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Title: A Book of Irish Verse - Selected from modern writers with an introduction and notes - by W. B. Yeats
Author: Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939
Language: English
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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.

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      A BOOK OF IRISH VERSE



           A BOOK OF

          IRISH VERSE

    SELECTED FROM MODERN WRITERS
       WITH AN INTRODUCTION
           AND NOTES
         BY W.B. YEATS

          METHUEN AND CO.
    36 ESSEX STREET, W.C. LONDON
               1900

        _Revised Edition_


    W.H. WHITE AND CO. LTD.
    RIVERSIDE PRESS, EDINBURGH


             TO THE MEMBERS

                  OF

   THE NATIONAL LITERARY SOCIETY OF DUBLIN

                AND THE

  IRISH LITERARY SOCIETY OF LONDON CONTENTS


                                                                   PAGE

  Preface                                                          xiii

  Modern Irish Poetry                                              xvii

  Old Age                     _Oliver Goldsmith_ (1725-1774)          1

  The Village Preacher            "        "        "    "            2

  The Deserter's Meditation   _John Philpot Curran_ (1750--1817)      3

  'Thou canst not boast'      _Richard Brinsley Sheridan_ (1751-1816) 4

  Kathleen O'More             _James Nugent Reynolds_ (   -1802)      5

  The Groves of Blarney       _Richard Alfred Milliken_ (1767-1815)   6

  The Light of other Days     _Thomas Moore_ (1779-1852)             10

  'At the Mid Hour of
  Night'                         "       "      "    "               11

  The Burial of Sir John
  Moore                       _Rev. Charles Wolfe_ (1791-1823)       12

  The Convict of Clonmel      _Jeremiah Joseph Callanan_ (1795-1839) 14

  The Outlaw of Loch Lene         "        "       "                 16

  Dirge of O'Sullivan Bear        "        "       "                 17

  Love Song                   _George Darley_ (1795-1846)            20

  The Whistlin' Thief         _Samuel Lover_ (1797-1868)             22

  Soggarth Aroon              _John Banim_ (1798-1842)               24

  Dark Rosaleen               _James Clarence Mangan_ (1803-1849)    27

  Lament for the Princes
  of Tyrone and Tyrconnell       "       "       "                   31
  A Lamentation for the
  Death of Sir Maurice
  Fitzgerald                     "       "       "                   41

  The Woman of Three
  Cows                        _James Clarence Mangan_ (1803-1849)    43

  Prince Alfrid's Itinerary
  through Ireland                "       "        "                  47

  O'Hussey's Ode to The
  Maguire                        "       "        "                  50

  The Nameless One               "       "        "                  55

  Siberia                        "       "        "                  57

  Hy-Brasail                  _Gerald Griffin_ (1803-1840)           59

  Mo Craoibhin Cno            _Edward Walsh_ (1805-1850)             61

  Mairgréad Ni Chealleadh        "      "       "    "               63

  From the Cold Sod
  that's o'er you                "      "       "    "               65

  The Fairy Nurse                "      "       "    "               67

  A cuisle geal mo chroidhe   _Michael Doheny_ (1805-1863)           69

  Lament of the Irish
  Emigrant                    _Lady Dufferin_ (1807-1867)            71

  The Welshmen of
  Tirawley                    _Sir Samuel Ferguson_ (1810-1886)      74

  Aideen's Grave                "    "       "         "    "        91

  Deirdre's Lament for
  the Sons of Usnach            "    "       "         "    "        99

  The Fair Hills of Ireland     "    "       "         "    "       102

  Lament over the Ruins
  of the Abbey of Timoleague    "    "       "         "    "       104

  The Fairy Well of Lagnanay    "    "       "         "    "       107

  On the Death of Thomas
  Davis                         "    "       "         "    "       111

  The County of Mayo          _George Fox_                          115

  The Wedding of the
  Clans                       _Aubrey de Vere_ (1814)               117

  The Little Black Rose       _Aubrey de Vere_ (1814)               119
  Song                           "    "    "      "                 120

  The Bard Ethell                "    "    "      "                 121

  Lament for the Death
  of Eoghan Ruadh
  O'Neill                     _Thomas Davis_ (1814-1845)            135

  Maire Bhan Astór               "      "       "    "              138

  O! the Marriage                "      "       "    "              140

  A Plea for Love                "      "       "    "              142

  Remembrance                 _Emily Brontë_ (1818-1848)            143

  A Fragment from 'The
  Prisoner: a Fragment'          "      "       "    "              145

  Last Lines                     "      "       "    "              147

  The Memory of the Dead      _John Kells Ingram_ (? 1820)          148

  The Winding Banks of
  Erne                        _William Allingham_ (1824-1889)       150

  The Fairies                     "         "        "    "         157

  The Abbot of Inisfalen.         "         "        "    "         160

  Twilight Voices                 "         "        "    "         164

  'Four Ducks on a Pond'          "         "        "    "         166

  The Lover and Birds             "         "        "    "         167

  The Celts                    _Thomas D'Arcy McGee_ (1825-1868)    169
  Salutation to the Celts         "      "     "                    172

  The Gobban Saor                 "      "     "                    174

  Patrick Sheehan             _Charles J. Kickham_ (1825-1882)      176

  The Irish Peasant Girl          "    "     "        "    "        180

  To God and Ireland
  True                        _Ellen O'Leary_ (1831-1889)           182

  The Banshee                 _John Todhunter_ (1836)               183

  Aghadoe                        "      "         "                 186

  A Mad Song                  _Hester Sigerson_                     188

  Lady Margaret's Song        _Edward Dowden_ (1843)                188

  Song                        _Arthur O'Shaughnessy_ (1844-1881)    189

  Father O'Flynn              _Alfred Perceval Graves_ (1846)       191

  Song                        _Rosa Gilbert_                        192

  Requiescat                  _Oscar Wilde_ (1855)                  193

  The Lament of Queen
  Maev                        _Thomas William Rolleston_ (1857)     195

  The Dead at Clonmacnois        "       "        "         "       197

  The Spell-struck               "       "        "         "       198

  'Were you on the
  Mountain?'                  _Douglas Hyde_                        199

  'My Grief on the Sea'           "      "                          200

  My Love, O, she is my
  Love                            "      "                          201

  I shall not die for thee        "      "                          204

  Riddles                         "      "                          205

  Lough Bray                  _Rose Kavanagh_ (1861-1891)           206

  The Children of Lir         _Katharine Tynan Hinkson_             209

  St. Francis to the Birds        "        "      "                 212

  Sheep and Lambs                 "        "      "                 215

  The Gardener Sage               "        "      "                 216

  The Dark Man                _Nora Hopper_                         218

  The Fairy Fiddler             "      "                            219

  Our Thrones Decay           _A.E._                                220

  Immortality                    "                                  221

  The Great Breath               "                                  221

  Sung on a By-way               "                                  222

  Dream Love                     "                                  223

  Illusion                       "                                  223

  Janus                          "                                  224

  Connla's Well                  "                                  225A

  Names                       _John Eglinton_                       226A

  That                        _Charles Weekes_                      227A

  Think                           "      "                          227A

  Te Martyrum Candidatus      _Lionel Johnson_                      228A

  The Church of a Dream          "       "                          229A

  Ways of War                    "       "                          230A

  The Red Wind                _Lionel Johnson_                      231A

  Celtic Speech                  "       "                          232A

  To Morfydd                     "       "                          225

  Can Doov Deelish            _Dora Sigerson_                       226


ANONYMOUS

  Shule Aroon                                                       231

  The Shan Van Vocht                                                232

  The Wearing of the Green                                          235

  The Rakes of Mallow                                               237

  Johnny, I hardly knew ye                                          238

  Kitty of Coleraine                                                241

  Lament of Morian Shehone for Miss Mary Bourke                     242

  The Geraldine's Daughter                                          246

  By Memory Inspired                                                247

  A Folk Verse                                                      249

  Notes                                                             250



PREFACE


I have not found it possible to revise this book as completely as I
should have wished. I have corrected a bad mistake of a copyist, and
added a few pages of new verses towards the end, and softened some
phrases in the introduction which seemed a little petulant in form, and
written in a few more to describe writers who have appeared during the
last four years, and that is about all. I compiled it towards the end of
a long indignant argument, carried on in the committee rooms of our
literary societies, and in certain newspapers between a few writers of
our new movement, who judged Irish literature by literary standards, and
a number of people, a few of whom were writers, who judged it by its
patriotism and by its political effect; and I hope my opinions may have
value as part of an argument which may awaken again. The Young Ireland
writers wrote to give the peasantry a literature in English in place of
the literature they were losing with Gaelic, and these methods, which
have shaped the literary thought of Ireland to our time, could not be
the same as the methods of a movement which, so far as it is more than
an instinctive expression of certain moods of the soul, endeavours to
create a reading class among the more leisured classes, which will
preoccupy itself with Ireland and the needs of Ireland. The peasants in
eastern counties have their Young Ireland poetry, which is always good
teaching and sometimes good poetry, and the peasants of the western
counties have beautiful poems and stories in Gaelic, while our more
leisured classes read little about any country, and nothing about
Ireland. We cannot move these classes from an apathy, come from their
separation from the land they live in, by writing about politics or
about Gaelic, but we may move them by becoming men of letters and
expressing primary emotions and truths in ways appropriate to this
country. One carries on the traditions of Thomas Davis, towards whom our
eyes must always turn, not less than the traditions of good literature,
which are the morality of the man of letters, when one is content, like
A.E. with fewer readers that one may follow a more hidden beauty; or
when one endeavours, as I have endeavoured in this book, to separate
what has literary value from what has only a patriotic and political
value, no matter how sacred it has become to us.

The reader who would begin a serious study of modern Irish literature
should do so with Mr Stopford Brooke's and Mr Rolleston's exhaustive
anthology.
                                                                 W.B.Y.
_August 15, 1899_



MODERN IRISH POETRY


The Irish Celt is sociable, as may be known from his proverb, 'Strife is
better than loneliness,' and the Irish poets of the nineteenth century
have made songs abundantly when friends and rebels have been at hand to
applaud. The Irish poets of the eighteenth century found both at a
Limerick hostelry, above whose door was written a rhyming welcome in
Gaelic to all passing poets, whether their pockets were full or empty.
Its owner, himself a famous poet, entertained his fellows as long as his
money lasted, and then took to minding the hens and chickens of an old
peasant woman for a living, and ended his days in rags, but not, one
imagines, without content. Among his friends and guests had been
O'Sullivan the Red, O'Sullivan the Gaelic, O'Heffernan the blind, and
many another, and their songs had made the people, crushed by the
disasters of the Boyne and Aughrim, remember their ancient greatness.
The bardic order, with its perfect artifice and imperfect art, had gone
down in the wars of the seventeenth century, and poetry had found
shelter amid the turf-smoke of the cabins. The powers that history
commemorates are but the coarse effects of influences delicate and vague
as the beginning of twilight, and these influences were to be woven like
a web about the hearts of men by farm-labourers, pedlars,
potato-diggers, hedge-schoolmasters, and grinders at the quern, poor
wastrels who put the troubles of their native land, or their own happy
or unhappy loves, into songs of an extreme beauty. But in the midst of
this beauty was a flitting incoherence, a fitful dying out of the sense,
as though the passion had become too great for words, as must needs be
when life is the master and not the slave of the singer.

English-speaking Ireland had meanwhile no poetic voice, for Goldsmith
had chosen to celebrate English scenery and manners; and Swift was but
an Irishman by what Mr Balfour has called the visitation of God, and
much against his will; and Congreve by education and early association;
while Parnell, Denham, and Roscommon were poets but to their own time.
Nor did the coming with the new century of the fame of Moore set the
balance even, for all but all of his Irish melodies are artificial and
mechanical when separated from the music that gave them wings. Whatever
he had of high poetry is in 'The Light of other Days,' and in 'At the
Mid Hour of Night,' which express what Matthew Arnold has taught us to
call 'the Celtic melancholy,' with so much of delicate beauty in the
meaning and in the wavering or steady rhythm that one knows not where to
find their like in literature. His more artificial and mechanical verse,
because of the ancient music that makes it seem natural and vivid, and
because it has remembered so many beloved names and events and places,
has had the influence which might have belonged to these exquisite
verses had he written none but these. An honest style did not come into
English-speaking Ireland, until Callanan wrote three or four naïve
translations from the Gaelic. 'Shule Aroon' and 'Kathleen O'More' had
indeed been written for a good while, but had no more influence than
Moore's best verses. Now, however, the lead of Callanan was followed by
a number of translators, and they in turn by the poets of 'Young
Ireland,' who mingled a little learned from the Gaelic ballad-writers
with a great deal learned from Scott, Macaulay, and Campbell, and turned
poetry once again into a principal means for spreading ideas of
nationality and patriotism. They were full of earnestness, but never
understood that though a poet may govern his life by his enthusiasms, he
must, when he sits down at his desk, but use them as the potter the
clay. Their thoughts were a little insincere, because they lived in the
half illusions of their admirable ideals; and their rhythms not seldom
mechanical, because their purpose was served when they had satisfied the
dull ears of the common man. They had no time to listen to the voice of
the insatiable artist, who stands erect, or lies asleep waiting until a
breath arouses him, in the heart of every craftsman. Life was their
master, as it had been the master of the poets who gathered in the
Limerick hostelry, though it conquered them not by unreasoned love for a
woman, or for native land, but by reasoned enthusiasm, and practical
energy. No man was more sincere, no man had a less mechanical mind than
Thomas Davis, and yet he is often a little insincere and mechanical in
his verse. When he sat down to write he had so great a desire to make
the peasantry courageous and powerful that he half believed them already
'the finest peasantry upon the earth,' and wrote not a few such verses
as

   'Lead him to fight for native land,
      His is no courage cold and wary;
    The troops live not that could withstand
      The headlong charge of Tipperary,'

and to-day we are paying the reckoning with much bombast. His little
book has many things of this kind, and yet we honour it for its public
spirit, and recognise its powerful influence with gratitude. He was in
the main an orator influencing men's acts, and not a poet shaping their
emotions, and the bulk of his influence has been good. He was, indeed, a
poet of much tenderness in the simple love-songs 'The Marriage,' 'A Plea
for Love,' and 'Mary Bhan Astór,' and, but for his ideal of a Fisherman,
defying a foreign soldiery, would have been as good in 'The Boatman of
Kinsale'; and once or twice when he touched upon some historic sorrow he
forgot his hopes for the future and his lessons for the present, and
made moving verse. His contemporary, Clarence Mangan, kept out of public
life and its half illusions by a passion for books, and for drink and
opium, made an imaginative and powerful style. He translated from the
German, and imitated Oriental poetry, but little that he did on any but
Irish subjects is permanently interesting. He is usually classed with
the Young Ireland poets, because he contributed to their periodicals and
shared their political views; but his style was formed before their
movement began, and he found it the more easy for this reason perhaps to
give sincere expression to the mood which he had chosen, the only
sincerity literature knows of; and with happiness and cultivation might
have displaced Moore. But as it was, whenever he had no fine ancient
song to inspire him, he fell into rhetoric which was only lifted out of
commonplace by an arid intensity. In his 'Irish National Hymn,' 'Soul
and Country,' and the like, we look into a mind full of parched sands
where the sweet dews have never fallen. A miserable man may think well
and express himself with great vehemence, but he cannot make beautiful
things, for Aphrodite never rises from any but a tide of joy. Mangan
knew nothing of the happiness of the outer man, and it was only when
prolonging the tragic exultation of some dead bard, that he knew the
unearthly happiness which clouds the outer man with sorrow, and is the
fountain of impassioned art. Like those who had gone before him, he was
the slave of life, for he had nothing of the self-knowledge, the power
of selection, the harmony of mind, which enables the poet to be its
master, and to mould the world to a trumpet for his lips. But O'Hussey's
Ode over his outcast chief must live for generations because of the
passion that moves through its powerful images and its mournful,
wayward, and fierce rhythms.

   'Though he were even a wolf ranging the round green woods,
    Though he were even a pleasant salmon in the unchainable sea,
    Though he were a wild mountain eagle, he could scarce bear, he,
        This sharp, sore sleet, these howling floods.'

Edward Walsh, a village schoolmaster, who hovered, like Mangan, on the
edge of the Young Ireland movement, did many beautiful translations from
the Gaelic; and Michael Doheny, while out 'on his keeping' in the
mountains after the collapse at Ballingarry, made one of the most moving
of ballads; but in the main the poets who gathered about Thomas Davis,
and whose work has come down to us in 'The Spirit of the Nation,' were
of practical and political, not of literary importance.

Meanwhile Samuel Ferguson, William Allingham, and Mr Aubrey de Vere were
working apart from politics, Ferguson selecting his subjects from the
traditions of the Bardic age, and Allingham from those of his native
Ballyshannon, and Mr Aubrey de Vere wavering between English, Irish, and
Catholic tradition. They were wiser than Young Ireland in the choice of
their models, for, while drawing not less from purely Irish sources,
they turned to the great poets of the world, Mr de Vere owing something
of his gravity to Wordsworth, Ferguson much of his simplicity to Homer,
while Allingham had trained an ear, too delicate to catch the tune of
but a single master, upon the lyric poetry of many lands. Allingham was
the best artist, but Ferguson had the more ample imagination, the more
epic aim. He had not the subtlety of feeling, the variety of cadence of
a great lyric poet, but he has touched, here and there, an epic vastness
and naïveté, as in the description in 'Congal' of the mire-stiffened
mantle of the giant spectre Mananan macLir, striking against his calves
with as loud a noise as the mainsail of a ship makes, 'when with the
coil of all its ropes it beats the sounding mast.' He is frequently
dull, for he often lacked the 'minutely appropriate words' necessary to
embody those fine changes of feeling which enthral the attention; but
his sense of weight and size, of action and tumult, has set him apart
and solitary, an epic figure in a lyric age. Allingham, whose pleasant
destiny has made him the poet of his native town, and put 'The Winding
Banks of Erne' into the mouths of the ballad-singers of Ballyshannon,
is, on the other hand, a master of 'minutely appropriate words,' and can
wring from the luxurious sadness of the lover, from the austere sadness
of old age, the last golden drop of beauty; but amid action and tumult
he can but fold his hands. He is the poet of the melancholy peasantry of
the West, and, as years go on, and voluminous histories and copious
romances drop under the horizon, will take his place among those minor
immortals who have put their souls into little songs to humble the
proud. The poetry of Mr Aubrey de Vere has less architecture than the
poetry of Ferguson and Allingham, and more meditation. Indeed, his few
but ever memorable successes are enchanted islands in grey seas of
stately impersonal reverie and description, which drift by and leave no
definite recollection. One needs, perhaps, to perfectly enjoy him, a
Dominican habit, a cloister, and a breviary.

These three poets published much of their best work before and during
the Fenian movement, which, like 'Young Ireland,' had its poets, though
but a small number. Charles Kickham, one of the 'triumvirate' that
controlled it in Ireland; John Casey, a clerk in a flour-mill; and Ellen
O'Leary, the sister of Mr John O'Leary, were at times very excellent.
Their verse lacks, curiously enough, the oratorical vehemence of Young
Ireland, and is plaintive and idyllic. The agrarian movement that
followed produced but little poetry, and of that little all is forgotten
but a vehement poem by Fanny Parnell, and a couple of songs by Mr T.D.
Sullivan, who is a good song-writer, though not, as the writer has read
on an election placard, 'one of the greatest poets who ever moved the
heart of man.' But while Nationalist verse has ceased to be a portion of
the propaganda of a party, it has been written, and is being written,
under the influence of the Nationalist newspapers and of Young Ireland
societies and the like. With an exacting conscience, and better models
than Thomas Moore and the Young Irelanders, such beautiful enthusiasm
could not fail to make some beautiful verses. But, as things are, the
rhythms are mechanical, and the metaphors conventional; and inspiration
is too often worshipped as a Familiar who labours while you sleep, or
forget, or do many worthy things which are not spiritual things. For
the most part, the Irishman of our times loves so deeply those arts
which build up a gallant personality, rapid writing, ready talking,
effective speaking to crowds, that he has no thought for the arts which
consume the personality in solitude. He loves the mortal arts which have
given him a lure to take the hearts of men, and shrinks from the
immortal, which could but divide him from his fellows. And in this
century, he who does not strive to be a perfect craftsman achieves
nothing. The poor peasant of the eighteenth century could make fine
ballads by abandoning himself to the joy or sorrow of the moment, as the
reeds abandon themselves to the wind which sighs through them, because
he had about him a world where all was old enough to be steeped in
emotion. But we cannot take to ourselves, by merely thrusting out our
hands, all we need of pomp and symbol, and if we have not the desire of
artistic perfection for an ark, the deluge of incoherence, vulgarity,
and triviality will pass over our heads. If we had no other symbols but
the tumult of the sea, the rusted gold of the thatch, the redness of the
quicken-berry, and had never known the rhetoric of the platform and of
the newspaper, we could do without laborious selection and rejection;
but, even then, though we might do much that would be delightful, that
would inspire coming times, it would not have the manner of the greatest
poetry.

