              10
  A SONG FOR JOYCE'S COUNTRY               12
  ETCHING AT NIGHT                         16
  THE SPECTRAL ROWERS                      17
  TYRCONNELL                               18
  THE WAY OF THE CROSS                     19
  THE ISLE OF DOOM                         20
  DESMOND                                  21
  THE LITTLE CREEK COONANA                 22
  O'DONNELL ABOO                           23
  NIGHTFALL IN SLIGO                       24
  CARROWMORE                               26
  ON CARAGH LAKE                           27
  RAHINANE                                 28
  THE WIND OF MOURNE                       29
  MAN AND MAID                             30
  THE HUNTER                               32
  RAIN SONG                                33
  A ROVER                                  34
  QUEENS                                   35
  THE WONDERS                              36
  AT MONAREE                               37
  HEATHER SONG                             38
  OFF CONNEMARA                            39
  POPPIES AT MONASTERAVEN                  40
  THE GLEN OF CASTLEMAINE                  41
  SONG                                     42
  KILMELCHEDOR                             43
  AT DINGLE                                44
  BACK TO KILLARNEY                        45
  GLENCAR WATER                            46
  FROM DERRY TO KERRY                      47
  A KING IN KERRY                          48
  A KERRY LAD                              51
  A KERRY DAY                              52
  A KERRY ROAD                             53
  A KERRY GARDEN                           54
  DOWN IN KERRY                            55
  HOLY WELLS                               56
  LOW TIDE                                 57
  THE "BOHAREEN"                           58
  AN IRISH IDYL                            60
  AN IRISH LASS                            61
  THE BRIDGE OF LUCKEEN                    62
  DONEGAL                                  64
  AN IRISH SONG                            66


 _Just a few songs of her,
  Not of the wrongs of her
    Many and bitter and long though they be,--
  Songs of the hills of her,
  Songs of the rills of her,
    Ireland, set like a gem in the sea!_

 _Just a few songs of her,
  Not of the thongs of her,
    She that is bound, and yet fain would be free,--
  Songs of the gleams of her,
  Glamours and dreams of her,
    Ireland, girt by the arms of the sea!_


  At night there came unto MacCarthy More
  A hooded vision with a voice that said,
  "Go thou straightway and raise a house to God
  Upon the spot where stands the Rock of Song!"
  So with the golden lifting of the dawn
  Upsprang the chieftain and loud called his kerns,
  And bade them seek the Rock. For many a day
  They roved the sweeping meads and fens and fells
  In fruitless search, and ever forth again
  Relentlessly he drove them from his hold
  Beside the dimpling waters of Lough Leane.
  "The Rock!" he cried, "find ye the Rock of Song!"
  And still they found it not. Then the gaunt chief,
  His long locks hoary with the frost of years,
  Girded himself, and turned his tottering steps
  Abroad in the soft lengthening of the dusk
  Athwart a woodland close, and saw and heard
  A little maid, her pitcher held at poise,
  Singing an old lament in minors clear
  And plaintive as the twilight, words that voiced
  The poignant, passionate yearning of the soul.
  "A sign!" the spent man whispered low, "a sign!"
  And on the spot he raised a house to God.



  This is the hill of Maeve, the queen,
  A mighty bulwark of gray-green

  Whereon was set, by hands unknown,
  A rugged monument of stone.

  The great winds mourn, and sobs the wave
  Beneath the lichened cairn of Maeve.


  From many a rocky Leitrim height
  O'er Lough Gill's waters, blue and bright,

  From where Benbulbin fronts the foam,
  And sees the Sligo ships put home,

  Maeve's hill is like a pharos flame,
  As is eternally her name!


  'Neath azure tides of morning air
  Ripple the waves of Ballysadare

  Under where frowning Knocknarea
  Looks o'er the Rosses far to sea,--

  Looks far to sea, remembering
  Maeve's loveliness, a vanished thing.


  The cromlechs, gray with eld, below,
  Recall the dreams of long ago,--

  The dreams of kern and king, both slave
  To beauty, and the white Queen Maeve;

  And though she slumbers, deep, so deep,
  Her golden memory may not sleep!


  At Killybegs above the crags
    The gray gulls pipe with voices thinned,
  And all the green trees are like flags
    That wave and waver in the wind.

  At Killybegs about the dunes
    Rustle the crispy grass and whin,
  And low the long tide croons and croons
    As it creeps out, as it creeps in.

  At Killybegs the white sails race
    When the blue sea is like a floor;
  Like doubt night falls with haggard face;
    Sometimes the ships return no more.