Here and there, the Nationalist newspapers and the Young Ireland
societies have trained a writer who, though busy with the old models,
has some imaginative energy; while Mr Lionel Johnson, Mrs Hinkson, Miss
Nora Hopper, and A.E., the successors of Allingham and Ferguson and Mr
de Vere, are more anxious to influence and understand Irish thought than
any of their predecessors who did not take the substance of their poetry
from politics. They are distinguished too by their deliberate art, and
with their preoccupation with spiritual passions and memories. Mr Lionel
Johnson and Mrs Hinkson are both Catholic and devout, but Mr Lionel
Johnson's poetry is lofty and austere, and, like Mr de Vere's, never
long forgets the greatness of his Church and the interior life whose
expression it is, while Mrs Hinkson is happiest when she embodies
emotions, that have the innocence of childhood, in symbols and metaphors
from the green world about her. She has no reverie nor speculation, but
a devout tenderness like that of S. Francis for weak instinctive things,
old gardeners, old fishermen, birds among the leaves, birds tossed upon
the waters. Miss Hopper belongs to that school of writers which embodies
passions, that are not the less spiritual because no Church has put them
into prayers, in stories and symbols from old Celtic poetry and
mythology. The poetry of A.E., at its best, finds its symbols and its
stories in the soul itself, and has a more disembodied ecstasy than any
poetry of our time. He is the chief poet of the school of Irish mystics,
which has shaped Mr Charles Weekes, who published recently, but withdrew
immediately, a curious and subtle book, and Mr John Eglinton, who is
best known for the orchestral harmonies of his 'Two Essays on the
Remnant,' and certain younger writers who have heard the words, 'If ye
know these things, happy are ye if ye do them,' and thought the labours
that bring the mystic vision more important than the labours of any
craft.

Except some few Catholic and mystical poets and Prof. Dowden in one or
two poems, no Irishman living in Ireland has sung excellently of any but
a theme from Irish experience, Irish history, or Irish tradition.
Trinity College, which desires to be English, has been the mother of
many verse-writers and of few poets; and this can only be because she
has set herself against the national genius, and taught her children to
imitate alien styles and choose out alien themes, for it is not possible
to believe that the educated Irishman alone is prosaic and uninventive.
Her few poets have been awakened by the influence of the farm-labourers,
potato-diggers, pedlars, and hedge-schoolmasters of the eighteenth
century, and their imitators in this, and not by a scholastic life,
which, for reasons easy for all to understand and for many to forgive,
has refused the ideals of Ireland, while those of England are but
far-off murmurs. An enemy to all enthusiasms, because all enthusiasms
seemed her enemies, she has taught her children to look neither to the
world about them, nor into their own souls where some dangerous fire
might slumber.

To remember that in Ireland the professional and landed classes have
been through the mould of Trinity College or of English Universities,
and are ignorant of the very names of the best writers in this book, is
to know how strong a wind blows from the ancient legends of Ireland, how
vigorous an impulse to create is in her heart to-day. Deserted by the
classes from among whom have come the bulk of the world's intellect, she
struggles on, gradually ridding herself of incoherence and triviality,
and slowly building up a literature in English which, whether important
or unimportant, grows always more unlike others; nor does it seem as if
she would long lack a living literature in Gaelic, for the movement for
the preservation of Gaelic, which has been so much more successful than
anybody foresaw, has already its poets. Dr Hyde, who can only be
represented here by some of his beautiful translations, has written
Gaelic poems which pass from mouth to mouth in the west of Ireland. The
country people have themselves fitted them to ancient airs, and many
that can neither read nor write, sing them in Donegal and Connemara and
Galway. I have, indeed, but little doubt that Ireland, communing with
herself in Gaelic more and more, but speaking to foreign countries in
English, will lead many that are sick with theories and with trivial
emotion, to some sweet well-waters of primeval poetry.
                                                                 W.B.Y.


The editor thanks Mr Aubrey de Vere, Mr T.W. Rolleston, Dr J. Todhunter,
Mr Alfred Perceval Graves, Dr Douglas Hyde, Mr Lionel Johnson, A.E., Mr
Charles Weekes, Mr John Eglinton, Mrs Hinkson, Miss Dora Sigerson (Mrs
Clement Shortes), and Miss Nora Hopper for permission to quote from
their poems, Lady Ferguson and Mrs Allingham for leave to give poems by
Sir Samuel Ferguson and William Allingham, and Messrs Chatto & Windus
for permission to include a song of Arthur O'Shaughnessy's. Two writers
are excluded whom he would gladly have included--Casey, because the
copyright holders have refused permission, and Mr George Armstrong,
because his 'Songs of Wicklow,' when interesting, are too long for this
book.



OLD AGE

_From the 'Deserted Village'_


    In all my wanderings round this world of care,
    In all my griefs--and God has given my share--
    I still had hopes my later hours to crown,
    Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;
    To husband out life's taper at the close
    And keep the flame from wasting by repose;
    I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
    Amidst the swains to show my book-learned skill,
    Around my fire an evening group to draw,
    And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;
    And, as a hare whom hounds and horns pursue,
    Pants to the place from whence at first he flew,
    I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
    Here to return--and die at home at last.

                                                     _Oliver Goldsmith_



THE VILLAGE PREACHER

_From the 'Deserted Village'_


    Near yonder copse, where once the garden smil'd,
    And still where many a garden flower grows wild;
    There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
    The village Preacher's modest mansion rose.
    A man he was to all the country dear,
    And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
    Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
    Nor e'er had changed, nor wish'd to change, his place;
    Unpractis'd he to fawn, or seek for power,
    By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour;
    Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize,
    More skill'd to raise the wretched than to rise.
    His house was known to all the vagrant train,
    He chid their wanderings, but reliev'd their pain;
    The long-remember'd beggar was his guest,
    Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
    The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud,
    Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allow'd;
    The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
    Sat by his fire, and talked the night away;
    Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done,
    Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won.
    Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
    And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
    Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
    He pity gave ere charity began.

                                                     _Oliver Goldsmith_



THE DESERTER'S MEDITATION


    If sadly thinking, with spirits sinking,
      Could, more than drinking, my cares compose,
    A cure for sorrow from sighs I'd borrow,
      And hope to-morrow would end my woes.

    But as in wailing there's nought availing,
      And Death unfailing will strike the blow,
    Then for that reason, and for a season,
      Let us be merry before we go!

    To joy a stranger, a wayworn ranger,
      In every danger my course I've run;
    Now hope all ending, and death befriending,
      His last aid lending, my cares are done;

    No more a rover, or hapless lover--
      My griefs are over--my glass runs low;
    Then for that reason, and for a season,
      Let us be merry before we go!

                                                  _John Philpot Curran_



THOU CANST NOT BOAST


    Thou canst not boast of Fortune's store,
      My love, while me they wealthy call:
    But I was glad to find thee poor,
      For with my heart I'd give thee all,
        And then the grateful youth shall own,
        I loved him for himself alone.

    But when his worth my hand shall gain,
      No word or look of mine shall show
    That I the smallest thought retain
      Of what my bounty did bestow:
        Yet still his grateful heart shall own,
        I loved him for himself alone.

                                            _Richard Brinsley Sheridan_



KATHLEEN O'MORE


    My love, still I think that I see her once more,
    But, alas! she has left me her loss to deplore--
      My own little Kathleen, my poor little Kathleen,
            My Kathleen O'More!

    Her hair glossy black, her eyes were dark blue,
    Her colour still changing, her smiles ever new--
      So pretty was Kathleen, my sweet little Kathleen,
            My Kathleen O'More!

    She milked the dun cow, that ne'er offered to stir;
    Though wicked to all, it was gentle to her--
      So kind was my Kathleen, my poor little Kathleen,
            My Kathleen O'More!

    She sat at the door one cold afternoon,
    To hear the wind blow, and to gaze on the moon,
      So pensive was Kathleen, my poor little Kathleen,
            My Kathleen O'More!

    Cold was the night-breeze that sighed round her bower,
    It chilled my poor Kathleen, she drooped from that hour:
      And I lost my poor Kathleen, my own little Kathleen,
            My Kathleen O'More.

    The Bird of all birds that I love the best,
    Is the Robin that in the churchyard builds his nest;
      For he seems to watch Kathleen, hops lightly o'er Kathleen,
            My Kathleen O'More.

                                                _James Nugent Reynolds_



THE GROVES OF BLARNEY


    The groves of Blarney
    They look so charming
    Down by the purling
      Of sweet, silent brooks,
    Being banked with posies
    That spontaneous grow there,
    Planted in order
      By the sweet rock close.
    'Tis there's the daisy
    And the sweet carnation,
    The blooming pink,
      And the rose so fair,
    The daffydowndilly,
    Likewise the lily,
    All flowers that scent
      The sweet, fragrant air.

    'Tis Lady Jeffers
    That owns this station;
    Like Alexander,
      Or Queen Helen fair.
    There's no commander
    In all the nation,
    For emulation,
      Can with her compare.
    Such walls surround her
    That no nine-pounder
    Could dare to plunder
      Her place of strength;
    But Oliver Cromwell
    Her he did pommell,
    And made a breach
      In her battlement.

    There's gravel walks there
    For speculation
    And conversation
      In sweet solitude.
    'Tis there the lover
    May hear the dove, or
    The gentle plover
      In the afternoon;
    And if a lady
    Would be so engaging
    As to walk alone in
      Those shady bowers,
    'Tis there the courtier
    He may transport her
    Into some fort, or
      All under ground.

    For 'tis there's a cave where
    No daylight enters,
    But cats and badgers
      Are for ever bred;
    Being mossed by nature,
    That makes it sweeter
    Than a coach-and-six or
      A feather bed.
    'Tis there the lake is,
    Well stored with perches,
    And comely eels in
      The verdant mud;
    Beside the leeches,
    And groves of beeches,
    Standing in order
      For to guard the flood.

    There's statues gracing
    This noble place in--
    All heathen gods
      And nymphs so fair;
    Bold Neptune, Plutarch,
    And Nicodemus,
    All standing naked
      In the open air.
    So now to finish
    This brave narration,
    Which my poor genii
      Could not entwine;
    But were I Homer
    Or Nebuchadnezzar,
    'Tis in every feature
      I would make it shine.

                                              _Richard Alfred Milliken_



THE LIGHT OF OTHER DAYS


    Oft in the stilly night,
      Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
    Fond Memory brings the light
      Of other days around me:
        The smiles, the tears
        Of boyhood's years,
      The words of love then spoken;
        The eyes that shone
        Now dimm'd and gone,
      The cheerful homes now broken!
    Then in the stilly night,
      Ere slumber's chain hath bound me,
    Sad memory brings the light
      Of other days around me.

    When I remember all
      The friends so linked together
    I've seen around me fall
      Like leaves in wintry weather,
        I feel like one
        Who treads alone
      Some banquet-hall deserted,
        Whose lights are fled,
        Whose garlands dead,
      And all but he departed.
    Then in the stilly night,
      Ere slumber's chain hath bound me,
    Sad Memory brings the light
      Of other days around me.

                                                         _Thomas Moore_



AT THE MID HOUR OF NIGHT


    At the mid hour of night, when stars are weeping, I fly
    To the lone vale we loved, when life shone warm in thine eye;
    And I think oft, if spirits can steal from the regions of air
    To revisit past scenes of delight, thou wilt come to me there,
    And tell me our love is remembered even in the sky!

    Then I sing the wild song it once was rapture to hear
    When our voices, commingling, breathed like one on the ear;
    And as Echo far off through the vale my sad orison rolls,
    I think, O my love! 'tis thy voice from the kingdom of souls
    Faintly answering still the notes that once were so dear.

                                                         _Thomas Moore_



THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE


    Not a drum was heard, not a funeral-note,
      As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
    Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
      O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

    We buried him darkly at dead of night,
      The sods with our bayonets turning,
    By the struggling moonbeam's misty light,
      And the lantern dimly burning.

    No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
      Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
    But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
      With his martial cloak around him.

    Few and short were the prayers we said,
      And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
    But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
      And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

    We thought as we hollow'd his narrow bed,
      And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
    That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
      And we far away on the billow!

    Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
      And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him,--
    But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
      In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

    But half of our heavy task was done,
      When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
    And we heard the distant and random gun
      That the foe was sullenly firing.

    Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
      From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
    We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone--
      But we left him alone in his glory.

                                                   _Rev. Charles Wolfe_



THE CONVICT OF CLONMELL

_From the Irish_


    How hard is my fortune,
      And vain my repining!
    The strong rope of fate
      For this young neck is twining.
    My strength is departed;
      My cheek sunk and sallow;
    While I languish in chains,
      In the gaol of _Cluanmeala_.

    No boy in the village
      Was ever yet milder,
    I'd play with a child,
      And my sport would be wilder.
    I'd dance without tiring
      From morning till even,
    And the goal-ball I'd strike
      To the lightning of Heaven.

    At my bed-foot decaying,
      My hurlbat is lying,
    Through the boys of the village
      My goal-ball is flying;
    My horse 'mong the neighbours
      Neglected may fallow,--
    While I pine in my chains,
      In the gaol of _Cluanmeala_.

    Next Sunday the patron
      At home will be keeping,
    And the young active hurlers
      The field will be sweeping.
    With the dance of fair maidens
      The evening they'll hallow,
    While this heart, once so gay,
      Shall be cold in _Cluanmeala_.

                                             _Jeremiah Joseph Callanan_



THE OUTLAW OF LOCH LENE

_From the Irish_


    O, many a day have I made good ale in the glen,
    That came not of stream or malt;--like the brewing of men.
    My bed was the ground; my roof, the greenwood above,
    And the wealth that I sought one far kind glance from my love.

    Alas! on that night when the horses I drove from the field,
    That I was not near from terror my angel to shield.
    She stretched forth her arms,--her mantle she flung to the wind,
    And swam o'er Loch Lene, her outlawed lover to find.

    O would that a freezing sleet-wing'd tempest did sweep,
    And I and my love were alone, far off on the deep;
    I'd ask not a ship, or a bark, or pinnace, to save,--
    With her hand round my waist, I'd fear not the wind or the wave.

    'Tis down by the lake where the wild tree fringes its sides,
    The maid of my heart, my fair one of Heaven resides;--
    I think as at eve she wanders its mazes along,
    The birds go to sleep by the sweet wild twist of her song.

                                             _Jeremiah Joseph Callanan_



DIRGE OF O'SULLIVAN BEAR

_From the Irish_


    The sun on Ivera
      No longer shines brightly,
    The voice of her music
      No longer is sprightly;
    No more to her maidens
      The light dance is dear,
    Since the death of our darling
      O'Sullivan Bear.

    Scully! thou false one,
      You basely betrayed him,
    In his strong hour of need,
      When thy right hand should aid him;
    He fed thee--he clad thee--
      You had all could delight thee:
    You left him--you sold him--
      May Heaven requite thee!

    Scully! may all kinds
      Of evil attend thee!
    On thy dark road of life
      May no kind one befriend thee!
    May fevers long burn thee,
      And agues long freeze thee!
    May the strong hand of God
      In His red anger seize thee!

    Had he died calmly,
      I would not deplore him;
    Or if the wild strife
      Of the sea-war closed o'er him:
    But with ropes round his white limbs
      Through ocean to trail him,
    Like a fish after slaughter--
      'Tis therefore I wail him.

    Long may the curse
      Of his people pursue them;
    Scully, that sold him,
      And soldier that slew him!
    One glimpse of heaven's light
      May they see never!
    May the hearthstone of hell
      Be their best bed for ever!

    In the hole which the vile hands
      Of soldiers had made thee,
    Unhonour'd, unshrouded,
      And headless they laid thee;
    No sigh to regret thee,
      No eye to rain o'er thee,
    No dirge to lament thee,
      No friend to deplore thee!

    Dear head of my darling,
      How gory and pale,
    These aged eyes see thee,
      High spiked on their gaol!
    That cheek in the summer sun
      Ne'er shall grow warm;
    Nor that eye e'er catch light,
      But the flash of the storm.

    A curse, blessed ocean,
      Is on thy green water,
    From the haven of Cork
      To Ivera of slaughter:
    Since thy billows were dyed
      With the red wounds of fear
    Of Muiertach Oge,
      Our O'Sullivan Bear!

                                             _Jeremiah Joseph Callanan_



LOVE SONG


    Sweet in her green dell the flower of beauty slumbers,
      Lulled by the faint breezes sighing through her hair;
    Sleeps she and hears not the melancholy numbers
      Breathed to my sad lute 'mid the lonely air.

    Down from the high cliffs the rivulet is teeming
      To wind round the willow banks that lure him from above;
    O that in tears, from my rocky prison streaming,
      I too could glide to the bower of my love!

    Ah, where the woodbines with sleepy arms have wound her,
      Opes she her eyelids at the dream of my lay,
    Listening, like the dove, while the fountains echo round her,
      To her lost mate's call in the forests far away.

    Come then, my bird! For the peace thou ever bearest,
      Still heaven's messenger of comfort to me,
    Come, this fond bosom, O faithfulest and fairest
      Bleeds with its death-wound its wound of love for thee!

                                                        _George Darley_



THE WHISTLIN' THIEF


    When Pat came over the hill,
      His colleen fair to see,
    His whistle low, but shrill,
      The signal was to be;

                           (_Pat whistles._)

    'Mary,' the mother said,
      'Some one is whistling sure;'
    Says Mary, ''Tis only the wind
      Is whistling through the door.'

    (_Pat whistles a bit of a popular air._)

    'I've lived a long time, Mary,
      In this wide world, my dear,
    But a door to whistle like _that_
      I never yet did hear.'

    'But, mother, you know the fiddle
      Hangs close beside the chink,
    And the wind upon the strings
      Is playing the tune I think.'

                         (_The pig grunts._)

    'Mary, I hear the pig,
      Unaisy in his mind.'
    'But, mother, you know, they say
      The pigs can see the wind.'

    'That's true enough _in the day_,
      But I think you may remark,
    That pigs no more nor we
      Can see anything in the dark.'

                         (_The dog barks._)

    'The dog is barking now,
      The fiddle can't play the tune.'
    'But, mother, the dogs will bark
      Whenever they see the moon.'

    'But how could he see the moon,
      When, you know, the dog is blind?
    Blind dogs won't bark at the moon,
      Nor fiddles be played by the wind.

    'I'm not such a fool as you think,
      I know very well it is Pat:--
    Shut your mouth, you whistlin' thief,
      And go along home out o' that!

    'And you be off to your bed,
      Don't play upon me your jeers;
    For though I have lost my eyes,
      I haven't lost my ears!'

                                                         _Samuel Lover_



SOGGARTH AROON


    Am I the slave they say,
        Soggarth aroon?
    Since you did show the way,
        Soggarth aroon,
    _Their_ slave no more to be,
    While they would work with me
    Old Ireland's slavery,
        Soggarth aroon.

    Why not her poorest man,
        Soggarth aroon,
    Try and do all he can,
        Soggarth aroon,
    Her commands to fulfil
    Of his own heart and will,
    Side by side with you still
        Soggarth aroon?

    Loyal and brave to you,
        Soggarth aroon,
    Yet be not slave to you,
        Soggarth aroon,
    Nor, out of fear to you--
    Stand up so near to you--
    Och! out of fear to _you_,
        Soggarth aroon!

    Who, in the winter's night,
        Soggarth aroon,
    When the cold blast did bite,
        Soggarth aroon,
    Came to my cabin-door,
    And, on my earthen-floor,
    Knelt by me, sick and poor,
        Soggarth aroon?

    Who, on the marriage day,
        Soggarth aroon,
    Made the poor cabin gay,
        Soggarth aroon?--
    And did both laugh and sing,
    Making our hearts to ring,
    At the poor christening,
        Soggarth aroon?

    Who, as friend only met,
        Soggarth aroon,
    Never did flout me yet,
        Soggarth aroon?
    And when my heart was dim,
    Gave, while his eye did brim,
    What I should give to him,
        Soggarth aroon?

    Och! you, and only you,
        Soggarth aroon!
    And for this I was true to you,
        Soggarth aroon,
    In love they'll never shake,
    When for old Ireland's sake,
    We a true part did take,
        Soggarth aroon!

                                                           _John Banim_



DARK ROSALEEN

_From the Irish_


    O my Dark Rosaleen,
      Do not sigh, do not weep!
    The priests are on the ocean green.
      They march along the deep.
    There's wine from the royal Pope,
      Upon the ocean green;
    And Spanish ale shall give you hope,
      My Dark Rosaleen!
      My own Rosaleen!
    Shall glad your heart, shall give you hope,
    Shall give you health, and help, and hope,
      My Dark Rosaleen!

    Over hills, and through dales,
      Have I roamed for your sake;
    All yesterday I sailed with sails
      On river and on lake,
    The Erne, at its highest flood,
      I dashed across unseen,
    For there was lightning in my blood,
      My Dark Rosaleen!
      My own Rosaleen!
    O there was lightning in my blood,
    Red lightning lightened through my blood,
      My Dark Rosaleen!

    All day long in unrest
      To and fro do I move,
    The very heart within my breast
      Is wasted for you, Love!
    The heart in my bosom faints
      To think of you, my queen!
    My life of life, my saint of saints,
      My Dark Rosaleen!
      My own Rosaleen!
    To hear your sweet and sad complaints,
    My life, my love, my saint of saints,
      My Dark Rosaleen!

    Woe and pain, pain and woe,
      Are my lot night and noon;
    To see your bright face clouded so,
      Like to the mournful moon.
    But yet will I rear your throne
      Again in golden sheen:
    'Tis you shall reign, shall reign alone,
      My Dark Rosaleen!
      My own Rosaleen!
    'Tis you shall have the golden throne,
    'Tis you shall reign, and reign alone,
      My Dark Rosaleen!

    Over dews, over sands,
      Will I fly for your weal:
    Your holy, delicate white hands
      Shall girdle me with steel.
    At home, in your emerald bowers,
      From morning's dawn till e'en,
    You'll pray for me, my flower of flowers,
      My Dark Rosaleen!
      My fond Rosaleen!
    You'll think of me through daylight's hours,
    My virgin flower, my flower of flowers,
      My Dark Rosaleen!

    I could scale the blue air,
      I could plough the high hills,
    O, I could kneel all night in prayer,
      To heal your many ills.
    And one beamy smile from you
      Would float like light between
    My toils and me, my own, my true,
      My Dark Rosaleen!
      My fond Rosaleen!
    Would give me life and soul anew,
    A second life, a soul anew,
      My Dark Rosaleen!

    O! the Erne shall run red
      With redundance of blood,
    The earth shall rock beneath our tread,
      And flames wrap hill and wood,
    And gun-peal, and slogan cry,
      Wake many a glen serene,
    Ere you shall fade, ere you shall die,
      My Dark Rosaleen!
      My own Rosaleen!
    The Judgment Hour must first be nigh
    Ere you can fade, ere you can die,
      My Dark Rosaleen!

                                                _James Clarence Mangan_



LAMENT FOR THE PRINCES OF TYRONE AND TYRCONNELL

_From the Irish_


    O woman of the Piercing Wail,
      Who mournest o'er yon mound of clay
            With sigh and groan,
    Would God thou wert among the Gael!
      Thou wouldst not then from day to day
            Weep thus alone.
    'Twere long before, around a grave
      In green Tyrconnell, one could find
            This loneliness;
    Near where Beann-Boirche's banners wave
      Such grief as thine could ne'er have pined
            Companionless.

    Beside the wave in Donegal,
      In Antrim's glens, or fair Dromore,
            Or Killillee.
    Or where the sunny waters fall
      At Assaroe, near Erna's shore,
            This could not be.
    On Derry's plains--in rich Drumclieff--
      Throughout Armagh the Great, renowned
            In olden years,
    No day could pass but woman's grief
      Would rain upon the burial-ground
            Fresh floods of tears!

    O, no!--from Shannon, Boyne, and Suir,
      From high Dunluce's castle-walls,
            From Lissadill,
    Would flock alike both rich and poor,
      One wail would rise from Cruachan's halls
            To Tara's hill;
    And some would come from Barrow-side,
      And many a maid would leave her home,
            On Leitrim's plains,
    And by melodious Banna's tide,
      And by the Mourne and Erne, to come
            And swell thy strains!

    O, horses' hoofs would trample down
      The Mount whereon the martyr-saint
            Was crucified.
    From glen and hill, from plain and town,
      One loud lament, one thrilling plaint,
            Would echo wide.
    There would not soon be found, I ween,
      One foot of ground among those bands
            For museful thought,
    So many shriekers of the _keen_
      Would cry aloud and clap their hands,
            All woe distraught!

    Two princes of the line of Conn
      Sleep in their cells of clay beside
            O'Donnell Roe;
    Three royal youths, alas! are gone,
      Who lived for Erin's weal, but died
            For Erin's woe;
    Ah! could the men of Ireland read
      The names these noteless burial-stones
            Display to view,
    Their wounded hearts afresh would bleed,
      Their tears gush forth again, their groans
            Resound anew!

    The youths whose relics moulder here
      Were sprung from Hugh, high Prince and Lord
            Of Aileach's lands;
    Thy noble brothers, justly dear,
      Thy nephew, long to be deplored
            By Ulster's bands.
    Theirs were not souls wherein dull Time
      Could domicile Decay or house
            Decrepitude!
    They passed from Earth ere Manhood's prime,
      Ere years had power to dim their brows
            Or chill their blood.

    And who can marvel o'er thy grief,
      Or who can blame thy flowing tears,
            That knows their source?
    O'Donnell, Dunnasava's chief,
      Cut off amid his vernal years,
            Lies here a corse
    Beside his brother Cathbar, whom
      Tirconnell of the Helmets mourns
            In deep despair--
    For valour, truth, and comely bloom,
      For all that greatens and adorns
            A peerless pair.

    O, had these twain, and he, the third,
      The Lord of Mourne, O'Niall's son,
            Their mate in death--
    A prince in look, in deed and word--
      Had these three heroes yielded on
            The field their breath,
    O, had they fallen on Criffan's plain,
      There would not be a town or clan
            From shore to sea,
    But would with shrieks bewail the slain,
      Or chant aloud the exulting _rann_
            Of Jubilee!

    When high the shout of battle rose,
      On fields where Freedom's torch still burned
            Through Erin's gloom,
    If one, if barely one of those
      Were slain, all Ulster would have mourned
            The hero's doom!
    If at Athboy, where hosts of brave
      Ulidian horsemen sank beneath
            The shock of spears,
    Young Hugh O'Neill had found a grave,
      Long must the North have wept his death
            With heart-wrung tears!

    If on the day of Ballach-myre
      The Lord of Mourne had met thus young,
            A warrior's fate,
    In vain would such as thou desire
      To mourn, alone, the champion sprung
            From Niall the Great!
    No marvel this--for all the dead,
      Heaped on the field, pile over pile,
            At Mullach-brack,
    Were scarce an _eric_ for his head,
      If death had stayed his footsteps while
            On victory's track!

    If on the Day of Hostages
      The fruit had from the parent bough
            Been rudely torn
    In sight of Munster's bands--Mac-Nee's--
      Such blow the blood of Conn, I trow,
            Could ill have borne.
    If on the day of Ballach-boy
      Some arm had laid, by foul surprise,
            The chieftain low,
    Even our victorious shout of joy

      Would soon give place to rueful cries
            And groans of woe!

    If on the day the Saxon host
      Were forced to fly--a day so great
            For Ashanee--
    The Chief had been untimely lost,
      Our conquering troops should moderate
            Their mirthful glee.
    There would not lack on Lifford's day,
      From Galway, from the glens of Boyle,
            From Limerick's towers,
    A marshalled file, a long array
      Of mourners to bedew the soil
            With tears in showers!

    If on the day a sterner fate
      Compelled his flight from Athenree,
            His blood had flowed,
    What numbers all disconsolate,
      Would come unasked, and share with thee
            Affliction's load!
    If Derry's crimson field had seen
      His life-blood offered up, though 'twere
            On Victory's shrine,
    A thousand cries would swell the _keen_,
      A thousand voices of despair
            Would echo thine.

    O, had the fierce Dalcassian swarm
      That bloody night on Fergus' banks
            But slain our chief,
    When rose his camp in wild alarm--
      How would the triumph of his ranks
            Be dashed with grief!
    How would the troops of Murbach mourn
      If on the Curlew Mountains' day,
            Which England rued,
    Some Saxon hand had left them lorn,
      By shedding there, amid the fray,
           Their prince's blood!

    Red would have been our warriors' eyes
      Had Roderick found on Sligo field
            A gory grave,
    No Northern Chief would soon arise,
      So sage to guide, so strong to shield,
            So swift to save.
    Long would Leith-Cuinn have wept if Hugh
      Had met the death he oft had dealt
            Among the foe;
    But, had our Roderick fallen too,
      All Erin must, alas! have felt
            The deadly blow!

    What do I say? Ah, woe is me!
      Already we bewail in vain
            Their fatal fall!
    And Erin, once the Great and Free,
      Now vainly mourns her breakless chain,
            And iron thrall!
    Then, daughter of O'Donnell! dry
      Thine overflowing eyes, and turn
            Thy heart aside;
    For Adam's race is born to die,
      And sternly the sepulchral urn
            Mocks human pride!

    Look not, nor sigh, for earthly throne,
      Nor place thy trust in arm of clay--
            But on thy knees
    Uplift thy soul to God alone,
      For all things go their destined way
            As He decrees.
    Embrace the faithful Crucifix,
      And seek the path of pain and prayer
            Thy Saviour trod!
    Nor let thy spirit intermix
      With earthly hope and worldly care
            Its groans to God!

    And Thou, O mighty Lord! whose ways
      Are far above our feeble minds
            To understand,
    Sustain us in these doleful days,
      And render light the chain that binds
            Our fallen land!
    Look down upon our dreary state,
      And through the ages that may still
            Roll sadly on,
    Watch Thou o'er hapless Erin's fate,
      And shield at least from darker ill
            The blood of Conn!

                                                _James Clarence Mangan_



A LAMENTATION FOR THE DEATH OF SIR MAURICE FITZGERALD, KNIGHT OF KERRY

_From the Irish_


    There was lifted up one voice of woe,
      One lament of more than mortal grief,
    Through the wide South to and fro,
      For a fallen Chief.
    In the dead of night that cry thrilled through me,
      I looked out upon the midnight air;
    Mine own soul was all as gloomy,
      And I knelt in prayer.

    O'er Loch Gur, that night, once--twice--yea, thrice--
      Passed a wail of anguish for the Brave,
    That half curled into ice
      The moon-mirroring wave.
    Then uprose a many-toned wild hymn in
      Choral swell from Ogra's dark ravine,
    And Moguly's Phantom Women
      Mourned the Geraldine!

    Far on Carah Mona's emerald plains,
      Shrieks and sighs were blended many hours,
    And Fermoy, in fitful strains,
      Answered from her towers.
    Youghal, Keenalmeaky, Eemokilly,
      Mourned in concert, and their piercing _keen_
    Woke to wondering life the stilly
      Glens of Inchiqueen.

    From Loughmoe to yellow Dunanore
      There was fear; the traders of Tralee
    Gathered up their golden store,
      And prepared to flee;
    For, in ship and hall, from night till morning
      Showed the first faint beamings of the sun,
    All the foreigners heard the warning
      Of the Dreaded One!

    'This,' they spake, 'portendeth death to us,
      If we fly not swiftly from our fate!'
    Self-conceited idiots! thus
      Ravingly to prate!
    Not for base-born higgling Saxon trucksters
      Ring laments like those by shore and sea!
    Not for churls with souls of hucksters
      Waileth our Banshee!
    For the high Milesian race alone
      Ever flows the music of her woe!
    For slain heir to bygone throne,
      And for Chief laid low!
    Hark!... Again, methinks, I hear her weeping
      Yonder! Is she near me now, as then?
    Or was but the night-wind sweeping
      Down the hollow glen?

                                                _James Clarence Mangan_



THE WOMAN OF THREE COWS

_From the Irish_


    O, Woman of Three Cows, _agragh!_ don't let your
        tongue thus rattle!
    O, don't be saucy, don't be stiff, because you may
        have cattle.
    I have seen--and, here's my hand to you, I only say
        what's true--
    A many a one with twice your stock not half so proud
        as you.

    Good luck to you, don't scorn the poor, and don't be
        their despiser;
    For worldly wealth soon melts away, and cheats the
        very miser;
    And death soon strips the proudest wreath from
        haughty human brows,
    Then don't be stiff, and don't be proud, good Woman
        of Three Cows!

    See where Momonia's heroes lie, proud Owen More's
        descendants,
    'Tis they that won the glorious name, and had the
        grand attendants!
    If _they_ were forced to bow to Fate, as every mortal
        bows,
    Can _you_ be proud, can _you_ be stiff, my Woman
        of Three Cows?

    The brave sons of the Lord of Clare, they left the
        land to mourning;
    _Mavrone!_ for they were banished, with no hope of
        their returning--
    Who knows in what abodes of want those youths were
        driven to house?
    Yet _you_ can give yourself these airs, O Woman
        of Three Cows!

    O, think of Donnel of the Ships, the Chief whom
        nothing daunted--
    See how he fell in distant Spain, unchronicled,
        unchanted!
    He sleeps, the great O'Sullivan, where thunder
        cannot rouse--
    Then ask yourself, should _you_ be proud, good Woman
        of Three Cows?

    O'Ruark, Maguire, those souls of fire, whose names
        are shrined in story--
    Think how their high achievements once made Erin's
        greatest glory--
    Yet now their bones lie mouldering under weeds and
        Cyprus boughs,
    And so, for all your pride, will yours, O Woman
        of Three Cows!

    Th' O'Carrols, also, famed when fame was only for
        the boldest,
    Rest in forgotten sepulchres with Erin's best and
        oldest;
    Yet who so great as they of yore in battle or
        carouse?
    Just think of that, and hide your head, good Woman
        of Three Cows!

    Your neighbour's poor, and you, it seems, are big
        with vain ideas,
    Because, _inagh!_ you've got three cows, one more, I see,
        than _she_ has;
    That tongue of yours wags more at times than
        charity allows--
    But, if you're strong, be merciful, great Woman
        of Three Cows!


THE SUMMING-UP.

    Now, there you go! You still, of course, keep up
        your scornful bearing,
    And I'm too poor to hinder you; but, by the cloak
        I'm wearing,
    If I had but _four_ cows myself, even though you were
        my spouse,
    I'd thwack you well to cure your pride, my Woman
        of Three Cows!

                                                _James Clarence Mangan_



PRINCE ALFRID'S ITINERARY THROUGH IRELAND

_From the Irish_


    I found in Innisfail the fair,
    In Ireland, while in exile there,
    Women of worth, both grave and gay men,
    Many clerics and many laymen.

    I travelled its fruitful provinces round
    And in every one of the five I found,
    Alike in church and in palace hall,
    Abundant apparel, and food for all.

    Gold and silver I found, and money,
    Plenty of wheat and plenty of honey;
    I found God's people rich in pity,
    Found many a feast and many a city.

    I also found in Armagh, the splendid,
    Meekness, wisdom, and prudence blended,
    Fasting, as Christ hath recommended,
    And noble councillors untranscended.

    I found in each great church moreo'er,
    Whether on island or on shore
    Piety, learning, fond affection,
    Holy welcome and kind protection.

    I found thy good lay monks and brothers
    Ever beseeching help for others,
    And in their keeping the holy word
    Pure as it came from Jesus the Lord.

    I found in Munster unfettered of any,
    Kings and queens and poets a many--
    Poets were skilled in music and measure,
    Prosperous doings, mirth and pleasure.

    I found in Connaught the just, redundance
    Of riches, milk in lavish abundance,
    Hospitality, vigour, fame,
    In Cruachan's land of heroic name.

    I found in the county of Connall the glorious
    Bravest heroes, ever victorious;
    Fair-complexioned men and warlike,
    Ireland's lights, the high, the starlike.

    I found in Ulster, from hill to glen,
    Hardy warriors, resolute men;
    Beauty that bloomed when youth was gone,
    And strength transmitted from sire to son.

    I found in the noble district of Boyle

         (_MS. here illegible._)

    Brehons, erenachs, weapons bright,
    And horsemen bold and sudden in fight.

    I found in Leinster the smooth and sleek,
    From Dublin to Slewmargy's peak;
    Flourishing pastures, valour, health,
    Long-living worthies, commerce, wealth.

    I found, besides, from Ara to Glea,
    In the broad rich country of Ossorie,
    Sweet fruits, good laws for all and each,
    Great chess players, men of truthful speech.

    I found in Meath's fair principality,
    Virtue, vigour, and hospitality;
    Candour, joyfulness, bravery, purity,
    Ireland's bulwark and security.

    I found strict morals in age and youth,
    I found historians recording truth;
    The things I sing of in verse unsmooth,
    I found them all--I have written sooth.

                                                _James Clarence Mangan_



O'HUSSEY'S ODE TO THE MAGUIRE

_From the Irish_


    Where is my Chief, my Master, this bleak night, _mavrone_!
    O, cold, cold, miserably cold is this bleak night for Hugh,
    Its showery, arrowy, speary sleet pierceth one through and through,
    Pierceth one to the very bone!

    Rolls real thunder? Or was that red, livid light
    Only a meteor? I scarce know; but through the midnight dim
    The pitiless ice-wind streams. Except the hate that persecutes _him_
    Nothing hath crueler venomy might.

    An awful, a tremendous night is this, meseems!
    The flood-gates of the river of heaven, I think, have been
         burst wide--
    Down from the overcharged clouds, like unto headlong ocean's tide,
    Descends grey rain in roaring streams.

    Though he were even a wolf ranging the round green woods,
    Though he were even a pleasant salmon in the unchainable sea,
    Though he were a wild mountain eagle, he could scarce bear, he,
    This sharp, sore sleet, these howling floods.

    O mournful is my soul this night for Hugh Maguire!
    Darkly, as in a dream he strays! Before him and behind
    Triumphs the tyrannous anger of the wounding wind,
    The wounding wind, that burns as fire!

    It is my bitter grief--it cuts me to the heart--
    That in the country of Clan Darry this should be his fate!
    O, woe is me, where is he? Wandering, houseless, desolate,
    Alone, without or guide or chart!

    Medreams I see just now his face, the strawberry-bright,
    Uplifted to the blackened heavens, while the tempestuous winds
    Blow fiercely over and round him, and the smiting
         sleet-shower blinds
    The hero of Galang to-night!

    Large, large affliction unto me and mine it is,
    That one of his majestic bearing, his fair, stately form,
    Should thus be tortured and o'erborne--that this unsparing storm
    Should wreak its wrath on head like his!

    That his great hand, so oft the avenger of the oppressed,
    Should this chill churlish night, perchance, be paralyzed by frost--
    While through some icicle-hung thicket--as one lorn and lost--
    He walks and wanders without rest.

    The tempest-driven torrent deluges the mead,
    It overflows the low banks of the rivulets and ponds--
    The lawns and pasture-grounds lie locked in icy bonds
    So that the cattle cannot feed.

    The pale bright margins of the streams are seen by none,
    Rushes and sweeps along the untamable flood on every side--
    It penetrates and fills the cottagers' dwellings far and wide--
    Water and land are blent in one.

    Through some dark wood, 'mid bones of monsters, Hugh now strays,
    As he confronts the storm with anguished heart, but manly brow--
    O, what a sword-wound to that tender heart of his were now
    A backward glance of peaceful days.

    But other thoughts are his--thoughts that can still inspire
    With joy and onward-bounding hope the bosom of Mac-Nee--
    Thoughts of his warriors charging like bright billows the sea,
    Borne on the wind's wings, flashing fire!

    And though frost glaze to-night the clear dew of his eyes,
    And white ice-gauntlets glove his noble fine fair fingers o'er,
    A warm dress is to him that lightning garb he ever wore,
    The lightning of the soul, not skies.


AVRAN

    Hugh marched forth to the fight--I grieved to see him so depart;
    And lo! to-night he wanders frozen, rain-drenched, sad, betrayed--
    _But the memory of the limewhite mansions his right hand hath laid
    In ashes, warms the hero's heart_!

                                                _James Clarence Mangan_



THE NAMELESS ONE


    Roll forth, my song, like the rushing river,
      That sweeps along to the mighty sea;
    God will inspire me while I deliver
                My soul to thee!

    Tell thou the world, when my bones lie whitening
      Amid the last homes of youth and eld,
    That there was once one whose blood ran lightning
                No eye beheld.

    Tell how his boyhood was one drear night-hour,
      How shone for _him_, through its griefs and gloom,
    No star of all heaven sends to light our
                Path to the tomb.

    Roll on, my song, and to after ages
      Tell how, disdaining all earth can give,
    He would have taught men, from wisdom's pages,
                The way to live.

    And tell how trampled, derided, hated,
      And worn by weakness, disease, and wrong,
    He fled for shelter to God, who mated
                His soul with song--

    With song which alway, sublime or vapid,
      Flowed like a rill in the morning-beam,
    Perchance not deep, but intense and rapid--
                A mountain stream.

    Tell how this Nameless, condemned for years long
      To herd with demons from hell beneath,
    Saw things that made him, with groans and tears, long
                For even death.

    Go on to tell how, with genius wasted,
      Betrayed in friendship, befooled in love,
    With spirit shipwrecked, and young hopes blasted,
                He still, still strove.

    Till, spent with toil, dreeing death for others,
      And some whose hands should have wrought for _him_;
    (If children live not for sires and mothers,)
                His mind grew dim.

    And he fell far through that pit abysmal
      The gulf and grave of Maginn and Burns;
    And pawned his soul for the devil's dismal
                Stock of returns.

    But yet redeemed it in days of darkness,
      And shapes and signs of the final wrath,
    When death, in hideous and ghastly starkness,
                Stood on his path.

    And tell how now, amid wreck and sorrow,
      And want, and sickness, and houseless nights,
    He bides in calmness the silent morrow,
                That no ray lights.

    And lives he still, then? Yes! Old and hoary
      At thirty-nine, from despair and woe,
    He lives enduring what future story
                Will never know.

    Him grant a grave to, ye pitying noble,
      Deep in your bosoms! There let him dwell!
    He, too, had tears for all souls in trouble,
                Here and in hell!

                                                _James Clarence Mangan_



SIBERIA


    In Siberia's wastes
      The Ice-wind's breath
    Woundeth like the toothèd steel.
    Lost Siberia doth reveal
      Only blight and death.

    Blight and death alone.
      No Summer shines.
    Night is interblent with Day.
    In Siberia's wastes alway
      The blood blackens, the heart pines.

    In Siberia's wastes
      No tears are shed,
    For they freeze within the brain.
    Nought is felt but dullest pain,
      Pain acute, yet dead;

    Pain as in a dream,
      When years go by
    Funeral-paced, yet fugitive,
    When man lives, and doth not live,
      Doth not live--nor die.