  The brown bee drains the cottage flowers
    Of honey to their crimson dregs,
  And love hath many happy hours
    'Twixt birth and death at Killybegs!


  I have dreams of the outer islands,
    Firths and forths of the Far-Away;
  I have dreams of the heathery highlands
    Under the golden day.

  I have dreams of a sliding river--
    Shannon--under the stars and sun;
  I have dreams how the oar-blades quiver,
    And the silvery salmon run.

  I have dreams of a blithe lad striding
    Out through the streets of Limerick-town;
  I have dreams of a sweet maid biding
    Under a thatch of brown.

  But here I lie all huddled and hidden,
    (Oh, the eternity it seems!)
  Brooding desolate and bed-ridden,
    Living only in dreams!


  I can remember the plaint of the wind on the moor,
    Crying at dawning, and crying at shut of the day,
  And the call of the gulls that is eerie and dreary and dour,
    And the sound of the surge as it breaks on the beach of the bay.

  I can remember the thatch of the cot and the byre,
    And the green of the garth just under the dip of the fells,
  And the low of the kine, and the settle that stood by the fire,
    And the reek of the peat, and the redolent heathery smells.

  And I long for it all though the roses around me are red,
    And the arch of the sky overhead has bright blue for a lure,
  And glad were the heart of me, glad, if my feet could but tread
    The path, as of old, that led upward and over the moor!


  Abbeydorney, Abbeydorney,
    Long ago thy race was run,
  Prone thou art 'mid thickets thorny,
    Shrine of Kyrie Eleison!

  Scarcely now a wild rose petal
    The neglected cloister owns,
  And the flaunting dock and nettle
    Wave above the chancel stones.

  Once through Kerry twilights tender
    Vesper bells their anthems tolled,
  And 'mid chants, in churchly splendor,
    Princely abbots were enrolled.

  Tall Fitz Maurice with his crozier,
    O'Clonarchy of Lismore,
  They are less now than the osier
    Swaying by the Cashen's shore!

  Only when the moon is hidden,
    Only when the moor-winds rave,
  Eerily arise unbidden
    Ghostly transept, ghostly nave.

  Only when the night grows denser
    March the bent monks one by one,
  Singing to the sway of censer,
    _Kyrie--Kyrie Eleison!_

  So, amid thy thickets thorny,
    All thy state and glory seem,
  Abbeydorney, Abbeydorney,
    Like a dim and fleeting dream!


  O a song for Joyce's Country, where the grim wild mountains be,
  And the wind wails over the moorland as the wind wails over the sea,
  Where the new moon's silver sickle sees little of grain to reap,
  And the wraith of the mist goes creeping as soft as the feet of sleep!

  O a song for Joyce's Country, and the lonely loughs that lie,
  Wrapt in the cloak of silence, under the great gray sky;
  For the glens that have held in keeping for more than a thousand springs
  The ancient Druid wonders and the secrets of the kings!

  O a song for Joyce's Country, and the graves of the mightiest men
  That ever had birth in Erin! Will their like e'er come again?
  Men of the thews of titans, of the strong, unwavering hand,
  Who wrested a meagre guerdon from the breast of this lean land!

  O a song for Joyce's Country, since it haunts one like a dream
  That comes in the dusk ere dawning, ere the first bright sunrise beam;
  A dream of dolor and vastness, of clouds that are swept and swirled
  O'er the desolate wastes and waters of a joy-forsaken world!


  It was Sir Frederick Hamilton's men
    Were hungry for the fray,
  And it was a son of the bog and fen
    Would guide them on their way.

  By the good book an oath he took,
    This glib and open guide,
  And so it was over bent and brook
    They needs must up and ride.

  They rode them fast, they rode them far,
    By day's last fitful flame,
  Until, by the light of the evening star,
    To a heathery slope they came.

  Then spake the guide, with a glint of pride,
    With a catch of his breath spake he,
  "Ye may fall, if over the crest ye ride,
    On the Irish enemy!

  "When I drop my cloak by yon stunted oak,
    Do ye ply the lash and spurs,
  And there 'll be no one see another sun
    Of the popish worshippers!"

  He has gone to the crest by the dwarfèd tree,
    He has crept on foot and hand,
  And now with a wave his cloak drops he
    As a sign to the waiting band.

  Oh, it 's ride, Sir Frederick Hamilton's men,
    Ye men of ire and brawn,
  And it 's smile, ye son of the bog and fen,
    To see them urge swift on!

  Did they purge with the sword the Irish camp?
    Nay, for the story saith
  Through the evening dusk, through the evening damp,
    They rode to a tryst with death.

  It was over a cliff that was black and sheer
    To the vale of fair Glencar
  That they plunged with frenzied shrieks of fear
    'Neath the eye of the mountain star.

  Oh, it was Sir Frederick Hamilton's men
    Set forth to smite and slay,
  And it was a son of the bog and fen
    That guided them on their way!


  I wandered in the streets of Galway-town,
  When night had let her dusky curtains down,
  And in a doorway, tall and fair and slight,
  Framed by an inner beam of golden light,
  Beheld a maiden of madonna face,
  Pensive and sad, yet with a nameless grace,
  Presage, I thought, of the unfolding years,
  That hide some things that are too deep for tears!


  What is that shimmering line of white
  Gliding under the stark midnight--
  Where the river gleams when the moon is bright?

  There is never a sound save the night bird's cry,
  And the languid water lapsing by--
  Under the arch of a leaden sky.

  'T is the winding Garavogue's spectral crew,
  Bound for the port of dreams-come-true--
  With a swinging stroke that is firm and true.

  Do they ever reach their bourn? may be;
  Yet who can say?--not we!--not we!--
  Ere morn comes over the hills to the sea.

  'T is so with all of the visions of man,
  Howe'er he strive and howe'er he plan--
  For life, alas, is a narrow span!


  They crowned Tyrconnell
    On the rock of Doon;
  "Hail! hail!" they said,
  To that anointed head,
  The henchman all;
  They led him to the hall;
  "Hail! hail! Tyrconnell!"
  How the rafters rang!
  Clang! clang!
  How the blades out-sprang,
    Like shimmering lake-water underneath the moon!

  They slew Tyrconnell
    On the rock of Doon;
  "Traitor!" they said,
  Of that anointed head,
  The henchmen all
  Who haled him from the hall;
  "Base, base Tyrconnell!"
  How the scabbards rang!--
  Clang! clang!
  As the blades out-sprang,
    Like shimmering lake-water underneath the moon!


  Where the wild sea-mew flocks and flees,
    And neither winds nor skies beguile,
  Foam-set amid the Irish seas
    Is rugged Skellig Michael isle.

  Up its escarpments, rough and grim,
    To its bleak summit rimmed with moss,
  The monks of old with prayer and hymn
    Hewed out the weary "Way of the Cross."

  Gone are these holy toilers--gone;
    They rest now in their long repose,
  From the red dusk to the red dawn,
    'Neath the sea-pinks and tangled rose.

  But sorrow bides with us and ill,
    And stress and sacrifice and loss,
  And we must strive to meet them still
    Climbing the weary "Way of the Cross."


  Out of the mist off Galway shore,
    Out of the morning mist,
  Rose the island of Hy Brasail
    With its crags of amethyst;

  Crags of purple and amethyst,
    And meads of gleaming green,
  Rose the island of Hy Brasail
    With a shimmer of sea between.

  And what shall come to Galway shore,
    What shadow of doom prevail,
  With this fading dream of the mists of morn,
    This island of Hy Brasail?


  By the "Church of the Name" lies Desmond,
    The body of Desmond lies,
  And the wind of the east cries "Desmond,"
    And "Desmond" the west wind cries.

  And the wind of the south calls "Desmond,"
    And "Desmond" the north wind calls,
  As it sweeps round the keep Ardnagreagh,
    The keep of the crumbling walls.

  And the dawn wind grieves for Desmond,
    And "Desmond" the night wind sighs;
  And where is the head of Desmond,
    He of the dusk-deep eyes?

  They buried the body of Desmond
    Hard by the "Church of the Name,"
  But they hung the head of Desmond
    High o'er the Gate of Shame.

  Yet he was a brave man, Desmond,
    A man of a hundred score,
  So all the winds of the upper air,
    They mourn for him evermore.


  Oh, the little creek Coonana,
    How clear it runs and cold
  Where "Conn of the hundred battles"
    Fought in the days of old!

  Only the long wind dirges,
    Only the long wind cries,
  Where the giant Knocknatubber
    Mounts to the vast gray skies.

  Only the wind and the surges
    Moan and moan and moan,
  But the little creek Coonana,
    It sings in a merry tone.

  Only the wind and the surges
    Have aught to do with fears;
  Only the wind and the surges
    Tell the tale of tears.

  But the little creek Coonana,
    It lilteth cheerily
  Where the giant Knocknatubber
    Glooms on the glooming sea.