    In Siberia's wastes
      Are sands and rocks.
    Nothing blooms of green or soft,
    But the snowpeaks rise aloft
      And the gaunt ice-blocks.

    And the exile there
      Is one with those;
    They are part, and he is part,
    For the sands are in his heart,
      And the killing snows.

    Therefore, in those wastes
      None curse the Czar.
    Each man's tongue is cloven by
    The North Blast, who heweth nigh
      With sharp scymitar.

    And such doom he drees,
      Till hunger gnawn,
    And cold-slain, he at length sinks there,
    Yet scarce more a corpse than ere
      His last breath was drawn.

                                                _James Clarence Mangan_



HY-BRASAIL


    On the ocean that hollows the rocks where ye dwell,
    A shadowy land has appeared, as they tell;
    Men thought it a region of sunshine and rest,
    And they called it _Hy-Brasail_ the isle of the blest.
    From year unto year on the ocean's blue rim,
    The beautiful spectre showed lovely and dim;
    The golden clouds curtained the deep where it lay,
    And it looked like an Eden, away, far away!

    A peasant who heard of the wonderful tale,
    In the breeze of the Orient loosened his sail;
    From Ara, the holy, he turned to the West,
    For though Ara was holy, _Hy-Brasail_ was blest.
    He heard not the voices that called from the shore--
    He heard not the rising wind's menacing roar;
    Home, kindred, and safety, he left on that day,
    And he sped to _Hy-Brasail_, away, far away!

    Morn rose on the deep, and that shadowy isle,
    O'er the faint rim of distance, reflected its smile;
    Noon burned on the wave, and that shadowy shore
    Seemed lovelily distant, and faint as before;
    Lone evening came down on the wanderer's track,
    And to Ara again he looked timidly back;
    O! far on the verge of the ocean it lay,
    Yet the isle of the blest was away, far away!

    Rash dreamer, return! O ye winds of the main,
    Bear him back to his own peaceful Ara again.
    Bash fool! for a vision of fanciful bliss
    To barter thy calm life of labour and peace.
    The warning of reason was spoken in vain,
    He never re-visited Ara again!
    Night falls on the deep, amidst tempest and spray,
    And he died on the waters, away, far away!

                                                       _Gerald Griffin_



MO CRAOIBHIN CNO

_From the Irish_


    My heart is far from Liffey's tide
          And Dublin town;
    It strays beyond the Southern side
          Of Cnoc-Maol-Donn,
    Where Capa-chuinn hath woodlands green,
      Where Amhan-Mhor's waters flow,
    Where dwell unsung, unsought, unseen
          _Mo craoibhin cno_,
    Low clustering in her leafy screen,
          _Mo craoibhin cno_!

    The high-bred dames of Dublin town
          Are rich and fair,
    With wavy plume and silken gown,
          And stately air;
    Can plumes compare thy dark brown hair?
      Can silks thy neck of snow?
    Or measur'd pace thine artless grace?
          _Mo craoibhin cno_,
    When harebells scarcely show thy trace,
          _Mo craoibhin cno_!

    I've heard the songs by Liffey's wave
          That maidens sung--
    They sung their land the Saxon's slave,
          In Saxon tongue--
    O! bring me here that Gaelic dear
      Which cursed the Saxon foe,
    When thou didst charm my raptured ear,
          _Mo craoibhin cno_!
    And none but God's good angels near,
          _Mo craoibhin cno_!

    I've wandered by the rolling Lee!
          And Lene's green bowers--
    I've seen the Shannon's wide-spread sea
          And Limerick's towers--
    And Liffey's tide, where halls of pride
      Frown o'er the flood below;
    My wild heart strays to Amhan-mhor's side,
          _Mo craoibhin cno_!
    With love and thee for aye to bide,
          _Mo craoibhin cno_!

                                                         _Edward Walsh_



MAIRGRÉAD NI CHEALLEADH


    At the dance in the village thy white foot was fleetest;
    Thy voice in the concert of maidens was sweetest;
    The swell of thy white breast made rich lovers follow;
    And thy raven hair bound them, young Mairgréad ni Chealleadh.

    Thy neck was, lost maid, than the _ceanabhan_ whiter,
    And the glow of thy cheek than the _monadan_ brighter;
    But death's chain hath bound thee, thine eye's glazed and hollow,
    That shone like a sunburst, young Mairgréad ni Chealleadh.

    No more shall mine ear drink thy melody swelling;
    Nor thy beamy eye brighten the outlaw's dark dwelling;
    Or thy soft heaving bosom my destiny hallow,
    When thine arms twine around me, young Mairgréad ni Chealleadh.

    The moss couch I brought thee to-day from the mountain,
    Has drank the last drop of thy young heart's red fountain--
    For this good scian beside me stuck deep and run hollow
    In thy bosom of treason, young Mairgréad ni Chealleadh.

    With strings of rich pearls thy white neck was laden,
    And thy fingers with spoils of the Sassanach maiden:
    Such rich silks enrob'd not the proud dames of Mallow--
    Such pure gold they wore not as Mairgréad ni Chealleadh.

    Alas! that my loved one her outlaw would injure--
    Alas! that he e'er proved her treason's avenger!
    That this right hand should make thee a bed cold and hollow,
    When in Death's sleep it laid thee, Young Mairgréad ni Chealleadh!

    And while to this lone cave my deep grief I'm venting,
    The Saxon's keen bandog my footstep is scenting,
    But true men await me afar in Duhallow,
    Farewell, cave of slaughter, and Mairgréad ni Chealleadh.

                                                         _Edward Walsh_



FROM THE COLD SOD THAT'S O'ER YOU

_From the Irish_


    From the cold sod that's o'er you
      I never shall sever;
    Were my hands twined in yours, Love,
      I'd hold them for ever.
    My fondest, my fairest,
      We may now sleep together!
    I've the cold earth's damp odour,
      And I'm worn from the weather.

    This heart filled with fondness
      Is wounded and weary;
    A dark gulf beneath it
      Yawns jet-black and dreary.
    When death comes, a victor,
      In mercy to greet me,
    On the wings of the whirlwind
      In the wild wastes you'll meet me.

    When the folk of my household
      Suppose I am sleeping,
    On your cold grave till morning
      The lone watch I'm keeping.
    My grief to the night wind
      For the mild maid to render,
    Who was my betrothed
      Since infancy tender.

    Remember the lone night
      I last spent with you, Love,
    Beneath the dark sloe-tree
      When the icy wind blew, Love.
    High praise to thy Saviour
      No sin-stain had found you,
    That your virginal glory
      Shines brightly around you.

    The priests and the friars
      Are ceaselessly chiding,
    That I love a young maiden
      In life not abiding.
    O! I'd shelter and shield you
      If wild storms were swelling!
    And O, my wrecked hope,
      That the cold earth's your dwelling.

                                                         _Edward Walsh_



THE FAIRY NURSE


    Sweet babe! a golden cradle holds thee,
    And soft the snow-white fleece enfolds thee;
    In airy bower I'll watch thy sleeping,
    Where branchy trees to the breeze are sweeping.
                  Shuheen sho, lulo lo

    When mothers languish broken-hearted,
    When young wives are from husbands parted,
    Ah! little think the keeners lonely,
    They weep some time-worn fairy only.
                  Shuheen sho, lulo lo!

    Within our magic halls of brightness,
    Trips many a foot of snowy whiteness;
    Stolen maidens, queens of fairy--
    And kings and chiefs a sluagh shee airy.
                  Shuheen sho, lulo lo!

    Rest thee, babe! I love thee dearly,
    And as thy mortal mother nearly;
    Ours is the swiftest steed and proudest,
    That moves where the tramp of the host is loudest.
                  Shuheen sho, lulo lo!

    Rest thee, babe! for soon thy slumbers
    Shall flee at the magic koelshie's numbers;
    In airy bower I'll watch thy sleeping,
    Where branchy trees to the breeze are sweeping.
                  Shuheen sho, lulo lo!

                                                         _Edward Walsh_



A CUISLE GEAL MO CHROIDHE


    The long, long wished-for hour has come,
      Yet come, astor, in vain;
    And left thee but the wailing hum
      Of sorrow and of pain:
    My light of life, my lonely love!
      Thy portion sure must be
    Man's scorn below, God's wrath above--
      A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

    I've given thee manhood's early prime,
      And manhood's teeming years;
    I've blessed thee in my merriest time,
      And shed with thee my tears;
    And, mother, though thou cast away
      The child who'd die for thee,
    My fondest wishes still should pray
      For cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

    For thee I've tracked the mountain's sides,
      And slept within the brake,
    More lonely than the swan that glides
      O'er Lua's fairy lake.
    The rich have spurned me from their door,
      Because I'd make thee free;
    Yet still I love thee more and more,
      A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

    I've run the Outlaw's brief career,
      And borne his load of ill;
    His rocky couch--his dreamy fear--
      With fixed, sustaining will;
    And should his last dark chance befall,
      Even that shall welcome be;
    In Death I'd love thee best of all,
      A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

    'Twas prayed for thee the world around,
      'Twas hoped for thee by all,
    That with one gallant sunward bound
      Thou'dst burst long ages' thrall;
    Thy faith was tried, alas! and those
      Who'd peril all for thee
    Were curs'd and branded as thy foes,
      A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

    What fate is thine, unhappy Isle,
      When even the trusted few
    Would pay thee back with hate and guile,
      When most they should be true!
    'Twas not my strength or spirit failed
      Or those who'd die for thee;
    Who loved thee truly have not failed,
      A cuisle geal mo chroidhe!

                                                       _Michael Doheny_



LAMENT OF THE IRISH EMIGRANT


    I'm sittin' on the stile, Mary,
      Where we sat side by side,
    On a bright May mornin', long ago,
      When first you were my bride:
    The corn was springin' fresh and green,
      And the lark sang loud and high--
    And the red was on your lip, Mary,
      And the love-light in your eye.

    The _place_ is little changed, Mary,
      The day is bright as then,
    The lark's loud song is in my ear,
      And the corn is green again;
    But I miss the soft clasp of your hand,
      And your breath, warm on my cheek;
    And I still keep list'nin' for the words
      You never more will speak.

    'Tis but a step down yonder lane,
      And the little church stands near--
    The church where we were wed, Mary,
      I see the spire from here.
    But the graveyard lies between, Mary,
      And my step might break your rest--
    For I've laid you, darling! down to sleep,
      With your baby on your breast.

    I'm very lonely now, Mary,
      For the poor make no new friends;
    But, O! they love the better still,
      The few our Father sends!
    And you were all _I_ had, Mary,
      My blessin' and my pride!
    There's nothin' left to care for now,
      Since my poor Mary died.

    Yours was the good, brave heart, Mary,
      That still kept hoping on,
    When the trust in God had left my soul,
      And my arm's young strength was gone;
    There was comfort even on _your_ lip,
      And the kind look on your brow--
    I bless you, Mary, for that same,
      Though you cannot hear me now.

    I thank you for the patient smile
      When your heart was fit to break,
    When the hunger pain was gnawin' there,
      And you hid it for _my_ sake;
    I bless you for the pleasant word,
      When your heart was sad and sore--
    O! I'm thankful you are gone, Mary,
      Where grief can't reach you more!

    I'm biddin' you a long farewell,
      My Mary--kind and true!
    But I'll not forget _you_, darling,
      In the land I'm goin' to:
    They say there's bread and work for all,
      And the sun shines always there--
    But I'll not forget old Ireland,
      Were it fifty times as fair!

    And often in those grand old woods
      I'll sit and shut my eyes,
    And my heart will travel back again
      To the place where Mary lies;
    And I'll think I see the little stile
      Where we sat side by side,
    And the springin' corn, and the bright May morn,
      When first you were my bride.

                                                        _Lady Dufferin_



THE WELSHMEN OF TIRAWLEY


    Scorney Bwee, the Barretts' bailiff, lewd and lame,
    To lift the Lynott's taxes when he came,
    Rudely drew a young maid to him!
    Then the Lynotts rose and slew him,
    And in Tubber-na-Scorney threw him--
              Small your blame,
              Sons of Lynott!
    Sing the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    Then the Barretts to the Lynotts gave a choice,
    Saying, 'Hear, ye murderous brood, men and boys,
    Choose ye now, without delay,
    Will ye lose your eyesight, say,
    Or your manhoods, here to-day?
              Sad your choice,
              Sons of Lynott!
    Sing the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    Then the little boys of the Lynotts, weeping, said,
    'Only leave us our eyesight in our head.'
    But the bearded Lynotts then
    Quickly answered back again,
    'Take our eyes, but leave us men,
              Alive or dead,
              Sons of Wattin!'
    Sing the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    So the Barretts with sewing-needles sharp and smooth,
    Let the light out of the eyes of every youth,
    And of every bearded man,
    Of the broken Lynott clan;
    Then their darkened faces wan
              Turning south
              To the river--
    Sing the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    O'er the slippery stepping-stones of Clochan-na-n'all
    They drove them, laughing loud at every fall,
    As their wandering footsteps dark
    Failed to reach the slippery mark,
    And the swift stream swallowed stark,
              One and all
              As they stumbled--
    From the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    Of all the blinded Lynotts one alone
    Walk'd erect from stepping-stone to stone:
    So back again they brought you,
    And a second time they wrought you
    With their needles; but never got you
              Once to groan,
              Emon Lynott,
    For the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    But with prompt-projected footsteps sure as ever,
    Emon Lynott again cross'd the river.
    Though Duvowen was rising fast,
    And the shaking stones o'ercast
    By cold floods boiling past;
              Yet you never,
              Emon Lynott,
    Faltered once before your foemen of Tirawley.

    But, turning on Ballintubber bank, you stood,
    And the Barretts thus bespoke o'er the flood--
    'O, ye foolish sons of Wattin,
    Small amends are these you've gotten,
    For, while Scorna Boy lies rotten,
              I am good
              For vengeance!'
    Sing the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    'For 'tis neither in eye nor eyesight that a man
    Bears the fortunes of himself and his clan,
    But in the manly mind,
    These darken'd orbs behind,
    That your needles could never find
              Though they ran
              Through my heart-strings!'
    Sing the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    'But, little your women's needles do I reck;
    For the night from heaven never fell so black,
    But Tirawley, and abroad
    From the Moy to Cuan-an-fod,
    I could walk it every sod,
              Path and track,
              Ford and togher,
    Seeking vengeance on you, Barretts of Tirawley!

    'The night when Dathy O'Dowda broke your camp,
    What Barrett among you was it held the lamp--
    Showed the way to those two feet,
    When through wintry wind and sleet,
    I guided your blind retreat
              In the swamp
              Of Beäl-an-asa?
    O ye vengeance-destined ingrates of Tirawley!'

    So leaving loud-shriek-echoing Garranard,
    The Lynott like a red dog hunted hard,
    With his wife and children seven,
    'Mong the beasts and fowls of heaven
    In the hollows of Glen Nephin,
              Light-debarred,
              Made his dwelling,
    Planning vengeance on the Barretts of Tirawley.

    And ere the bright-orb'd year its course had run,
    On his brown round-knotted knee he nursed a son,
    A child of light, with eyes
    As clear as are the skies
    In summer, when sunrise
              Has begun;
              So the Lynott
    Nursed his vengeance on the Barretts of Tirawley.

    And, as ever the bright boy grew in strength and size,
    Made him perfect in each manly exercise,
    The salmon in the flood,
    The dun deer in the wood,
    The eagle in the cloud
              To surprise
              On Ben Nephin,
    Far above the foggy fields of Tirawley.

    With the yellow-knotted spear-shaft, with the bow,
    With the steel, prompt to deal shot and blow,
    He taught him from year to year
    And train'd him, without a peer,
    For a perfect cavalier,
              Hoping so--
              Far his forethought--
    For vengeance on the Barretts of Tirawley.

    And, when mounted on his proud-bounding steed,
    Emon Oge sat a cavalier indeed;
    Like the ear upon the wheat
    When winds in Autumn beat
    On the bending stems, his seat;
              And the speed
              Of his courser
    Was the wind from Barna-na-gee o'er Tirawley!

    Now when fifteen sunny summers thus were spent,
    (He perfected in all accomplishment)--
    The Lynott said, 'My child,
    We are over long exiled
    From mankind in this wild--
              --Time we went
              Through the mountain
    To the countries lying over-against Tirawley.'

    So, out over mountain-moors, and mosses brown,
    And green steam-gathering vales, they journey'd down:
    Till, shining like a star,
    Through the dusky gleams afar,
    The bailey of Castlebar,
              And the town
              Of MacWilliam
    Rose bright before the wanderers of Tirawley.

    'Look southward, my boy, and tell me as we go,
    What see'st thou by the loch-head below?'
    'O, a stone-house strong and great,
    And a horse-host at the gate,
    And a captain in armour of plate--
              Grand the show!
              Great the glancing!
    High the heroes of this land below Tirawley.

    'And a beautiful Bantierna by his side,
    Yellow gold on all her gown-sleeves wide;
    And in her hand a pearl
    Of a young, little, fair-haired girl.'
    Said the Lynott, 'It is the Earl!
              Let us ride
              To his presence.'
    And before him came the exiles of Tirawley.

    'God save thee, MacWilliam,' the Lynott thus began;
    'God save all here besides of this clan;
    For gossips dear to me
    Are all in company--
    For in these four bones ye see
              A kindly man
              Of the Britons--
    Emon Lynott of Garranard of Tirawley.

    'And hither, as kindly gossip-law allows,
    I come to claim a scion of thy house
    To foster; for thy race,
    Since William Conquer's days,
    Have ever been wont to place,
              With some spouse
              Of a Briton,
    A MacWilliam Oge, to foster in Tirawley.

    'And to show thee in what sort our youth are taught
    I have hither to thy home of valour brought
    This one son of my age,
    For a sample and a pledge
    For the equal tutelage,
              In right thought,
              Word, and action,
    Of whatever son ye give into Tirawley.'

    When MacWilliam beheld the brave boy ride and run,
    Saw the spear-shaft from his white shoulder spun--
    With a sigh, and with a smile,
    He said,--'I would give the spoil
    Of a county, that Tibbot Moyle,
              My own son,
              Were accomplish'd
    Like this branch of the kindly Britons of Tirawley.'

    When the Lady MacWilliam she heard him speak,
    And saw the ruddy roses on his cheek,
    She said, 'I would give a purse
    Of red gold to the nurse
    That would rear my Tibbot no worse;
              But I seek
              Hitherto vainly--
    Heaven grant that I now have found her in Tirawley!'

    So they said to the Lynott, 'Here, take our bird!
    And as pledge for the keeping of thy word,
    Let this scion here remain
    Till thou comest back again:
    Meanwhile the fitting train
              Of a lord
              Shall attend thee
    With the lordly heir of Connaught into Tirawley.'
    So back to strong-throng-gathering Garranard,
    Like a lord of the country with his guard,
    Came the Lynott, before them all,
    Once again over Clochan-na-n'all
    Steady and striding, erect and tall,
              And his ward
              On his shoulders
    To the wonder of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    Then a diligent foster-father you would deem
    The Lynott, teaching Tibbot, by mead and stream,
    To cast the spear, to ride,
    To stem the rushing tide,
    With what feats of body beside,
              Might beseem
              A MacWilliam,
    Fostered free among the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    But the lesson of hell he taught him in heart and mind,
    For to what desire soever he inclined,
    Of anger, lust, or pride,
    He had it gratified,
    Till he ranged the circle wide
              Of a blind
              Self-indulgence,
    Ere he came to youthful manhood in Tirawley.

    Then, even as when a hunter slips a hound,
    Lynott loosed him--God's leashes all unbound--
    In the pride of power and station,
    And the strength of youthful passion,
    On the daughters of thy nation,
              All around,
              Wattin Barrett!
    O! the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley!

    Bitter grief and burning anger, rage and shame,
    Filled the houses of the Barretts where'er he came;
    Till the young men of the Back,
    Drew by night upon his track,
    And slew him at Cornassack.
              Small your blame,
              Sons of Wattin!
    Sing the vengeance of the Welshmen of Tirawley.

    Said the Lynott, 'The day of my vengeance is drawing near,
    The day for which, through many a long dark year,
    I have toiled through grief and sin--
    Call ye now the Brehons in,
    And let the plea begin
              Over the bier
              Of MacWilliam,
    For an eric upon the Barretts of Tirawley!'

    Then the Brehons to MacWilliam Burke decreed
    An eric upon Clan Barrett for the deed;
    And the Lynott's share of the fine,
    As foster-father, was nine
    Ploughlands and nine score kine;
              But no need
              Had the Lynott,
    Neither care, for land or cattle in Tirawley.

    But rising, while all sat silent on the spot,
    He said, 'The law says--doth it not?--
    If the foster-sire elect
    His portion to reject,
    He may then the right exact
              To applot
              The short eric.'
    ''Tis the law,' replied the Brehons of Tirawley.

    Said the Lynott, 'I once before had a choice
    Proposed me, wherein law had little voice;
    But now I choose, and say,
    As lawfully I may,
    I applot the mulct to-day;
              So rejoice
              In your ploughlands
    And your cattle which I renounce throughout Tirawley.

    'And thus I applot the mulct: I divide
    The land throughout Clan Barrett on every side
    Equally, that no place
    May be without the face
    Of a foe of Wattin's race--
              That the pride
              Of the Barretts
    May be humbled hence for ever throughout Tirawley.