  Out of Ulster came O'Donnell,
    Black O'Donnell and his crew,--
  Kelly, More, Mac Carthy, Connell,
    Joined the cry--"O'Donnell Aboo!"

  Woe once more, red woe for Kerry,
    Blood-drops were as mountain dew
  When that cry so mad, yet merry,
    Rang and rang--"O'Donnell Aboo!"

  Gone those sanguine days of slaughter,
    Sword and matchlock, pike and brand;
  Peace now o'er the ways of water,
    Peace o'er all the length of land.

  Yet sometimes when night is sealing
    Cairn and ruined shrine from view,
  Down the Kerry glens goes pealing
    That wild cry--"O'Donnell Aboo!"



  I heard the bells of Sligo say
  The tranquil requiem of day.

  I saw the fires of sunset burn
  Dim in the great west's golden urn.

  O'er Calvary's sharp spire afar
  Clear flowered one hyacinthine star.

  Then mother Night her children hid
  Under her purple coverlid.


  Well can I recall that eve at Sligo,
  And the vacant arches of the abbey
  Framing the ethereal rose of sunset!
  Round about me silence and gray shadow
  Peopled with the wraiths of time departed,--
  Monks with back-thrown cowls who pace the cloisters
  Now deep-mounded, crumbled, clad with ivy.
  No more from the tower their chimes of silver
  Will the bells fling o'er the town and river,
  O'er the Garavogue soft-gliding seaward!
  Nevermore--save in deep dreams at midnight.
  Death, the immemorial lord of mortals,
  He is abbot in the aisles of Sligo
  Till the spheres proclaim the resurrection!


  The gray winds call o'er Carrowmore,
    Call in the white of the dawn,
  And the grasses sigh o'er Carrowmore
    When the purple night draws on.

  The cromlechs stand on Carrowmore
    As they 've stood since who can say;
  And the thin wraiths flit o'er Carrowmore
    Between the dusk and the day.

  There 's never a hush on Carrowmore
    Come autumn or come spring,
  For, oh, the tongues of Carrowmore,
    They are fain of whispering!

  And over and over Carrowmore
    'T will be ever thus, meseems,--
  Like the winnow of wings o'er Carrowmore
    The surge of the tide of dreams!



  On Caragh lake the evening light
    Is violet and amethyst,
  And the dark shadows of the pines
    In silence keep their twilight tryst.

  And high beyond the purple groves,
    The sweeping moors, the climbing fells,
  The rugged Kerry mountains stand
    Like grim eternal sentinels.

  In dying whispers on the shore
    The ripples lap, the ripples break,
  And there is peace beyond all words
    As night descends on Caragh lake!


  In unexpected grooves of flight
    A blundering bat swoops swiftly by;
  From out a coppice drifts a bird's
    Last plaintive melody.

  The lake is like a mirror dim
    With no disturbing breath to mar,
  While o'er a lonely fell there burns
    One white vespernal star.


  Wrapt in mist and washed with rain
  Is the hill of Rahinane;
  Compassed by the hosts of sleep
  Is its keep.

  Only shadows come and go;
  Only wraiths flit to and fro;
  And the bat, grotesque and blind,
  And the wind.

  Just a shard of shattered hope
  On a barren Kerry slope;
  Just a ruin in the rain,


  The wind of Mourne comes over the hill,
    Over the hill with a trill of song,
  And the word of the wind sets my heart athrill,--
    "Though life is brief, yet love is long!"

  I seek my sweet where the roses stir,
    And the stars overhead are a marching throng,
  And this is the tale that I tell to her,--
    "Though life is brief, yet love is long!"


  "I know a lad in Leitrim, I know a lad," said she,
  "I know a lad in Leitrim would give his heart for me!"

  "I know a maid in Mayo, I know a maid," said he,
  "I know a maid in Mayo would give her heart to me!"

  "Go to your maid in Mayo, go to your maid," cried she;
  "Go to your maid in Mayo, for all--for all of me!"

  "Go to your lad in Leitrim, go to your lad," cried he,
  "Go to your lad in Leitrim, for all--for all of me!"

  "And yet--and yet--" she faltered, "and yet--and yet," blushed she,
  "That lad may stay in Leitrim! It 's here I 'd rather be!"

  "And yet--and yet--" he echoed, "and yet--and yet--" smiled he,
  "That maid may stay in Mayo. It 's there I 'd have her be!"

  'T is merry down in Kerry beside the laughing sea;
  'T is merry down in Kerry when man and maid agree!


  I crept up Benbulbin a-hunting the boar;
  Mist swooped on the heather, mist swept down the shore,
  And all of the tongues of the mountain, they murmured behind and before.

  Then out of a cleft rose a terrible cry,
  And a form like a demon went ravening by,
  And I fell in a quake on the moss, and I thought I should die.

  I 'm no hunting man now, and I sit by the fire,
  And whenever the wind keens around by the byre,
  I shiver and rock like a reed that has root in the mire.

  And if you 're a young man, and sound to the core,
  And a sweet maid is waiting you home at the door,
  Beware how you creep up Benbulbin a-hunting the boar!


  Oh, it 's gray rain in the valleys,
    White rain where the moorland lies,
  And in from the bleak sea-borders
    A gust that keens and cries.

  Sheep huddle in the hollows,
    And the cattle seek the byre,
  But I must be up and faring
    Away from the warm peat fire;

  I must be up and faring,
    For this is the hour of tryst,
  And Sheilah will be waiting
    At the glen amid the mist.

  Oh, what 's gray rain to lovers,
    And what though white rains fall,
  When blue skies shine in Sheilah's eyes
    For a lad of Donegal!


  Oh, I am just a rover
    Among the roving men
  Who loves to watch the sunlight
    Upon the flowering fen;

  Who fain would feel the heather
    Dew-soft beneath his tread
  When morning parts the cloud-wrack
    Above Benbulbin's head;

  Who likes to lie and linger
    Until the rising moon
  Shows all her midnight glories
    High o'er the Lough of Cloon;

  Whose feet were shaped to follow
    The road's eternal lure
  From stormy Stockarudden
    To sunny Knockanure!

  But since there 's Sheilah calling,
    ('T is love that 's in her call!)
  Faith, I am just a rover
    Who 'll rove no more at all!


  Fair Maeve, that was queen of Beauty,
    Whither, whither has she gone?
  Ask the cairn that over Sligo
    Lifts its stones to greet the dawn!

  Deirdre, that was queen of Sorrow,
    Whither, whither has she fled?
  Ask the woods of Finglas Water
    That once knew her lissome tread!

  Queens!--they are no more than mortal;
    Even they must pale and pass
  Like the prismy dews of dawning
    On the heather and the grass!


  I dream of the ancient wonders, of the isle of Hy Brasail
  That rides through the mists of Mayo, then fades like a fading sail;
  I dream of the ancient wonders, but there 's one that haunts me more,
  'T is the faun-like grace of Moira upon Lough Corib's shore.

  I dream of the ancient wonders, of the wells of Death and Life,
  Of the voices of the Forest that quell both hate and strife;
  I dream of the ancient wonders, but greater than them all
  Is the luring laugh of Moira when day 's at evenfall.

  I dream of the ancient wonders, of the Cross caught up in air,
  Of the swan of sweet Feale Water that was a maiden fair;
  I dream of the ancient wonders, but each fades in eclipse
  At the lifted arms of Moira, and Moira's lifted lips!


  When springtime comes to Monaree I know
  How the blue hyacinths blow,
  And how the daffodil lights its golden glow.

  These blossoms are remembrancers of those
  Who lie in long repose,
  Lost to our earthly scenes of joys and woes,--

  The saints of other days. How fair to see
  These living emblems be
  Of their good deeds--with spring at Monaree!


  Blue weather, blue weather abroad on the moors,
  And the cry of the wind that elates and allures;
    Sing "hey" and sing "ho" for the heather!

  The brook in the bracken, it prattles and purls,
  And the lips of the rose are as red as a girl's;
    Sing "hey" and sing "ho" for the heather!

  And the path that leads up from the stile at the start
  Is the path of my longing, the path of my heart;
    Sing "hey" and sing "ho" for the heather!

  For I know I shall find her, my fair heather-bell,
  In the warm little dip at the crest of the fell,
  And her smile, ah, the burden of love it will tell!
    Sing "hey" and sing "ho" for the heather!


  Off the coast of Connemara,
    Sailor, sailor, what 's the hail?
  "Dip the sail to Saint Macdara--
    Dip the sail!"
  So we dipped it as we tripped it
    Southward with the fluting gale.

  Long ago did Saint Macdara
    Pass beyond this mortal pale;
  Yet to-day off Connemara
    Deeds of godliness avail;
  Where the good old saint said masses
  Every sailor, as he passes,
    Dips the sail.


  As clear on my mind are graven
    As the carving upon a shield
  The poppies at Monasteraven,
    And the cottage in the field;

  The glint of a thick thorn coppice
    Greenly girdling all,
  And the glow of the scarlet poppies
    Under the cottage wall!