    'I adjudge a seat in every Barrett's hall
    To MacWilliam: in every stable I give a stall
    To MacWilliam: and, beside,
    Whenever a Burke shall ride
    Through Tirawley, I provide
              At his call
              Needful grooming,
    Without charge from any Brughaidh of Tirawley.

    'Thus lawfully I avenge me for the throes
    Ye lawlessly caused me and caused those
    Unhappy shame-faced ones
    Who, their mothers expected once,
    Would have been the sires of sons--
              O'er whose woes
              Often weeping,
    I have groaned in my exile from Tirawley.

    'I demand not of you your manhoods; but I take--
    For the Burkes will take it--your Freedom! for the sake
    Of which all manhood's given
    And all good under heaven,
    And, without which, better even
              You should make
              Yourselves barren,
    Than see your children slaves throughout Tirawley!

    'Neither take I your eyesight from you; as you took
    Mine and ours: I would have you daily look
    On one another's eyes
    When the strangers tyrannize
    By your hearths, and blushes arise,
              That ye brook
              Without vengeance
    The insults of troops of Tibbots throughout Tirawley!

    'The vengeance I designed, now is done,
    And the days of me and mine nearly run--
    For, for this, I have broken faith,
    Teaching him who lies beneath
    This pall, to merit death;
              And my son
              To his father
    Stands pledged for other teaching in Tirawley.'

    Said MacWilliam--'Father and son, hang them high!'
    And the Lynott they hang'd speedily;
    But across the salt water,
    To Scotland, with the daughter
    Of MacWilliam--well you got her!
             Did you fly
             Edmund Lindsay,
    The gentlest of all the Welshmen of Tirawley!

    'Tis thus the ancient Ollaves of Erin tell
    How, through lewdness and revenge, it befell
    That the sons of William Conquer
    Came over the sons of Wattin,
    Throughout all the bounds and borders
    Of the lands of Auley Mac Fiachra;
    Till the Saxon Oliver Cromwell,
    And his valiant, Bible-guided,
    Free heretics of Clan London
    Coming in, in their succession,
    Rooted out both Burke and Barrett,
    And in their empty places
    New stems of freedom planted,
    With many a goodly sapling
    Of manliness and virtue;
    Which while their children cherish,
    Kindly Irish of the Irish,
    Neither Saxons nor Italians,
    May the mighty God of Freedom
              Speed them well,
              Never taking
    Further vengeance on his people of Tirawley.

                                                  _Sir Samuel Ferguson_



AIDEEN'S GRAVE


    They heaved the stone; they heap'd the cairn.
      Said Ossian, 'In a queenly grave
    We leave her, 'mong her fields of fern,
      Between the cliff and wave.

    'The cliff behind stands clear and bare,
      And bare, above, the heathery steep
    Scales the clear heaven's expanse, to where
      The Danaan Druids sleep.

    'And all the sands that, left and right,
      The grassy isthmus-ridge confine,
    In yellow bars lie bare and bright
      Among the sparkling brine.

    'A clear pure air pervades the scene,
      In loneliness and awe secure;
    Meet spot to sepulchre a Queen
      Who in her life was pure.

    'Here, far from camp and chase removed,
      Apart in Nature's quiet room,
    The music that alive she loved
      Shall cheer her in the tomb.

    'The humming of the noontide bees,
      The lark's loud carol all day long,
    And, borne on evening's salted breeze,
      The clanking sea-bird's song,

    'Shall round her airy chamber float,
      And with the whispering winds and streams,
    Attune to Nature's tenderest note
      The tenor of her dreams.

    'And oft, at tranquil eve's decline,
      When full tides lip the Old Green Plain,
    The lowing of Moynalty's kine
      Shall round her breathe again.

    'In sweet remembrance of the days
      When, duteous, in the lowly vale,
    Unconscious of my Oscar's gaze,
      She fill'd the fragrant pail,

    'And, duteous, from the running brook
      Drew water for the bath; nor deem'd
    A king did on her labour look,
      And she a fairy seem'd.

    'But when the wintry frosts begin,
      And in their long-drawn, lofty flight,
    The wild geese with their airy din
      Distend the ear of night,

    'And when the fierce De Danaan ghosts
      At midnight from their peak come down,
    When all around the enchanted coasts
      Despairing strangers drown;

    'When, mingling with the wreckful wail,
      From low Clontarf's wave-trampled floor
    Comes booming up the burthen'd gale
      The angry Sand-Bull's roar;

    'Or, angrier than the sea, the shout
      Of Erin's hosts in wrath combined,
    When Terror heads Oppression's rout,
      And Freedom cheers behind:--

    'Then o'er our lady's placid dream,
      Where safe from storms she sleeps, may steal
    Such joy as will not misbeseem
      A Queen of men to feel:

    'Such thrill of free, defiant pride,
      As rapt her in her battle-car
    At Gavra, when by Oscar's side
      She rode the ridge of war,

    'Exulting, down the shouting troops,
      And through the thick confronting kings,
    With hands on all their javelin loops
      And shafts on all their strings;

    'E'er closed the inseparable crowds,
      No more to part for me, and show,
    As bursts the sun through scattering clouds,
      My Oscar issuing so.

    'No more, dispelling battle's gloom,
      Shall son for me from fight return;
    The great green rath's ten-acred tomb
      Lies heavy on his urn.

    'A cup of bodkin-pencill'd clay
      Holds Oscar; mighty heart and limb
    One handful now of ashes grey:
      And she has died for him.

    'And here, hard by her natal bower
      On lone Ben Edar's side, we strive
    With lifted rock and sign of power
      To keep her name alive.

    'That while from circling year to year,
      Her Ogham-letter'd stone is seen,
    The Gael shall say, "Our Fenians here
      Entombed their loved Aideen."

    'The Ogham from her pillar-stone
      In tract of time will wear away;
    Her name at last be only known
      In Ossian's echo'd lay.

    'The long-forgotten lay I sing
      May only ages hence revive,
    (As eagle with a wounded wing
      To soar again might strive,)

    'Imperfect, in an alien speech,
      When, wandering here, some child of chance
    Through pangs of keen delight shall reach
      The gift of utterance,--

    'To speak the air, the sky to speak,
      The freshness of the hill to tell,
    Who, roaming bare Ben Edar's peak
      And Aideen's briary dell,

    'And gazing on the Cromlech vast,
      And on the mountain and the sea,
    Shall catch communion with the past
      And mix himself with me.

    'Child of the Future's doubtful night,
      Whate'er your speech, whoe'er your sires,
    Sing while you may with frank delight
      The song your hour inspires.

    'Sing while you may, nor grieve to know
      The song you sing shall also die;
    Atharna's lay has perish'd so,
      Though once it thrill'd this sky,

    'Above us, from his rocky chair,
      There, where Ben Edar's landward crest
    O'er eastern Bregia bends, to where
      Dun Almon crowns the west:

    'And all that felt the fretted air
      Throughout the song-distempered clime,
    Did droop, till suppliant Leinster's prayer
      Appeased the vengeful rhyme.

    'Ah me, or e'er the hour arrive
      Shall bid my long-forgotten tones,
    Unknown One, on your lips revive
      Here by these moss-grown stones,

    'What change shall o'er the scene have crossed;
      What conquering lords anew have come
    What lore-arm'd, mightier Druid host
      From Gaul or distant Rome!

    'What arts of death, what ways of life,
      What creeds unknown to bard or seer,
    Shall round your careless steps be rife,
      Who pause and ponder here;

    'And, haply, where yon curlew calls
      Athwart the marsh, 'mid groves and bowers,
    See rise some mighty chieftain's halls
      With unimagined towers:

    'And baying hounds, and coursers bright,
      And burnish'd cars of dazzling sheen,
    With courtly train of dame and knight,
      Where now the fern is green.

    'Or, by yon prostrate altar-stone
      May kneel, perchance, and, free from blame,
    New holy men with rites unknown
      New names of God proclaim.

    'Let change as may the Name of Awe,
      Let right surcease and altar pall,
    The same One God remains, a law
      For ever and for all.

    'Let change as may the face of earth,
      Let alter all the social frame,
    For mortal men the warp of birth
      And death are still the same.

    'And still, as life and time wear on,
      The children of the waning days,
    (Though strength be from their shoulders gone
      To lift the loads we raise,)

    'Shall weep to do the burial rites
      Of lost ones loved; and fondly found,
    In shadow of the gathering nights,
      The monumental mound.

    'Farewell! the strength of men is worn:
      The night approaches dark and chill:
    Sleep, till perchance an endless morn
      Descend the glittering hill.'

    Of Oscar and Aideen bereft,
      So Ossian's song. The Fenians sped
    Three mighty shouts to heaven; and left
      Ben Edar to the dead.

                                                  _Sir Samuel Ferguson_



DEIRDRE'S LAMENT FOR THE SONS OF USNACH

_From the Irish_


    The lions of the hill are gone,
    And I am left alone--alone--
    Dig the grave both wide and deep,
    For I am sick, and fain would sleep!

    The falcons of the wood are flown,
    And I am left alone--alone--
    Dig the grave both deep and wide,
    And let us slumber side by side.

    The dragons of the rock are sleeping,
    Sleep that wakes not for our weeping--
    Dig the grave, and make it ready,
    Lay me on my true-love's body.

    Lay their spears and bucklers bright
    By the warriors' sides aright;
    Many a day the three before me
    On their linkèd bucklers bore me.

    Lay upon the low grave floor,
    'Neath each head, the blue claymore;
    Many a time the noble three
    Reddened these blue blades for me.

    Lay the collars, as is meet,
    Of their greyhounds at their feet;
    Many a time for me have they
    Brought the tall red deer to bay.

    In the falcon's jesses throw,
    Hook and arrow, line and bow;
    Never again, by stream or plain,
    Shall the gentle woodsmen go.

    Sweet companions, ye were ever--
    Harsh to me, your sister, never;
    Woods and wilds, and misty valleys,
    Were with you as good's a palace.

    O, to hear my true-love singing,
    Sweet as sound of trumpets ringing;
    Like the sway of ocean swelling
    Rolled his deep voice round our dwelling.

    O! to hear the echoes pealing
    Round our green and fairy sheeling,
    When the three, with soaring chorus,
    Passed the silent skylark o'er us.

    Echo now, sleep, morn and even--
    Lark alone enchant the heaven!
    Ardan's lips are scant of breath,
    Neesa's tongue is cold in death.

    Stag, exult on glen and mountain--
    Salmon, leap from loch to fountain--
    Heron, in the free air warm ye--
    Usnach's sons no more will harm ye!

    Erin's stay no more you are,
    Rulers of the ridge of war;
    Never more 'twill be your fate
    To keep the beam of battle straight!

    Woe is me! by fraud and wrong,
    Traitors false and tyrants strong,
    Fell Clan Usnach, bought and sold,
    For Barach's feast and Conor's gold!

    Woe to Eman, roof and wall!
    Woe to Red Branch, hearth and hall!
    Tenfold woe and black dishonour
    To the foul and false Clan Conor!

    Dig the grave both wide and deep,
    Sick I am, and fain would sleep!
    Dig the grave and make it ready,
    Lay me on my true-love's body.

                                                  _Sir Samuel Ferguson_



THE FAIR HILLS OF IRELAND

_From the Irish_


    A plenteous place is Ireland for hospitable cheer,
                    _Uileacan dubh O!_
    Where the wholesome fruit is bursting from the yellow barley ear;
                    _Uileacan dubh O!_
    There is honey in the trees where her misty vales expand,
    And her forest paths in summer are by falling waters fanned;
    There is dew at high noontide there, and springs i' the yellow sand,
      On the fair hills of holy Ireland.

    Curled he is and ringleted, and plaited to the knee,
                    _Uileacan dubh O!_
    Each captain who comes sailing across the Irish sea;
                    _Uileacan dubh O!_
    And I will make my journey, if life and health but stand,
    Unto that pleasant country, that fresh and fragrant strand,
    And leave your boasted braveries, your wealth and high command,
      For the fair hills of holy Ireland.

    Large and profitable are the stacks upon the ground;
                    _Uileacan dubh O!_
    The butter and the cream do wondrously abound,
                    _Uileacan dubh O!_
    The cresses on the water and the sorrels are at hand,
    And the cuckoo's calling daily his note of music bland,
    And the bold thrush sings so bravely his song 'i the forest grand,
      On the fair hills of holy Ireland.

                                                  _Sir Samuel Ferguson_



LAMENT OVER THE RUINS OF THE ABBEY OF TIMOLEAGUE

_From the Irish_


    Lone and weary as I wander'd by the bleak shore of the sea,
    Meditating and reflecting on the world's hard destiny,
    Forth the moon and stars 'gan glimmer, in the quiet tide beneath,
    For on slumbering spring and blossom breathed not out of
        heaven a breath.

    On I went in sad dejection, careless where my footsteps bore,
    Till a ruined church before me opened wide its ancient door,--
    Till I stood before the portals, where of old were wont to be,
    For the blind, the halt, and leper, alms and hospitality.

    Still the ancient seat was standing, built against the buttress
        grey,
    Where the clergy used to welcome weary trav'llers on their way;
    There I sat me down in sadness, 'neath my cheek I placed my hand,
    Till the tears fell hot and briny down upon the grassy land.

    There, I said in woful sorrow, weeping bitterly the while,
    Was a time when joy and gladness reigned within this ruined pile;--
    Was a time when bells were tinkling, clergy preaching peace abroad,
    Psalms a-singing, music ringing praises to the mighty God.

    Empty aisle, deserted chancel, tower tottering to your fall,
    Many a storm since then has beaten on the grey head of your wall!
    Many a bitter storm and tempest has your roof-tree turned away,
    Since you first were formed a temple to the Lord of night and day.

    Holy house of ivied gables, that were once the country's boast,
    Houseless now in weary wandering are you scattered, saintly host;
    Lone you are to-day, and dismal,--joyful psalms no more are heard,
    Where, within your choir, her vesper screeches the cat-headed bird.

    Ivy from your eaves is growing, nettles round your green
        hearth-stone,
    Foxes howl, where, in your corners, dropping waters make their moan.
    Where the lark to early matins used your clergy forth to call,
    There, alas! no tongue is stirring, save the daw's upon the wall.

    Refectory cold and empty, dormitory bleak and bare,
    Where are now your pious uses, simple bed and frugal fare?
    Gone your abbot, rule and order, broken down your altar stones;
    Nought see I beneath your shelter, save a heap of clayey bones.

    O! the hardship, O! the hatred, tyranny, and cruel war,
    Persecution and oppression, that have left you as you are!
    I myself once also prosper'd;--mine is, too, an alter'd plight;
    Trouble, care, and age have left me good for nought but grief
        to-night.

    Gone my motion and my vigour--gone the use of eye and ear,
    At my feet lie friends and children, powerless and corrupting here;
    Woe is written on my visage, in a nut my heart could lie--
    Death's deliverance were welcome--Father, let the old man die.

                                                  _Sir Samuel Ferguson_



THE FAIRY WELL OF LAGNANAY


    Mournfully, sing mournfully--
      'O listen, Ellen, sister dear:
    Is there no help at all for me,
      But only ceaseless sigh and tear?
      Why did not he who left me here,
    With stolen hope steal memory?
      O listen, Ellen, sister dear,
    (Mournfully, sing mournfully)--
      I'll go away to Slemish hill,
    I'll pluck the fairy hawthorn-tree,
      And let the spirits work their will;
      I care not if for good or ill,
    So they but lay the memory
      Which all my heart is haunting still!
    (Mournfully, sing mournfully)--
      The Fairies are a silent race,
    And pale as lily flowers to see:
      I care not for a blanchèd face,
      Nor wandering in a dreaming place,
    So I but banish memory:--
      I wish I were with Anna Grace!'
    Mournfully, sing mournfully!

    Hearken to my tale of woe--
      'Twas thus to weeping Ellen Con,
    Her sister said in accents low,
      Her only sister, Una bawn:
      'Twas in their bed before the dawn,
    And Ellen answered sad and slow,--
      'O Una, Una, be not drawn
    (Hearken to my tale of woe)--
      To this unholy grief I pray,
    Which makes me sick at heart to know,
      And I will help you if I may:
      --The Fairy Well of Lagnanay--
    Lie nearer me, I tremble so,--
      Una, I've heard wise women say
    (Hearken to my tale of woe)--
      That if before the dews arise,
    True maiden in its icy flow
      With pure hand bathe her bosom thrice,
      Three lady-brackens pluck likewise,
    And three times round the fountain go,
      She straight forgets her tears and sighs.'
    Hearken to my tale of woe!

    All, alas! and well-away!
      'O, sister Ellen, sister sweet,
    Come with me to the hill I pray,
      And I will prove that blessed freet!'
      They rose with soft
    They left their mother where she lay,
      Their mother and her care discreet,
    (All, alas! and well-away!)
      And soon they reached the Fairy Well,
    The mountain's eye, clear, cold, and grey,
      Wide open in the dreary fell:
      How long they stood 'twere vain to tell,
    At last upon the point of day,
      Bawn Una bares her bosom's swell,
    (All, alas! and well-away!)
      Thrice o'er her shrinking breasts she laves
    The gliding glance that will not stay
      Of subtly-streaming fairy waves:--
      And now the charm three brackens craves,
    She plucks them in their fring'd array:--
      Now round the well her fate she braves,
    All, alas! and well-away!

    Save us all from Fairy thrall!
      Ellen sees her face the rim
    Twice and thrice, and that is all--
      Fount and hill and maiden swim
      All together melting dim!
    'Una! Una!' thou may'st call,
      Sister sad! but lith or limb
    (Save us all from Fairy thrall!)
      Never again of Una bawn,
    Where now she walks in dreamy hall,
      Shall eyes of mortal look upon!
      O! can it be the guard was gone,
    That better guard than shield or wall?
      Who knows on earth save Jurlagh Daune?
    (Save us all from Fairy thrall!)
      Behold the banks are green and bare,
    No pit is here wherein to fall:
      Aye--at the fount you well may stare,
      But nought save pebbles smooth is there,
    And small straws twirling one and all.
      Hie thee home, and be thy prayer,
    Save us all from Fairy thrall.

                                                  _Sir Samuel Ferguson_



ON THE DEATH OF THOMAS DAVIS


    I walked through Ballinderry in the Spring-time,
      When the bud was on the tree;
    And I said, in every fresh-ploughed field beholding
      The sowers striding free,
    Scattering broad-cast forth the corn in golden plenty
      On the quick seed-clasping soil,
    Even such, this day, among the fresh-stirred hearts of Erin,
      Thomas Davis, is thy toil!

    I sat by Ballyshannon in the summer,
      And saw the salmon leap;
    And I said, as I beheld the gallant creatures
      Spring glittering from the deep,
    Through the spray, and through the prone heaps striving onward
      To the calm clear streams above,
    So seekest thou thy native founts of freedom, Thomas Davis,
      In thy brightness of strength and love!

    I stood on Derrybawn in the Autumn,
      I heard the eagle call,
    With a clangorous cry of wrath and lamentation
      That filled the wide mountain hall,
    O'er the bare deserted place of his plundered eyrie;
      And I said, as he screamed and soared,
    So callest thou, thou wrathful-soaring Thomas Davis,
      For a nation's rights restored!

    And, alas! to think but now, and thou art lying,
      Dear Davis, dead at thy mother's knee;
    And I, no mother near, on my own sick-bed,
      That face on earth shall never see:
    I may lie and try to feel that I am not dreaming,
      I may lie and try to say 'Thy will be done'--
    But a hundred such as I will never comfort Erin
      For the loss of the noble son!

    Young husbandman of Erin's fruitful seed-time,
      In the fresh track of danger's plough!
    Who will walk the heavy, toilsome, perilous furrow
      Girt with freedom's seed-sheets now?
    Who will banish with the wholesome crop of knowledge
      The flaunting weed and the bitter thorn,
    Now that thou thyself art but a seed for hopeful planting
      Against the resurrection morn?

    Young salmon of the flood-time of freedom
      That swells round Erin's shore!
    Thou wilt leap against their loud oppressive torrent
      Of bigotry and hate no more:
    Drawn downward by their prone material instinct,
      Let them thunder on their rocks and foam--
    Thou hast leapt, aspiring soul, to founts beyond their raging,
      Where troubled waters never come!

    But I grieve not, eagle of the empty eyrie,
      That thy wrathful cry is still;
    And that the songs alone of peaceful mourners
      Are heard to-day on Erin's hill;
    Better far, if brothers' war be destined for us
      (God avert that horrid day I pray!)
    That ere our hands be stained with slaughter fratricidal
      Thy warm heart should be cold in clay.

    But my trust is strong in God, who made us brothers,
      That He will not suffer those right hands
    Which thou hast joined in holier rites than wedlock,
      To draw opposing brands.
    O, many a tuneful tongue that thou madest vocal
      Would lie cold and silent then;
    And songless long once more, should often-widowed Erin
      Mourn the loss of her brave young men.

    O, brave young men, my love, my pride, my promise,
      'Tis on you my hopes are set,
    In manliness, in kindliness, in justice,
      To make Erin a nation yet:
    Self-respecting, self-relying, self-advancing,
      In union or in severance, free and strong--
    And if God grant this, then, under God, to Thomas Davis
      Let the greater praise belong.