  Just a fleeting vision
    Caught as I hurried by,
  A little scene elysian
    Under the morning sky.

  For some one a happy haven,
    It thus to my heart appealed,
  The poppies at Monasteraven,
    And the cottage in the field.


  Oh, the shadows they lie deep in the glen of Castlemaine,
  Purple as the gulfs of sleep, gray as are the drifts of rain!
  Here are eerie feet that creep when the moon is on the wane.

  In the glen of Castlemaine there are eldritch tongues that call;
  And the little leaves have words that will hold the heart in thrall.
  In the glen of Castlemaine there 's a glamour over all.

  For the fays have cast their spell o'er the glen of Castlemaine;
  There is brooding wonder there, but no dream of blight or bane;
  Here, if you have loved and lost, you may find your love again!


  Just the sun on a slope of heather,
    The long blue wind and the open sea;
  All the cares of the world in tether,
    And nobody there but you and me!

  That 's my wish in the golden weather;
    Love, you echo the wish with me?
  Come, then, ho, for the slope of heather,
    The long blue wind and the open sea!


  Far removed from strife and war
  Is the shrine of Kilmelchedor;
  O'er one crumbling archway see
  Clearly graven--_Domine!_

  Master then and master still,
  How we lean upon His will
  Who forevermore will be
  Unto all men--_Domine!_


  At Dingle, upon sand and shingle,
    Softly the ripples curve and creep;
  Without the white-caps meet and mingle,
    Without the breakers range and leap.

  Here there is calm, here there is quiet,
    And the sweet sense of long delay;
  There time and tide by winds that riot
    Seem from their moorings swept away.

  Which will you choose from life, my masters,--
    Where waves are lulled to dream at ease,
  Or, in the face of grim disasters,
    To sail with daring down the seas?


  Oh, it 's back to Killarney, the glow and the gleam of it,
    Back to Killarney for me;
  Back to Killarney, the vision and dream of it,
    Back to Killarney, my own countrie!

  Back to Killarney at sun or at shower-time,
    Back to Killarney for me;
  Back to Killarney at frost or at flower-time,
    Back to Killarney, my own countrie!

  Back to Killarney whose soil seems a part of me,
    Back to Killarney for me;
  Back to Killarney to soothe the sad heart of me,
    Back to Killarney, my own countrie!


  I stood by Glencar Water
    When spring filled all the air,
  And, oh, by Glencar Water
    It 's a lovely place to fare!

  The song of Glencar Water
    It has such silvery frets;
  And there, by Glencar Water,
    Are banks of violets.

  But harsh seems Glencar Water
    To Norah's soft replies,
  And the flowers by Glencar Water
    Are naught to Norah's eyes!


  'Twixt Derry and Kerry there 's many a mile;
    They 've right men in Derry, no doubt;
  But give me the Kerry man's blarneying smile,
  And give me the Kerry girl's conjuring wile,
    And lips, like a peach, in a pout!

  And give me the sails tacking in to Tralee,
    And the dip of the bluff Dingle bows,
  And under Beenaman the surge of the sea,
  The heathery slopes that are haunts for the bee
    Where Carraghmore raises its brows!

  From Derry to Kerry the leagues they are long
    For a foot-weary rover to wend,
  But I take the far track with a snatch of a song,
  And a ready forgetting of aught that is wrong,
    If Kerry 's the goal at the end!


  I dreamed a dream, mavourneen, I dreamed a dream yestreen,
  That I was King in Kerry, and you were Galway's Queen.

  I roused and ranged about me three score of burnished spears,
  And rode across the moorland, the north wind round my ears.

  It bore me buoyant tidings,--your beauty and your grace,--
  And, as I galloped forward, I yearned upon your face.

  We fared by Abbeydorney, Listowel and Lixnaw,
  Where all my word was wisdom, and all my look was law.

  We never paused to bivouac; we never paused to sleep
  Where murmurous Feale Water ran shallow or ran deep.

  We swam the swirl of Shannon; we hurled back to his lair
  The blustering O'Brien who ruled the kerns of Claire.

  Then, mire and foam-bespattered, about the dusk of day
  We came where Galway's turrets loomed over Galway's bay.

  The silence throbbed with trumpets, tumultuous, elate,
  And you, a flower of wonder, bloomed in the castle gate.

  You made the flush of sunset seem but a pallid thing;
  Your voice had all the rapture that trembles through the spring.

  Within your eyes the love-light was glory after drouth;
  All summer's hoarded honey was one kiss from your mouth.