                                                  _Sir Samuel Ferguson_



THE COUNTY OF MAYO

_From the Irish of Thomas Lavelle_


    On the deck of Patrick Lynch's boat I sat in woful plight,
    Through my sighing all the weary day, and weeping all the night;
    Were it not that full of sorrow from my people forth I go,
    By the blessed sun! 'tis royally I'd sing thy praise, Mayo!

    When I dwelt at home in plenty, and my gold did much abound,
    In the company of fair young maids the Spanish ale went round--
    'Tis a bitter change from those gay days that now I'm forced to go,
    And must leave my bones in Santa Cruz, far from my own Mayo.

    They are altered girls in Irrul now; 'tis proud they're grown
        and high,
    With their hair-bags and their top-knots, for I pass their
        buckles by--
    But it's little now I heed their airs, for God will have it so,
    That I must depart for foreign lands, and leave my sweet Mayo.

    'Tis my grief that Patrick Loughlin is not Earl of Irrul still,
    And that Brian Duff no longer rules as Lord upon the hill:
    And that Colonel Hugh MacGrady should be lying dead and low,
    And I sailing, sailing swiftly from the county of Mayo.

                                                           _George Fox_



THE WEDDING OF THE CLANS

_A Girl's Babble_


    I go to knit two clans together;
      Our clan and this clan unseen of yore:--
    Our clan fears nought! but I go, O whither?
      This day I go from my mother's door.

    Thou, red-breast, singest the old song over,
      Though many a time thou hast sung it before;
    They never sent thee to some strange new lover:--
      I sing a new song by my mother's door.

    I stepped from my little room down by the ladder,
      The ladder that never so shook before;
    I was sad last night; to-day I am sadder,
      Because I go from my mother's door.

    The last snow melts upon bush and bramble;
      The gold bars shine on the forest's floor;
    Shake not, thou leaf! it is I must tremble
      Because I go from my mother's door.

    From a Spanish sailor a dagger I bought me;
      I trailed a rose-tree our grey bawn o'er;
    The creed and my letters our old bard taught me;
      My days were sweet by my mother's door.

    My little white goat that with raised feet huggest
      The oak stock, thy horns in the ivies frore,
    Could I wrestle like thee--how the wreaths thou tuggest!--
      I never would move from my mother's door.

    O weep no longer, my nurse and mother!
      My foster-sister, weep not so sore!
    You cannot come with me, Ir, my brother--
      Alone I go from my mother's door.

    Farewell, my wolf-hound that slew MacOwing
      As he caught me and far through the thickets bore:
    My heifer, Alb, in the green vale lowing,
      My cygnet's nest upon Lorna's shore!

    He has killed ten chiefs, this chief that plights me,
      His hand is like that of the giant Balor;
    But I fear his kiss, and his beard affrights me,
      And the great stone dragon above his door.

    Had I daughters nine, with me they should tarry;
      They should sing old songs; they should dance at my door;
    They should grind at the quern;--no need to marry;
      O when will this marriage-day be o'er?

    Had I buried, like Moirín, three mates already,
      I might say: 'Three husbands! then why not four?'
    But my hand is cold and my foot unsteady,
      Because I never was married before!

                                                       _Aubrey de Vere_



THE LITTLE BLACK ROSE


    The Little Black Rose shall be red at last;
      What made it black but the March wind dry,
    And the tear of the widow that fell on it fast?
      It shall redden the hills when June is nigh.

    The Silk of the Kine shall rest at last;
      What drove her forth but the dragon-fly?
    In the golden vale she shall feed full fast,
      With her mild gold horn and her slow, dark eye.

    The wounded wood-dove lies dead at last!
      The pine long bleeding, it shall not die!
    This song is secret. Mine ear it passed
      In a wind o'er the plains at Athenry.

                                                       _Aubrey de Vere_



SONG


    She says: 'Poor Friend, you waste a treasure
      Which you can ne'er regain--
    Time, health, and glory, for the pleasure
      Of toying with a chain.'
    But then her voice so tender grows,
      So kind and so caressing;
    Each murmur from her lips that flows
      Comes to me like a blessing.

    Sometimes she says: 'Sweet Friend, I grieve you--
      Alas, it gives me pain!
    What can I? Ah, might I relieve you,
      You ne'er had mourned in vain!'
    And then her little hand she presses
      Upon her heart, and sighs;
    While tears, whose source not yet she guesses,
      Grow larger in her eyes.

                                                       _Aubrey de Vere_



THE BARD ETHELL

_Ireland in the Thirteenth Century_


    I am Ethell, the son of Conn:
      Here I bide at the foot of the hill:
    I am clansman to Brian, and servant to none:
      Whom I hated, I hate: whom I loved, I love still.
    Blind am I. On milk I live,
      And meat, God sends it, on each Saint's Day;
    Though Donald Mac Art--may he never thrive--
      Last Shrovetide drove half my kine away.

    At the brown hill's base by the pale blue lake
      I dwell and see the things I saw:
    The heron flap heavily up from the brake;
      The crow fly homeward with twig or straw
    The wild duck a silver line in wake
      Cutting the calm mere to far Bunaw.
    And the things that I heard, though deaf, I hear,
    From the tower in the island the feastful cheer;
    The horn from the wood; the plunge of the stag,
    With the loud hounds after him down from the crag.
    Sweet is the chase, but the battle is sweeter,
    More healthy, more joyous, for true men meeter!

    My hand is weak! it once was strong:
      My heart burns still with its ancient fire.
    If any man smites me he does me wrong,
      For I was the bard of Brian Mac Guire.
    If any man slay me--not unaware,
      By no chance blow, nor in wine and revel,
    I have stored beforehand, a curse in my prayer
      For his kith and kindred; his deed is evil.

    There never was king, and never will be,
    In battle or banquet like Malachi!
    The seers his reign had predicted long;
    He honoured the bards, and gave gold for song.
    If rebels arose, he put out their eyes;
      If robbers plundered or burned the fanes,
    He hung them in chaplets, like rosaries,
      That others beholding might take more pains!
    There was none to women more reverent-minded,
      For he held his mother, and Mary, dear;
    If any man wronged them, that man he blinded,
      Or straight amerced him of hand or ear.
    There was none who founded more convents--none;
      In his palace the old and poor were fed;
    The orphan might walk, or the widow's son,
      Without groom or page to his throne or bed.
    In his council he mused, with great brows divine,
    And eyes like the eyes of the musing kine,
    Upholding a sceptre o'er which men said,
    Seven spirits of wisdom like fire-tongues played.
    He drained ten lakes, and he built ten bridges;
      He bought a gold book for a thousand cows;
    He slew ten princes who brake their pledges;
      With the bribed and the base he scorned to carouse.
    He was sweet and awful; through all his reign
    God gave great harvests to vale and plain;
    From his nurse's milk he was kind and brave;
    And when he went down to his well-wept grave,
    Through the triumph of penance his soul arose
    To God and the saints. Not so his foes.

    The King that came after, ah woe, woe, woe!
    He doubted his friend, and he trusted his foe,
    He bought and he sold: his kingdom old
      He pledged and pawned, to avenge a spite:
    No Bard or prophet his birth foretold:
      He was guarded and warded both day and night:
    He counselled with fools and had boors at his feast:
    He was cruel to Christian and kind to beast:
    Men smiled when they talked of him far o'er the wave:
    Well paid were the mourners that wept at his grave.
    God plagued for his sake his people sore:
      They sinned; for the people should watch and pray,
    That their prayers like angels at window and door,
      May keep from the King the bad thought away!

    The sun has risen: on lip and brow,
      He greets me--I feel it--with golden wand:
    Ah, bright-faced Norna! I see thee now:
      Where first I saw thee I see thee stand!
    From the trellis the girl looked down on me:
      Her maidens stood near; it was late in spring;
    The grey priest laughed, as she cried in glee,
      'Good Bard, a song in my honour sing.'
    I sang her praise in a loud-voiced hymn,
    To God who had fashioned her face and limb,
    For the praise of the clan, and the land's behoof:
    So she flung me a flower from the trellis roof.
    Ere long I saw her the hill descending,
      O'er the lake the May morning rose moist and slow,
    She prayed me, her smile with the sweet voice blending,
      To teach her all that a woman should know.
    Panting she stood; she was out of breath;
      The wave of her little breast was shaking;
    From eyes still childish, and dark as death,
      Came womanhood's dawn through a dew-cloud breaking.
    Norna was never long time the same;
      By a spirit so strong was her slight form moulded,
    The curves swelled out from the flower-like frame
      In joy; in grief to a bud she folded:
    As she listened, her eyes grew bright and large,
    Like springs rain-fed that dilate their marge.
    So I taught her the hymn of Patrick the Apostle,
      And the marvels of Bridget and Columbkille;
    Ere long she sang like the lark or the throstle,
      Sang the deeds of the servants of God's high will:
    I told her of Brendan, who found afar
    Another world 'neath the western star;
    Of our three great bishops in Lindisfarne isle;
    Of St. Fursey the wondrous, Fiacre without guile;
    Of Sedulius, hymn-maker when hymns were rare;
    Of Scotus the subtle, who clove a hair
    Into sixty parts, and had marge to spare.
    To her brother I spake of Oisin and Fionn,
    And they wept at the death of great Oisin's son.
    I taught the heart of the boy to revel
      In tales of old greatness that never tire;
    And the virgin's, up-springing from earth's low level,
      To wed with heaven like the altar fire.
    I taught her all that a woman should know,
      And that none should teach her worse lore, I gave her
    A dagger keen, and taught her the blow
    That subdues the knave to discreet behaviour.
    A sand-stone there on my knee she set,
    And sharpened its point--I can see her yet
    I held back her hair and she sharpen'd the edge,
    While the wind piped low through the reeds and sedge.

    She died in the convent on Ina's height:--
      I saw her the day that she took the veil:
    As slender she stood as the Paschal light,
      As tall and slender and bright and pale!
    I saw her: and dropped as dead: bereaven
    Is earth when her holy ones leave her for heaven.
    Her brother fell in the fight at Begh,
    May they plead for me both on my dying day!

    All praise to the man who brought us the Faith!
    'Tis a staff by day and our pillow in death!
    All praise I say to that blessed youth,
    Who heard in a dream from Tyrawley's strand
    That wail, 'Put forth o'er the sea thy hand:
    In the dark we die: give us hope and Truth!'
    But Patrick built not on Iorras' shore
    That convent where now the Franciscans dwell:
    Columba was mighty in prayer and war:
    But the young monk preaches as loud as his bell,
    That love must rule all, and all wrongs be forgiven,
    Or else he is sure we shall reach not heaven!
    This doctrine I count right cruel and hard,
    And when I am laid in the old churchyard,
    The habit of Francis I will not wear:
    Nor wear I his cord or his cloth of hair
    In secret. Men dwindle: till psalm and prayer
    Had softened the land no Dane dwelt there!

    I forgive old Cathbar who sank my boat:
      Must I pardon Feargal who slew my son:
    Or the pirate, Strongbow, who burned Granote,
      They tell me, and in it nine priests, a nun,
    And worse--St. Finian's old crozier staff?
    At forgiveness like that, I spit and laugh!
    My chief in his wine-cups forgave twelve men:
    And of these a dozen rebelled again.
    There never was chief more brave than he!
      The night he was born Loch Gar up-burst:
    He was bard-loving, gift-making, fond of glee,
      The last to fly, to advance the first.
    He was like the top spray upon Uladh's oak,
      He was like the tap-root of Argial's pine:
    He was secret and sudden: as lightning his stroke:
      There was none that could fathom his hid design.
    He slept not: if any man scorned his alliance
    He struck the first blow for a frank defiance,
    With that look in his face, half night, half light,
    Like the lake just blackened yet ridged with white!
    There were comely wonders before he died:
    The eagle barked, and the Banshee cried,
    The witch-elm wept with a blighted bud,
    The spray of the torrent was red with blood:
    The chief returned from the mountains bound,
    Forgot to ask after Bran his hound.
    We knew he would die: three days were o'er,
    He died. We _waked_ him for three days more:
    One by one, upon brow and breast,
    The whole clan kissed him: In peace may he rest!

    I sang his dirge, I could sing that time
    Four thousand staves of ancestral rhyme:
    To-day I can scarcely sing the half:
    Of old I was corn, and I now am chaff!
    My song to-day is a breeze that shakes
      Feebly the down on the cygnet's breast;
    'Twas then a billow the beach that rakes,
      Or a storm that buffets the mountain's crest.
    Whatever I bit with a venomed song,
      Grew sick, were it beast, or tree, or man:
    The wronged one sued me to right his wrong
      With the flail of the Satire and fierce Ode's fan.
    I sang to the chieftains: each stock I traced,
    Lest lines should grow tangled through fraud or haste.
    To princes I sang in a loftier tone
    Of Moran the just who refused a throne;
    Of Moran, whose torque would close, and choke
    The wry-necked witness that falsely spoke.
    I taught them how to win love and hate,
    Not love from all; and to shun debate.
    To maids in the bower I sang of love:
    And of war at the feastings in bawn or grove.

    Great is our Order: but greater far
      Were its pomp and power in the days of old,
    When the five Chief Bards in peace or war
      Had thirty bards each in his train enrolled:
    When Ollave Fodla in Tara's hall
      Fed bards and kings; when the boy King Nial
    Was trained by Torna; when Britain and Gaul
      Sent crowns of laurel to Dallan Forgial.
    To-day we can launch the clans into fight;
      That day we could freeze them in mid career!
    Whatever man knows was our realm by right:
      The lore without music no Gael would hear.
    Old Cormac the brave blind king was bard
    Ere fame rose yet of O'Daly and Ward.
    The son of Milesius was bard--'Go back
      My People,' he sang, 'ye have done a wrong!
    Nine waves go back o'er the green sea track,
      Let your foes their castles and coasts make strong.
    To the island you came by stealth and at night:
    She is ours if we win her, in all men's sight;'
    For that first song's sake let our bards hold fast
    To Truth and Justice from first to last!
    'Tis over! some think we erred through pride,
    Though Columba the vengeance turned aside.
    Too strong we were not: too rich we were:
    Give wealth to knaves: 'tis the true man's snare.

    But now men lie: they are just no more;
      They forsake the old ways; they quest for new;
    They pry and they snuff after strange false lore,
      As dogs hunt vermin: it never was true:--
    I have scorned it for twenty years--this babble,
    That eastward and southward, a Saxon rabble
    Have won great battles and rule large lands,
    And plight with daughters of ours their hands.
    We know the bold Norman o'erset their throne
    Long since. Our lands! let them guard their own.

    How long He leaves me--the great God--here!
      Have I sinned some sin, or has God forgotten?
    This year, I think, is my hundredth year;
      I am like a bad apple unripe and rotten!
    They shall lift me ere long, they shall lay me--the clan,--
    By the strength of men on Mount Cruachan!
    God has much to think of! How much He hath seen,
    And how much is gone by that once hath been!
    On sandy hills where the rabbits burrow,
      Are Raths of Kings' men, named not now;
    On mountain-tops I have tracked the furrow,
      And found in forests the buried plough.
    For one now living the strong land then
    Gave kindly food and raiment to ten.
    No doubt they waxed proud and their God defied:
      So their harvest He blighted and burned their hoard;
      Or He sent them plagues, or He sent the sword,
    Or He sent them lightning and so they died,
    Like Dathi the King on the dark Alp's side.
    Ah me! that man who is made of dust,
      Should have pride towards God! 'Tis a demon's spleen!
    I have often feared lest God the All-just,
      Should bend from heaven and sweep earth clean:
    Should sweep us all into corners and holes,
    Like dust of the house-floor both bodies and souls!
    I have often feared He would send some wind
    In wrath; and the nation wake up stone blind.
      In age or in youth we have all wrought ill:
      I say not our great King Nial did well,
    Although he was Lord of the Pledges Nine,
      Where besides subduing this land of Eire,
    He raised in Armorica banner and sign,
      And wasted the British coast with fire.
    Perhaps in His mercy the Lord will say,
    'These men, God's help, 'twas a rough boy-play!'
    He is certain, that young Franciscan Priest--
    God sees great sin where men see least;
    Yet this were to give unto God the eye--
    Unmeet the thought, of the humming fly!
    I trust there are small things He scorns to see
    In the lowly who cry to Him piteously.
    Our hope is Christ: I have wept full oft,
      He came not to Eire in Oisin's time;
    Though love and those new monks would make men soft,
      If they were not hardened by war and rhyme.
    I have done my part: my end draws nigh:
    I shall leave old Eire with a smile and sigh,
    She will miss me not as I missed my son,
    Yet for her and her praise were my best deeds done.
    Man's deeds! Man's deeds! they are shades that fleet,
    Or ripples like those that break at my feet.
    The deeds of my chief and the deeds of my king
    Grow hazy, far seen, in the hills in spring.
    Nothing is great save the death on the cross!
      But Pilate and Herod I hate, and know
      Had Fionn lived then he had laid them low,
    Though the world thereby had sustained great loss.
    My blindness and deafness and aching back
    With meekness I bear for that suffering's sake;
    And the Lent-fast for Mary's sake I love,
    And the honour of Him, the Man Above!
    My songs are all over now:--so best!
    They are laid in the heavenly Singer's breast,
    Who never sings but a star is born:
    May we hear His song in the endless morn!
    I give glory to God for our battles won
      By wood or river, on bay or creek:
    For Norna--who died; for my father, Conn:
      For feasts, and the chase on the mountains bleak:
    I bewail my sins, both unknown and known,
      And of those I have injured forgiveness seek.
    The men that were wicked to me and mine
    (Not quenching a wrong, nor in war nor wine),
    I forgive and absolve them all, save three:
    May Christ in His mercy be kind to me!

                                                       _Aubrey de Vere_



LAMENT FOR THE DEATH OF EOGHAN RUADH O'NEILL


    'Did they dare, did they dare, to slay Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill?'
    'Yes, they slew with poison him they feared to meet with steel.'
    'May God wither up their hearts! May their blood cease to flow!
    May they walk in living death, who poisoned Eoghan Ruadh!

    'Though it break my heart to hear, say again the bitter words.'
    'From Derry, against Cromwell, he marched to measure swords:
    But the weapon of the Sassanach met him on his way,
    And he died at Cloch Uachtar, upon St. Leonard's day.

    'Wail, wail ye for the Mighty One! Wail, wail ye for the Dead!
    Quench the hearth, and hold the breath--with ashes strew the head.
    How tenderly we loved him! How deeply we deplore!
    Holy Saviour! but to think we shall never see him more!

    'Sagest in the council was he, kindest in the hall,
    Sure we never won a battle--'twas Owen won them all.
    Had he lived--had he lived--our dear country had been free;
    But he's dead, but he's dead, and 'tis slaves we'll ever be.

    'O'Farrell and Clanricarde, Preston and Red Hugh,
    Audley and MacMahon--ye are valiant, wise, and true;
    But--what are ye all to our darling who is gone?
    The Rudder of our Ship was he, our Castle's corner stone!

    'Wail, wail him through the Island! Weep, weep for our pride!
    Would that on the battle-field our gallant chief had died!
    Weep the Victor of Beinn Burb--weep him, young and old;
    Weep for him, ye women--your Beautiful lies cold!

    'We thought you would not die--we were sure you would not go,
    And leave us in our utmost need to Cromwell's cruel blow--
    Sheep without a shepherd, when the snow shuts out the sky--
    O! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?

    'Soft as woman's was your voice, O'Neill! bright was your eye,
    O! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?
    Your troubles are all over, you're at rest with God on high,
    But we're slaves, and we're orphans, Eoghan!--why did you die?'

                                                         _Thomas Davis_



MAIRE BHAN ASTÓR


    In a valley far away,
      With my _Maire bhan astór_,
    Short would be the summer-day,
      Ever loving more and more;
    Winter days would all grow long,
      With the light her heart would pour,
    With her kisses and her song,
      And her loving _mait go leór_.
        Fond is _Maire bhan astór_,
        Fair is _Maire bhan astór_,
        Sweet as ripple on the shore,
        Sings my _Maire bhan astór_.

    O! her sire is very proud,
      And her mother cold as stone;
    But her brother bravely vowed
      She should be my bride alone;
    For he knew I loved her well,
      And he knew she loved me too,
    So he sought their pride to quell,
      But 'twas all in vain to sue.
        True is _Maire bhan astór_,
        Tried is _Maire bhan astór_,
        Had I wings I'd never soar
        From my _Maire bhan astór_.

    There are lands where manly toil
      Surely reaps the crop it sows,
    Glorious woods and teeming soil,
      Where the broad Missouri flows:
    Through the trees the smoke shall rise,
      From our hearth with _mait go leór_,
    There shall shine the happy eyes
      Of my _Maire bhan astór_.
        Mild is _Maire bhan astór_,
        Mine is _Maire bhan astór_,
        Saints will watch about the door
        Of my _Maire bhan astór_.

                                                         _Thomas Davis_



O! THE MARRIAGE

AIR--_The Swaggering Jig_


    O! the marriage, the marriage,
      With love and _mo bhuachaill_ for me,
    The ladies that ride in a carriage
      Might envy my marriage to me;
    For Eoghan is straight as a tower,
      And tender and loving and true,
    He told me more love in an hour
      Than the Squires of the county could do.
              Then, O! the marriage, etc.

    His hair is a shower of soft gold,
      His eye is as clear as the day,
    His conscience and vote were unsold
      When others were carried away;
    His word is as good as an oath,
      And freely 'twas given to me;
    O! sure 'twill be happy for both
      The day of our marriage to see.
              Then, O! the marriage, etc.

    His kinsmen are honest and kind,
      The neighbours think much of his skill,
    And Eoghan's the lad to my mind,
      Though he owns neither castle nor mill.
    But he has a tilloch of land,
      A horse, and a stocking of coin,
    A foot for a dance, and a hand
      In the cause of his country to join.
              Then, O! the marriage, etc.

    We meet in the market and fair--
      We meet in the morning and night--
    He sits on the half of my chair,
      And my people are wild with delight.
    Yet I long through the winter to skim,
      Though Eoghan longs more, I can see,
    When I will be married to him,
      And he will be married to me.
    Then, O! the marriage, the marriage,
      With love and _mo bhuachaill_ for me,
    The ladies that ride in a carriage
      Might envy my marriage to me.

                                                         _Thomas Davis_



A PLEA FOR LOVE


    The summer brook flows in the bed,
      The winter torrent tore asunder;
    The skylark's gentle wings are spread
      Where walk the lightning and the thunder;
    And thus you'll find the sternest soul
      The gayest tenderness concealing,
    And minds that seem to mock control,
      Are ordered by some fairy feeling.

    Then, maiden! start not from the hand
      That's hardened by the swaying sabre--
    The pulse beneath may be as bland
      As evening after day of labour:
    And, maiden! start not from the brow
      That thought has knit, and passion darkened--
    In twilight hours, 'neath forest bough,
      The tenderest tales are often hearkened.

                                                         _Thomas Davis_



REMEMBRANCE


    Cold in the earth--and the deep snow piled above thee,
      Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
    Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
      Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave?

    Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
      Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
    Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
      Thy noble heart for ever, ever more?

    Cold in the earth--and fifteen wild Decembers,
      From these brown hills, have melted into spring!
    Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
      After such years of change and suffering!

    Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
      While the world's tide is bearing me along;
    Other desires and other hopes beset me,
      Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong;

    No later light has lighted up my heaven,
      No second morn has ever shone for me;
    All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
      All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.

    But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
      And even Despair was powerless to destroy;
    Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
      Strengthened and fed without the aid of joy.

    Then did I check the tears of useless passion--
      Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;
    Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten,
      Down to that tomb already more than mine.

    And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
      Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain;
    Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish
      How could I seek the empty world again?

                                                         _Emily Brontë_



A FRAGMENT FROM 'THE PRISONER: A FRAGMENT'


    Still, let my tyrants know, I am not doomed to wear
    Year after year in gloom, and desolate despair;
    A messenger of Hope comes every night to me,
    And offers for short life, eternal liberty.

    He comes with Western winds, with evening's wandering airs,
    With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest stars.
    Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire,
    And visions rise, and change, that kill me with desire.

    Desire for nothing known in my maturer years,
    When Joy grew mad with awe, at counting future tears.
    When, if my spirit's sky was full of flashes warm,
    I knew not whence they came, from sun or thunderstorm.

    But first, a hush of peace--a soundless calm descends;
    The struggle of distress, and fierce impatience ends.
    Mute music soothes my breast--unuttered harmony
    That I could never dream, till Earth was lost to me.

    Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals;
    My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels:
    Its wings are almost free--its home, its harbour found,
    Measuring the gulf, it stoops, and dares the final bound.

    O, dreadful is the check--intense the agony--
    When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see;
    When the pulse begins to throb,--the brain to think again,
    The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.

    Yet I would lose no sting, would wish no torture less,
    The more that anguish racks, the earlier it will bless;
    And robed in fires of hell, or bright with heavenly shine,
    If it but herald death, the vision is divine.

                                                         _Emily Brontë_



LAST LINES


      No coward soul is mine,
    No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
      I see Heaven's glories shine,
    And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

      O God, within my breast,
    Almighty, ever-present Deity!
      Life--that in me has rest,
    As I--undying Life--have power in Thee.

      Vain are the thousand creeds
    That move men's hearts: unutterably vain;
      Worthless as withered weeds,
    Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

      To waken doubt in one
    Holding so fast to Thine infinity;
      So surely anchored on
    The steadfast rock of immortality,

      With wide-embracing love
    Thy spirit animates eternal years,
      Pervades and broods above,
    Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

      Though earth and man were gone,
    And suns and universes ceased to be,
      And Thou were left alone,
    Every existence would exist in Thee.

      There is not room for Death,
    Nor atom that his might could render void:
      Thou--Thou art Being and Breath,
    And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

                                                         _Emily Brontë_



THE MEMORY OF THE DEAD


    Who fears to speak of Ninety-eight?
      Who blushes at the name?
    When cowards mock the patriot's fate,
      Who hangs his head for shame?
    He's all a knave or half a slave
      Who slights his country thus;
    But a true man, like you, man,
      Will fill your glass with us.

    We drink the memory of the brave,
      The faithful and the few--
    Some lie far off beyond the wave,
      Some sleep in Ireland, too;
    All, all are gone--but still lives on
      The fame of those who died;
    All true men, like you, men,
      Remember them with pride.

    Some on the shores of distant lands
      Their weary hearts have laid,
    And by the stranger's heedless hands
      Their lonely graves were made;
    But, though their clay be far away
      Beyond the Atlantic foam,
    In true men, like you, men,
      Their spirit's still at home.

    The dust of some is Irish earth;
      Among their own they rest;
    And the same land that gave them birth
      Has caught them to her breast;
    And we will pray that from their clay
      Full many a race may start
    Of true men, like you, men,
      To act as brave a part.

    They rose in dark and evil days
      To right their native land;
    They kindled here a living blaze
      That nothing shall withstand.
    Alas! that Might can vanquish Right--
      _They_ fell, and passed away;
    But true men, like you, men,
      Are plenty here to-day.

    Then here's their memory--may it be
      For us a guiding light,
    To cheer our strife for liberty,
      And teach us to unite!
    Through good and ill, be Ireland's still,
      Though sad as theirs your fate;
    And true men, be you, men,
      Like those of Ninety-Eight.

                                                    _John Kells Ingram_



THE WINDING BANKS OF ERNE; OR, THE EMIGRANT'S ADIEU TO BALLYSHANNY


    Adieu to Ballyshanny! where I was bred and born;
    Go where I may, I'll think of you, as sure as night and morn;
    The kindly spot, the friendly town, where every one is known,
    And not a face in all the place but partly seems my own;
    There's not a house or window, there's not a field or hill,
    But East or West, in foreign lands, I'll recollect them still.
    I leave my warm heart with you, tho' my back I'm forced to turn--
    So adieu to Ballyshanny, and the winding banks of Erne!

    No more on pleasant evenings we'll saunter down the Mall,
    When the trout is rising to the fly, the salmon to the fall.
    The boat comes straining on her net, and heavily she creeps,
    Cast off, cast off--she feels the oars, and to her berth she sweeps;
    Now fore and aft keep hauling, and gathering up the clew,
    Till a silver wave of salmon rolls in among the crew.
    Then they may sit, with pipes a-lit, and many a joke and 'yarn':--
    Adieu to Ballyshanny, and the winding banks of Erne!

    The music of the waterfall, the mirror of the tide,
    When all the green-hill'd harbour is full from side to side,
    From Portnasun to Bulliebawns, and round the Abbey Bay,
    From rocky Inis Saimer to Coolnargit sandhills gray;
    While far upon the southern line, to guard it like a wall,
    The Leitrim mountains clothed in blue gaze calmly over all,
    And watch the ship sail up or down, the red flag at her stern;--
    Adieu to these, adieu to all the winding banks of Erne!

    Farewell to you, Kildoney lads, and them that pull an oar,
    A lug-sail set, or haul a net, from the Point to Mullaghmore;
    From Killybegs to bold Slieve-League, that ocean-mountain steep,
    Six hundred yards in air aloft, six hundred in the deep;
    From Dooran to the Fairy Bridge, and round by Tullen strand,
    Level and long, and white with waves, where gull and curlew stand;
    Head out to sea when on your lee the breakers you discern!--
    Adieu to all the billowy coast, and winding banks of Erne!

    Farewell, Coolmore,--Bundoran! and your summer crowds that run
    From inland homes to see with joy th' Atlantic setting sun;
    To breathe the buoyant salted air, and sport among the waves;
    To gather shells on sandy beach, and tempt the gloomy caves;
    To watch the flowing, ebbing tide, the boats, the crabs, the fish;
    Young men and maids to meet and smile, and form a tender wish;
    The sick and old in search of health, for all things have
        their turn--
    And I must quit my native shore, and the winding banks of Erne!

    Farewell to every white cascade from the Harbour to Belleek,
    And every pool where fins may rest, and ivy-shaded creek;
    The sloping fields, the lofty rocks, where ash and holly grow,
    The one split yew-tree gazing on the curving flood below;
    The Lough that winds through islands under Turaw mountain green;
    And Castle Caldwell's stretching woods, with tranquil bays between;
    And Breesie Hill, and many a pond among the heath and fern;--
    For I must say adieu--adieu to the winding banks of Erne!

    The thrush will call through Camlin groves the live-long summer day;
    The waters run by mossy cliff, and banks with wild flowers gay;
    The girls will bring their work and sing beneath a twisted thorn,
    Or stray with sweethearts down the path among the growing corn;
    Along the river-side they go, where I have often been,--
    O never shall I see again the days that I have seen!
    A thousand chances are to one I never may return,--
    Adieu to Ballyshanny, and the winding banks of Erne!

    Adieu to evening dances, when merry neighbours meet,
    And the fiddle says to boys and girls, 'Get up and shake your feet!'
    To _shanachus_ and wise old talk of Erin's days gone by--
    Who trench'd the rath on such a hill, and where the bones may lie
    Of saint, or king, or warrior chief; with tales of fairy power,
    And tender ditties sweetly sung to pass the twilight hour.
    The mournful song of exile is now for me to learn--
    Adieu, my dear companions on the winding banks of Erne!

    Now measure from the Commons down to each end of the Purt,
    Round the Abbey, Moy, and Knather,--I wish no one any hurt;
    The Main Street, Back Street, College Lane, the Mall, and Portnasun,
    If any foes of mine are there, I pardon every one.
    I hope that man and womankind will do the same by me;
    For my heart is sore and heavy at voyaging the sea.
    My loving friends I'll bear in mind, and often fondly turn
    To think of Ballyshanny and the winding banks of Erne!

    If ever I'm a money'd man, I mean, please God, to cast
    My golden anchor in the place where youthful years were past;
    Though heads that now are black and brown must meanwhile
        gather gray,
    New faces rise by every hearth, and old ones drop away--
    Yet dearer still that Irish hill than all the world beside;
    It's home, sweet home, where'er I roam, through lands and
        waters wide.
    And if the Lord allows me, I surely will return
    To my native Ballyshanny, and the winding banks of Erne.

                                                    _William Allingham_



THE FAIRIES


    Up the airy mountain,
      Down the rushy glen,
    We daren't go a-hunting
      For fear of little men;
    Wee folk, good folk,
      Trooping all together;
    Green jacket, red cap,
      And white owl's feather!
    Down along the rocky shore
      Some make their home,
    They live on crispy pancakes,
      Of yellow tide-foam;
    Some in the reeds
      Of the bleak mountain lake,
    With frogs for their watch-dogs,
      All night awake.

    High on the hill-top
      The old King sits;
    He is now so old and gray
      He's nigh lost his wits.
    With a bridge of white mist
      Columbkill he crosses,
    On his stately journeys
      From Sleeveleague to Rosses;
    Or going up with music
      On cold starry nights,
    To sup with the Queen
      Of the gay Northern Lights.

    They stole little Bridget
      For seven years long;
    When she came down again
      Her friends were all gone.
    They took her lightly back,
      Between the night and morrow,
    They thought that she was fast asleep,
      But she was dead with sorrow.
    They have kept her ever since
      Deep within the lake,
    On a bed of flag-leaves,
      Watching till she wake.

    By the craggy hillside
      Through the mosses bare,
    They have planted thorn-trees
      For pleasure here and there.
    If any man so daring
      As dig them up in spite,
    He shall find their sharpest thorns
      In his bed at night.

    Up the airy mountain,
      Down the rushy glen,
    We daren't go a-hunting
      For fear of little men;
    Wee folk, good folk,
      Trooping all together;
    Green jacket, red cap,
      And white owl's feather!

                                                    _William Allingham_



THE ABBOT OF INISFALEN

_A Killarney Legend_


    The Abbot of Inisfalen awoke ere dawn of day;
    Under the dewy green leaves went he forth to pray.
    The lake around his island lay smooth and dark and deep,
    And wrapped in a misty stillness the mountains were all asleep.
    Low kneel'd the Abbot Cormac when the dawn was dim and gray,
    The prayers of his holy office he faithfully 'gan say.
    Low kneel'd the Abbot Cormac while the dawn was waxing red;
    And for his sins' forgiveness a solemn prayer he said:
    Low kneel'd that holy Abbot while the dawn was waking clear,
    And he prayed with loving-kindness for his convent-brethren dear.
    Low kneel'd the blessed Abbot while the dawn was waxing bright;
    He pray'd a great prayer for Ireland, he pray'd with all his might.
    Low kneel'd that good old Father while the sun began to dart;
    He pray'd a prayer for all men, he pray'd it from his heart.
    His blissful soul was in Heaven, tho' a breathing man was he;
    He was out of time's dominion, so far as the living may be.

    The Abbot of Inisfalen arose upon his feet;
    He heard a small bird singing, and O but it sung sweet!
    It sung upon a holly-bush, this little snow-white bird;
    A song so full of gladness he never before had heard,
    It sung upon a hazel, it sung upon a thorn;
    He had never heard such music since the hour that he was born.
    It sung upon a sycamore, it sung upon a briar;
    To follow the song and hearken the Abbot would never tire.
    Till at last he well bethought him, he might no longer stay;
    So he bless'd the little white singing-bird, and gladly went
        his way.

    But, when he came to his Abbey, he found a wondrous wondrous change;
    He saw no friendly faces there, for every face was strange.
    The strange men spoke unto him; and he heard from all and each
    The foreign tongue of the Sassenach, not wholesome Irish speech.
    Then the oldest monk came forward, in Irish tongue spake he:
    'Thou wearest the holy Augustine's dress, and who hath given
        it to thee?'
    'I wear the holy Augustine's dress, and Cormac is my name,
    The Abbot of this good Abbey by grace of God I am.

    I went forth to pray, at the dawn of day; and when my prayers
        were said,
    I hearken'd awhile to a little bird, that sang above my head.'
    The monks to him made answer, 'Two hundred years have gone o'er,
    Since our Abbot Cormac went through the gate, and never was
        heard of more.
    Matthias now is our Abbot, and twenty have pass'd away.
    The stranger is lord of Ireland; we live in an evil day.
    Days will come and go,' he said, 'and the world will pass away:
    In Heaven a day is a thousand years, a thousand years are a day.'

    'Now give me absolution; for my time is come,' said he.
    And they gave him absolution, as speedily as might be.
    Then, close outside the window, the sweetest song they heard
    That ever yet since the world began was utter'd by any bird.
    The monks look'd out and saw the bird, its feathers all white
        and clean;
    And then in a moment, beside it, another white bird was seen.
    Those two they sang together, waved their white wings, and fled;
    Flew aloft and vanish'd; but the good old man was dead.
    They buried his blessed body where lake and green-sward meet,
    A carven cross above his head, a holly-bush at his feet;
    Where spreads the beautiful water to gay or cloudy skies,
    And the purple peaks of Killarney from ancient woods arise.

                                                    _William Allingham_



TWILIGHT VOICES


    Now, at the hour when ignorant mortals
      Drowse in the shade of their whirling sphere,
    Heaven and Hell from invisible portals
      Breathing comfort and ghastly fear,
                Voices I hear;
    I hear strange voices, flitting, calling,
      Wavering by on the dusky blast,--
    'Come, let us go, for the night is falling;
      Come, let us go, for the day is past!'

    Troops of joys are they, now departed?
      Winged hopes that no longer stay?
    Guardian spirits grown weary-hearted?
      Powers that have linger'd their latest day?
                What do they say?
    What do they sing? I hear them calling,
      Whispering, gathering, flying fast,--
    'Come, come, for the night is falling;
      Come, come, for the day is past!'

    Sing they to me?--'Thy taper's wasted;
      Mortal, thy sands of life run low;
    Thine hours like a flock of birds have hasted:
      Time is ending;--we go, we go.'
                Sing they so?
    Mystical voices, floating, calling;
      Dim farewells--the last, the last?
    'Come, come away, the night is falling;
      Come, come away, the day is past.'

    See, I am ready, Twilight voices!
      Child of the spirit-world am I;
    How should I fear you? my soul rejoices,
      O speak plainer! O draw nigh!
                Fain would I fly!
    Tell me your message, Ye who are calling
      Out of the dimness vague and vast;
    Lift me, take me,--the night is falling;
      Quick, let us go,--the day is past.

                                                    _William Allingham_



FOUR DUCKS ON A POND


    Four ducks on a pond,
    A grass-bank beyond,
    A blue sky of spring,
    White clouds on the wing:
    What a little thing
    To remember for years--
    To remember with tears!

                                                    _William Allingham_



THE LOVER AND BIRDS


      Within a budding grove,
    In April's ear sang every bird his best,
    But not a song to pleasure my unrest,
      Or touch the tears unwept of bitter love;
    Some spake, methought, with pity, some as if in jest.
                To every word
                Of every bird
      I listen'd, or replied as it behove.

      Scream'd Chaffinch, 'Sweet, sweet, sweet!
    Pretty lovey, come and meet me here!'
    'Chaffinch,' quoth I, 'be dumb awhile, in fear
      Thy darling prove no better than a cheat,
    And never come, or fly when wintry days appear.'
                Yet from a twig,
                With voice so big,
      The little fowl his utterance did repeat.

      Then I, 'The man forlorn
    Hears Earth send up a foolish noise aloft.'
    'And what'll _he_ do? What'll _he_ do?' scoff'd
      The Blackbird, standing, in ancient thorn,
    Then spread his sooty wings and flitted to the croft
                With cackling laugh;
                Whom I, being half
      Enraged, called after, giving back his scorn.

      Worse mock'd the Thrush, 'Die! die!
    O, could he do it? could he do it? Nay!
    Be quick! be quick! Here, here, here!' (went his lay).
      'Take heed! take heed!' then, 'Why? why? why? why? why?
    See-ee now! see-ee now!' (he drawl'd) 'Back! back!
        back! R-r-r-run away!'
                O Thrush, be still!
                Or at thy will
      Seek some less sad interpreter than I.

      'Air, air! blue air and white!
    Whither I flee, whither, O whither, O whither I flee!'
    (Thus the Lark hurried, mounting from the lea)
      'Hills, countries, many waters glittering bright
    Whither I see, whither I see! deeper, deeper, deeper,
        whither I see, see, see!'
                'Gay Lark,' I said,
                'The song that's bred
      In happy nest may well to heaven make flight.'

      'There's something, something sad
    I half remember'--piped a broken strain.
    Well sung, sweet Robin! Robin sung again.
      'Spring's opening cheerily, cheerily! be we glad!'
    Which moved, I wist not why, me melancholy mad,
                Till now, grown meek,
                With wetted cheek,
      Most comforting and gentle thoughts I had.

                                                    _William Allingham_



THE CELTS


    Long, long ago, beyond the misty space
      Of twice a thousand years,
    In Erin old there dwelt a mighty race
      Taller than Roman spears;
    Like oaks and towers, they had a giant grace,
      Were fleet as deers:
    With winds and waves they made their biding-place,
      The Western shepherd seers.

    Their ocean-god was _Mananan Mac Lir_,
      Whose angry lips
    In their white foam full often would inter
      Whole fleets of ships:
    _Crom_ was their day-god, and their thunderer
      Made morning and eclipse:
    _Bride_ was their queen of song, and unto her
      They pray'd with fire-touch'd lips.

    Great were their acts, their passions, and their sports;
      With clay and stone
    They piled on strath and shore those mystic forts,
      Not yet undone;
    On cairn-crown'd hills they held their council courts;
      While youths--alone--
    With giant-dogs, explored the elks' resorts,
      And brought them down.

    Of these was _Finn_, the father of the bard
      Whose ancient song
    Over the clamour of all change is heard,
      Sweet-voiced and strong.
    Finn once o'ertook Granu, the golden-hair'd,
      The fleet and young:
    From her, the lovely, and from him, the feared,
      The primal poet sprung--

    _Ossian!_--two thousand years of mist and change
      Surround thy name;
    Thy Finnian heroes now no longer range
      The hills of Fame.
    The very name of Finn and Gael sound strange;
      Yet thine the same
    By miscall'd lake and desecrated grange
      Remains, and shall remain!

    The Druid's altar and the Druid's creed
      We scarce can trace;
    There is not left an undisputed deed
      Of all your race--
    Save your majestic Song, which hath their speed,
      And strength, and grace:
    In that sole song they live, and love, and bleed--
      It bears them on through space.

    Inspirèd giant, shall we e'er behold,
      In our own time,
    One fit to speak your spirit on the wold,
      Or seize your rhyme?
    One pupil of the past, as mighty-soul'd
      As in the prime
    Were the fond, fair, and beautiful, and bold--
      They of your song sublime?

                                                  _Thomas D'Arcy McGee_



SALUTATION TO THE CELTS


    Hail to our Celtic brethren wherever they may be,
    In the far woods of Oregon, or o'er the Atlantic sea;
    Whether they guard the banner of St. George, in Indian vales,
    Or spread beneath the nightless North experimental sails--
                      One in name, and in fame,
                          Are the sea-divided Gaels.