  Deirdre, whose tragic beauty the great Cuchullin knew,
  And Maeve, the long lamented, sooth, what were they to you!

  In through the rush-strewn hallway you led us to the feast;
  And when the wine was drunken there stood the stolèd priest.

  He oped the holy bride-book; he read the marriage rite;
  And then--and then--mavourneen, it was our wedding night!

  Would I might dream it over, the dream I dreamed yestreen,
  That I was King in Kerry, and you were Galway's Queen!


  There 's a Kerry lad a-wandering across the dipping sea,
    A Kerry lad a-wandering the foam,
  And oh, the swelling joy of it, the joy that there will be
    When that wandering Kerry lad comes home!

  There 'll be glad voices calling him, glad voices in the street,
    And hands to clasp the hands of the gossoon;
  There 'll be soft winds a-whispering above the fields of peat,
    And little birds a-carolling in tune!

  The Kerry sky 'll be bluer then, for all the clouds will part,
    And greener 'll be the grass above the loam,
  And oh, the happy feeling in one lonely Irish heart
    When that wandering Kerry lad comes home!


  Under the sweep of a fell the smoke-reek curls and drifts
    Where a white-walled cottage stands nestling amid the green;
  Kerry skies above arched with their azure rifts
    Where a glint of sun peeps through to brighten the peaceful scene.

  Cattle stand at graze, and there are the piles of peat,
    And there is the swift Feale Water rimpling, dimpling away;
  And there are the cocks of hay, and the smell of the hay is sweet,
    And this is the round and sum of a quiet Kerry day!


  Snow of the blackberry bloom, purple of heather bells,
    The fir and the oak tree boughs with the ivy round them twining;
  Sheen of a distant lake, brown of the dipping fells,
    Racing clouds overhead, and the fitful sun a-shining!

  Bracken and thorn and whin, and somewhere a cheeping bird;
    Pits of peat, and, then, a cart with its cheery load;
  In from Dingle Bay the wind with its ancient word;
    On and up and on--and this is a Kerry road!


  There 's a garden that slopes to the south and the sun,
    A garden in Kerry I know,
  Where the poppy 's a-bloom, and the red roses run
  O'er the wall, and the pampas-plume's streamers seem spun
  Of the floss of the moon in the dusk watches won,
    And the lake is a-shimmer below.

  There 's a garden that 's fair, be it day, be it night,
    A garden in Kerry I know,
  And never an orient dream of delight
  Can match with this garden so sweet to my sight,
  For here is heart's home to a wandering wight,--
    It calls me wherever I go!


  Down in Kerry maids are merry,
    Down in Kerry maids are fair;
  Laughin' eyes an' lips o' cherry
    From Feale Water to Kenmare!

  Sunny weather in the heather,
    Sunny weather everywhere,
  Be but man an' maid together
    From Feale Water to Kenmare!

  Care a-sheddin', naught a-dreadin',
    With just one my steps to share,
  That 's the road that I 'd be treadin'
    From Feale Water to Kenmare!


  At Toberaribba,
    Sooth, what do you think,
  'T is not holy water
    They go for to drink!

  At Tobernanavin,
    As sure as you 're born,
  There 's dancing and prancing
    And juice of the corn!

  At Tobernacerta,
    They sport on the green;
  There 's laughing and chaffing,
    And lots of poteen!

  At Tobernaglashy,
    With moss at the brink,
  There 's much holy water,
    But not for to drink!


  The sun on the reeds an' rushes,
    An' the sand outstretched before,
  An' the sun on the kelp an' shingle
    Away off Galway shore.

  An' the sun on the rocks behind me,
    Bright on the gorse an' whin,
  An' the sun on the slantin' dories
    With their white sails tackin' in.

  Oh, I 'll be gay o' the sunlight,
    Glad of its glint an' grace,
  If its beams will only show me
    The smile on one sailor's face!


  In the kingdom they call "Kerry" there 's a "bohareen" goes climbin'
    Above the thatch o' cots at Ballymore--
  A little rovin' footway--an' the goat bells keep a-chimin'
    In the heather slopin' upward from the shore

  For the slopes are clad with heather, noddin' heather, purple heather,
    Where the bees make honey-music in the noon;
  An' if you should chance to stray there in a scrap o' sunny weather
    A warbler will be tossin' you a tune.

  An' you can look to seaward through the gray-green gulf o' wonder
    An' watch the slantin' sails a-dippin' far,
  An' you can mark about you how the rocks are rent asunder,
    An' the heights are mountin' up to reach the star.

  But it 's not the sea below it, nor the craggy crests above it,
    Nor the bracken with the mosses soft between,
  Nor the droopin' bells o' heather, nay, it 's not for these I love it,
    That wanderin', that windin' "bohareen!"

  But a thought that keeps a-chimin' in my heart like tender rhymin'
    Of one who clambered upward from the shore--
  Whose feet with mine kept timin' as the pair o' us went climbin'
    Long ago that "bohareen" at Ballymore!

        [1] "Bohareen," bypath.


  As I stood amid the bracken, as I stood amid the fern,
  I could hear the merry bicker, the blithe bicker of the burn.
    Bees were hummin', softly hummin';
    "She 's a comin'! She 's a comin'!"
  With a little spurt of laughter called the brook at every turn.

  "Watch her! watch her! watch her! watch her!" cried a curlew overhead;
  An' I knew that it was Norah by the trippin' of her tread;
    An' a gentle wind a croonin'
    In the silence of the noonin'--
  "Dare you kiss her? dare you kiss her?" were the saucy words it said.

  Sure, it stirred the heart within me, did that tauntin' of the wind,
  For the selfsame heart I mentioned was a sort of darin' kind;
    When she came within my reachin'
    There was no pause for beseechin',
  For I kissed her, an' I kissed her, an', faith, Norah didn't mind!


  My love has kissed me on the lips an' sailed beyond the sea,
  An', sooth, that was a sorry day for Terrence an' for me,
  An' yet I whispered him "God speed" his fortune for to win,
  For there 's little gold in Ireland save that upon the whin!

  Like weary feet the days drag by; the heart o' me is sad;
  The keenin' o' the wind at night, it nearly drives me mad;
  The cries o' children in the street, they quaver lorn an' thin,
  For there 's little gold in Ireland save that upon the whin!

  But when my own lad comes again, ah, colleen, 't will be sweet;
  There 'll be the peal o' weddin' bells across the fields o' peat;
  Faith, I can hear him sayin' it, with his shy sort o' grin,
  "There 's more gold now in Ireland than that upon the whin!"


  One day as I stood at the Bridge of Luckeen,
  Above the bright water all glancin' an' green,
  There strayed down the path from the top of the pass
  Such a slim little, prim little, trim little lass.

  "Oho!" then quoth I, and "aha!" murmured she,
  With as pretty a curtsy as ever you 'd see;
  "Won't you pause?" I inquired; "I don't mind," said her mien,
  So we looked, side by side, from the Bridge of Luckeen.

  How the minutes flew by, an' the stream how it flowed,
  While never a soul came along by the road;
  An' I thought her eyes sweeter than Maeve ever knew,
  An' she deemed me far bolder than Brian Boru!

  There 's a priest that ties knots, so the knowin' ones say,
  In a neat little church in the town of Glenbeigh;
  If he 'll tie just one more, I 'll be thinkin', I ween,
  If there 's luck anywhere, there is luck at Luckeen!


  We made Donegal in the teeth of gray weather,
    We made Donegal with the wind blowing free,
  And the spindrift at toss like a snowy gull's feather
    Where the highlands lean down to the lips of the sea.

  We left Donegal in the azure blue weather,
    We left Donegal with a soft breeze a-lee,
  With bees in the broom and the sun on the heather,
    And scarcely a ripple astir on the sea.

  But give me to come in the teeth of gray weather,
    Oh, give me to come with the wind blowing free,
  And love's arms to clasp in their welcoming tether
    A wanderer worn with the toils of the sea!

  For 't is sorrow to go in the azure blue weather,
    'T is sorrow to go with a soft breeze a-lee,
  Leaving love's yearning arms where one fain would find tether,
    Watching dear Donegal sinking down in the sea!


  Over me lifts the peat-reek
    That parts and drifts and veers,
  And the wind's uneasy moaning
    Is loud about mine ears.

  The waves upon the shingle
    They murmur drearily,
  And the streamers of the fog-wraith
    Drive in from the open sea.

  The mist hangs over the passes,
    The mist hangs over the moors,
  And the eerie cry of the curlew
    It quavers and endures.

  And it all is lonely, lonely,
    And there 's sorrow on every face,
  But the heart of me needs must love it,
    For the land is mine own place!


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  | Transcriber's notes:                                         |
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  | The original book printed contractions (as opposed to        |
  | elisions) with a spaced apostrophe: this has been retained.  |
  |                                                              |
  | Minor typographical corrections are documented in the source |
  | of the associated html version.                              |
  |                                                              |

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