    Though fallen the state of Erin, and changed the Scottish land,
    Though small the power of Mona, though unwaked Llewellyn's band,
    Though Ambrose Merlin's prophecies are held as idle tales,
    Though Iona's ruined cloisters are swept by northern gales:
                      One in name, and in fame,
                          Are the sea-divided Gaels.

    In Northern Spain and Italy our brethren also dwell,
    And brave are the traditions of their fathers that they tell:
    The Eagle or the Crescent in the dawn of history pales
    Before the advancing banners of the great Rome-conquering Gaels.
                      One in name, and in fame,
                          Are the sea-divided Gaels.

    A greeting and a promise unto them all we send;
    Their character our charter is, their glory is our end--
    Their friend shall be our friend, our foe whoe'er assails
    The glory or the story of the sea-divided Gaels.
                      One in name, and in fame,
                          Are the sea-divided Gaels.

                                                  _Thomas D'Arcy McGee_



THE GOBBAN SAOR


    He stepped a man, out on the ways of men,
      And no one knew his sept, or rank, or name;
    Like a strong stream far issuing from a glen,
      From some source unexplored the Master came;
    Gossips there were who, wondrous keen of ken,
      Surmised that he must be a child of shame;
    Others declared him of the Druids, then--
      Thro' Patrick's labours--fallen from power and fame.

    He lived apart, wrapt up in many plans;
      He wooed not women, tasted not of wine;
    He shunned the sports and councils of the clans;
      Nor ever knelt at a frequented shrine.
    His orisons were old poetic ranns
      Which the new Olamhs deem'd an evil sign;
    To most he seemed one of those Pagan Khans
      Whose mystic vigour knows no cold decline.

    He was the builder of the wondrous Towers,
      Which, tall and straight and exquisitely round,
    Rise monumental round this isle of ours,
      Index-like, marking spots of holy ground.
    In glooming silent glens, in lowland bowers,
      On river banks, these _Cloichteachs_ old abound,
    Where Art, enraptured, meditates long hours
      And Science ponders, wondering and spell-bound.

    Lo, wheresoe'er these pillar-towers aspire,
      Heroes and holy men repose below;
    The bones of some, gleaned from a Pagan pyre,
      Others in armour lie, as for a foe;
    It was the mighty Master's life-desire
      To chronicle his great ancestors so;
    What holier duty, what achievement higher
      Remains to us, than this he thus doth show?

    Yet he, the builder, died an unknown death;
      His labours done, no man beheld him more;
    'Twas thought his body faded like a breath--
      Or, like a sea-mist, floated off Life's shore.
    Doubt overhangs his fate--and faith--and birth:
      His works alone attest his life and love,
    They are the only witnesses he hath,
      All else Egyptian darkness covers o'er.

    Men called him Gobban Saor, and many a tale
      Yet lingers in the byways of the land,
    Of how he cleft the rock, and down the vale
      Led the bright river, child-like, in his hand;
    Of how on giant ships he spread great sail
      And many marvels else, by him first planned,
    And tho' these legends fail, in Innisfail
      His name and Towers for centuries still shall stand.

                                                  _Thomas D'Arcy McGee_



PATRICK SHEEHAN


    My name is Patrick Sheehan,
      My years are thirty-four,
    Tipperary is my native place,
      Not far from Galtymore;
    I came of honest parents,
      But now they're lying low;
    And many a pleasant day I spent
      In the Glen of Aherlow.

    My father died; I closed his eyes
      _Outside_ our cabin-door;
    The landlord and the sheriff too
      Were there the day before!
    And then my loving mother,
      And sisters three also,
    Were forced to go with broken hearts
      From the Glen of Aherlow.

    For three long months, in search of work,
      I wandered far and near;
    I went then to the poor-house,
      For to see my mother dear;
    The news I heard nigh broke my heart;
      But still, in all my woe,
    I blessed the friends who made their graves
      In the Glen of Aherlow.

    Bereft of home and kith and kin,
      With plenty all around,
    I starved within my cabin,
      And slept upon the ground;
    But cruel as my lot was,
      I ne'er did hardship know
    'Till I joined the English army,
      Far away from Aherlow.

    'Rouse up, there,' says the Corporal,
      'You lazy Hirish hound;
    Why don't you hear, you sleepy dog,
      The call "to arms" sound?'
    Alas, I had been dreaming
      Of days long, long ago;
    I woke before Sebastopol,
      And not in Aherlow.

    I groped to find my musket--
      How dark I thought the night!
    O blessed God, it was not dark,
      It was the broad daylight!
    And when I found that I was _blind_,
      My tears began to flow;
    I longed for even a pauper's grave
      In the Glen of Aherlow.

    O blessed Virgin Mary,
      Mine is a mournful tale;
    A poor blind prisoner here I am,
      In Dublin's dreary gaol;
    Struck blind within the trenches,
      Where I never feared the foe;
    And now I'll never see again
      My own sweet Aherlow.

    A poor neglected mendicant,
      I wandered through the street;
    My nine months' pension now being out,
      I beg from all I meet:
    As I joined my country's tyrants,
      My face I'll never show
    Among the kind old neighbours
      In the Glen of Aherlow.

    Then, Irish youths, dear countrymen,
      Take heed of what I say;
    For if you join the English ranks,
      You'll surely rue the day;
    And whenever you are tempted
      A-soldiering to go,
    Remember poor blind Sheehan
      Of the Glen of Aherlow.

                                                   _Charles J. Kickham_



THE IRISH PEASANT GIRL


    She lived beside the Anner,
      At the foot of Sliev-na-mon,
    A gentle peasant girl,
      With mild eyes like the dawn;
    Her lips were dewy rosebuds;
      Her teeth of pearls rare;
    And a snow-drift 'neath a beechen bough
      Her neck and nut-brown hair.

    How pleasant 'twas to meet her
      On Sunday, when the bell
    Was filling with its mellow tones
      Lone wood and grassy dell!
    And when at eve young maidens
      Strayed the river-bank along,
    The widow's brown-haired daughter
      Was loveliest of the throng.

    O brave, brave Irish girls--
      We well may call you brave!--
    Sure the least of all your perils
      Is the stormy ocean wave,
    When you leave our quiet valleys,
      And cross the Atlantic's foam,
    To hoard your hard-won earnings
      For the helpless ones at home.

    'Write word to my own dear mother--
      Say, we'll meet with God above;
    And tell my little brothers
      I send them all my love;
    May the angels ever guard them,
      Is their dying sister's prayer'--
    And folded in the letter
      Was a braid of nut-brown hair.

    Ah, cold, and well-nigh callous,
      This weary heart has grown
    For thy helpless fate, dear Ireland,
      And for sorrows of my own;
    Yet a tear my eye will moisten
      When by Anner's side I stray,
    For the lily of the mountain foot
      That withered far away.

                                                   _Charles J. Kickham_



TO GOD AND IRELAND TRUE


    I sit beside my darling's grave,
      Who in the prison died,
    And tho' my tears fall thick and fast,
      I think of him with pride:--
    Ay, softly fall my tears like dew,
    For one to God and Ireland true.

    'I love my God o'er all,' he said,
      'And then I love my land,
    And next I love my Lily sweet,
      Who pledged me her white hand:--
    To each--to all--I'm ever true,
    To God--to Ireland and to you.'

    No tender nurse his hard bed smoothed
      Or softly raised his head:--
    He fell asleep and woke in heaven
      Ere I knew he was dead;--
    Yet why should I my darling rue?
    He was to God and Ireland true.

    O, 'tis a glorious memory;
      I'm prouder than a queen
    To sit beside my hero's grave
      And think on what has been:--
    And O, my darling, I am true
    To God--to Ireland and to you!

                                                        _Ellen O'Leary_



THE BANSHEE


    Green, in the wizard arms,
    Of the foam-bearded Atlantic,
    An isle of old enchantment,
    A melancholy isle,
    Enchanted and dreaming lies;
    And there, by Shannon's flowing,
    In the moonlight, spectre thin,
    The spectre Erin sits.

    An aged desolation
    She sits by old Shannon's flowing,
    A mother of many children,
    Of children exiled and dead,
    In her home, with bent head, homeless,
    Clasping her knees she sits,
    Keening, keening!

    And at her keene the fairy-grass
    Trembles on dun and barrow;
    Around the foot of her ancient crosses
    The grave-grass shakes and the nettle swings;
    In haunted glens the meadow-sweet
    Flings to the night-wind
    Her mystic mournful perfume;
    The sad spearmint by holy wells
    Breathes melancholy balm.

    Sometimes she lifts her head,
    With blue eyes tearless,
    And gazes athwart the reek of night
    Upon things long past,
    Upon things to come.

    And sometimes, when the moon
    Brings tempest upon the deep,
    And roused Atlantic thunders from his caverns in the West,
    The wolf-hound at her feet
    Springs up with a mighty bay,
    And chords of mystery sound from the wild harp at her side,
    Strung from the heart of poets;
    And she flies on the verge of the tempest
    Around her shuddering isle,
    With grey hair streaming:
    A meteor of evil omen,
    The spectre of hope forlorn,
    Keening, keening!

    She keenes, and the strings of her wild harp shiver
    On the gusts of night:
    O'er the four waters she keenes--over Moyle she keenes,
    O'er the Sea of Milith, and the Strait of Strongbow,
    And the Ocean of Columbus.

    And the Fianna hear, and the ghosts of her cloudy hovering heroes;
    And the swan, Fianoula, wails o'er the waters of Inisfail,
    Chanting her song of destiny,
    The rune of the weaving Fates.

    And the nations hear in the void and quaking time of night,
    Sad unto dawning, dirges,
    Solemn dirges,
    And snatches of bardic song;
    Their souls quake in the void and quaking time of night,
    And they dream of the weird of kings,
    And tyrannies moulting, sick
    In the dreadful wind of change.

    Wail no more, lonely one, mother of exiles, wail no more,
    Banshee of the world--no more!
    Thy sorrows are the world's, thou art no more alone;
    Thy wrongs, the world's.

                                                       _John Todhunter_



AGHADOE


    There's a glade in Aghadoe, Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
    There's a green and silent glade in Aghadoe,
    Where we met, my Love and I, Love's fair planet in the sky,
    O'er that sweet and silent glade in Aghadoe.

    There's a glen in Aghadoe, Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
    There's a deep and secret glen in Aghadoe,
    Where I hid from the eyes of the red-coats and their spies
    That year the trouble came to Aghadoe.

    O! my curse on one black heart in Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
    On Shaun Dhuv, my mother's son in Aghadoe,
    When your throat fries in hell's drouth salt the flame
        be in your mouth,
    For the treachery you did in Aghadoe!

    For they tracked me to that glen in Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
    When the price was on his head in Aghadoe;
    O'er the mountain through the wood, as I stole to him with food,
    When in hiding lone he lay in Aghadoe.

    But they never took him living in Aghadoe, Aghadoe;
    With the bullets in his heart in Aghadoe,
    There he lay, the head--my breast keeps the warmth where
        once 'twould rest--
    Gone, to win the traitor's gold, from Aghadoe!

    I walked to Mallow Town from Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
    Brought his head from the gaol's gate to Aghadoe,
    Then I covered him with fern, and I piled on him the cairn.
    Like an Irish King he sleeps in Aghadoe.

    O! to creep into that cairn in Aghadoe, Aghadoe!
    There to rest upon his breast in Aghadoe!
    Sure your dog for you could die with no truer heart than I,
    Your own love, cold on your cairn in Aghadoe.

                                                       _John Todhunter_



A MAD SONG


    I hear the wind a-blowing,
    I hear the corn a-growing,
    I hear the Virgin praying,
    I hear what she is saying.

                                                      _Hester Sigerson_



LADY MARGARET'S SONG


    Girls, when I am gone away,
      On this bosom strew
    Only flowers meek and pale,
      And the yew.

    Lay these hands down by my side,
      Let my face be bare;
    Bind a kerchief round the face,
      Smooth my hair.

    Let my bier be borne at dawn,
      Summer grows so sweet,
    Deep into the forest green
      Where boughs meet.

    Then pass away, and let me lie
      One long, warm, sweet day
    There alone, with face upturned,
      One sweet day.

    While the morning light grows broad,
      While noon sleepeth sound,
    While the evening falls and faints,
      While the world goes round.

                                                        _Edward Dowden_



SONG


    I made another garden, yea,
      For my new Love.
    I left the dead rose where it lay
      And set the new above.
    Why did my Summer not begin?
      Why did my heart not haste?
    My old Love came and walked therein
      And laid the garden waste.

    She entered with her weary smile,
      Just as of old:
    She looked around a little while
      And shivered with the cold.
    Her passing touch was death to all,
      Her passing look a blight;
    She made the white rose-petals fall,
      And turned the red rose white.

    Her pale robe clinging to the grass
      Seemed like a snake
    That bit the grass and ground, alas!
      And a sad trail did make.
    She went up slowly to the gate,
      And then, just as of yore,
    She turned back at the last to wait
      And say farewell once more.

                                                 _Arthur O'Shaughnessy_



FATHER O'FLYNN


    Of priests we can offer a charming variety,
    Far renowned for larnin' and piety,
    Still I'd advance you, without impropriety,
      Father O'Flynn as the flower of them all.
          Here's a health to you, Father O'Flynn,
          _Slainte_, and _slainte_, and _slainte_ agin.
              Powerfullest preacher,
              And tindherest teacher,
      And kindliest creature in Old Donegal.

    Talk of your Provost and Fellows of Trinity,
    Far renowned for Greek and Latinity,
    Gad! and the divils and all at Divinity,
      Father O'Flynn would make hares of them all.
          Come, I venture to give you my word,
          Never the likes of his logic was heard,
              Down from mythology,
              Into thayology,
      Troth and conchology, if he'd the call.

    Father O'Flynn, you've the wonderful way with you,
    All the old sinners are wishful to pray with you,
    All the young children are wild for to play with you,
      You've such a way with you, Father _avick_!
          Still for all you're so gentle a soul,
          Gad, you've your flock in the grandest control;
              Checking the crazy ones,
              Coaxing unaisy ones,
      Lifting the lazy ones on with the stick.

    And though quite avoiding all foolish frivolity,
    Still at all seasons of innocent jollity,
    Where is the play-boy can claim an equality
      At comicality, Father, with you?
          Once the Bishop looked grave at your jest,
          Till this remark set him off with the rest:
              'Is it leave gaiety
              All to the laity?
      Cannot the clargy be Irishmen too?'

                                               _Alfred Perceval Graves_



SONG


    The silent bird is hid in the boughs,
      The scythe is hid in the corn,
    The lazy oxen wink and drowse,
      The grateful sheep are shorn.
    Redder and redder burns the rose,
      The lily was ne'er so pale,
    Stiller and stiller the river flows
      Along the path to the vale.

    A little door is hid in the boughs,
      A face is hiding within;
    When birds are silent and oxen drowse,
      Why should a maiden spin?
    Slower and slower turns the wheel,
      The face turns red and pale,
    Brighter and brighter the looks that steal,
      Along the path to the vale.

                                                         _Rosa Gilbert_



REQUIESCAT


    Tread lightly, she is near
      Under the snow,
    Speak gently, she can hear
      The daisies grow.

    All her bright golden hair,
      Tarnished with rust,
    She that was young and fair
      Fallen to dust.

    Lily-like, white as snow,
      She hardly knew
    She was a woman, so
      Sweetly she grew.

    Coffin-board, heavy stone
      Lie on her breast,
    I vex my heart alone,
      She is at rest.

    Peace, Peace, she cannot hear
      Lyre or sonnet,
    All my life's buried here,
      Heap earth upon it.

                                                          _Oscar Wilde_



THE LAMENT OF QUEEN MAEV

_From the Irish of the Book of Leinster_


    Raise the cromlech high!
      Mac Moghcorb is slain,
    And other men's renown
      Has leave to live again.

    Cold at last he lies
      'Neath the burial stone.
    All the blood he shed
      Could not save his own.

    Stately, strong he went,
      Through his nobles all,
    When we paced together
      Up the banquet-hall.

    Dazzling white as lime,
      Was his body fair,
    Cherry-red his cheeks,
      Raven-black his hair.

    Razor-sharp his spear,
      And the shield he bore,
    High as champion's head--
      His arm was like an oar.

    Never aught but truth
      Spake my noble king;
    Valour all his trust
      In all his warfaring.

    As the forkèd pole
      Holds the roof-tree's weight,
    So my hero's arm
      Held the battle straight.

    Terror went before him,
      Death behind his back,
    Well the wolves of Erinn
      Knew his chariot's track.

    Seven bloody battles
      He broke upon his foes,
    In each a hundred heroes
      Fell beneath his blows.

    Once he fought at Fossud,
      Thrice at Ath-finn-fail.
    'Twas my king that conquered
      At bloody Ath-an-Scail.

    At the Boundary Stream
      Fought the Royal Hound,
    And for Bernas battle
      Stands his name renowned.

    Here he fought with Leinster--
      Last of all his frays--
    On the Hill of Cucorb's Fate
      High his cromlech raise.

                                                       _T.W. Rolleston_



THE DEAD AT CLONMACNOIS

_From the Irish of Enoch O'Gillan_


    In a quiet watered land, a land of roses,
      Stands Saint Kieran's city fair;
    And the warriors of Erin in their famous generations
      Slumber there.

    There beneath the dewy hillside sleep the noblest
      Of the clan of Conn,
    Each below his stone with name in branching Ogham
      And the sacred knot thereon.

    There they laid to rest the seven Kings of Tara,
      There the sons of Cairbrè sleep--
    Battle-banners of the Gael, that in Kieran's plain of crosses
      Now their final hosting keep.

    And in Clonmacnois they laid the men of Teffia,
      And right many a lord of Breagh;
    Deep the sod above Clan Creidè and Clan Conaill,
      Kind in hall and fierce in fray.

    Many and many a son of Conn the Hundred-Fighter
      In the red earth lies at rest;
    Many a blue eye of Clan Colman the turf covers,
      Many a swan-white breast.

                                                       _T.W. Rolleston_



THE SPELL-STRUCK


    She walks as she were moving
      Some mystic dance to tread,
    So falls her gliding footstep,
      So leans her listening head;

    For once to fairy harping
      She danced upon the hill,
    And through her brain and bosom
      The music pulses still.

    Her eyes are bright and tearless,
      But wide with yearning pain;
    She longs for nothing earthly,
      But O! to hear again

    The sound that held her listening
      Upon her moonlit path!
    The rippling fairy music
      That filled the lonely rath.

    Her lips, that once have tasted
      The fairy banquet's bliss,
    Shall glad no mortal lover
      With maiden smile or kiss.

    She's dead to all things living
      Since that November Eve;
    And when she dies in autumn
      No living thing will grieve.

                                                       _T.W. Rolleston_



WERE YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN?

_From the Irish_


    O, were you on the mountain, or saw you my love?
    Or saw you my own one, my queen and my dove?
    Or saw you the maiden with the step firm and free?
    And say, is she pining in sorrow like me?

    I was upon the mountain, and saw there your love,
    I saw there your own one, your queen and your dove;
    I saw there the maiden with the step firm and free
    And she was _not_ pining in sorrow like thee.

                                                         _Douglas Hyde_



MY GRIEF ON THE SEA

_From the Irish_


    My grief on the sea,
      How the waves of it roll!
    For they heave between me
      And the love of my soul!

    Abandoned, forsaken,
      To grief and to care,
    Will the sea ever waken
      Relief from despair?

    My grief and my trouble
      Would he and I wear,
    In the province of Leinster,
      Or County of Clare?

    Were I and my darling--
      O, heart-bitter wound!--
    On board of the ship
      For America bound.

    On a green bed of rushes
      All last night I lay,
    And I flung it abroad
      With the heat of the day.

    And my love came behind me--
      He came from the south;
    His breast to my bosom,
      His mouth to my mouth.

                                                         _Douglas Hyde_



MY LOVE, O, SHE IS MY LOVE

_From the Irish_


    She casts a spell, O, casts a spell,
      Which haunts me more than I can tell.
      Dearer because she makes me ill,
      Than who would will to make me well.

    She is my store, O, she my store,
      Whose grey eye wounded me so sore,
      Who will not place in mine her palm,
      Who will not calm me any more.

    She is my pet, O, she my pet,
      Whom I can never more forget;
      Who would not lose by me one moan,
      Nor stone upon my cairn set,

    She is my roon, O, she my roon,
      Who tells me nothing, leaves me soon;
      Who would not lose by me one sigh,
      Were death and I within one room.

    She is my dear, O, she my dear,
      Who cares not whether I be here.
      Who would not weep when I am dead,
      Who makes me shed the silent tear.

    Hard my case, O, hard my case,
      How have I lived so long a space,
      She does not trust me any more,
      But I adore her silent face.

    She is my choice, O, she my choice,
      Who never made me to rejoice;
      Who caused my heart to ache so oft,
      Who put no softness in her voice.

    Great is my grief, O, great my grief,
      Neglected, scorned beyond belief,
      By her who looks at me askance,
      By her who grants me no relief.

    She's my desire, O, my desire,
      More glorious than the bright sun's fire;
      Who more than wind--blown ice more cold,
      Had I the boldness to sit by her.

    She it is who stole my heart,
      But left a void and aching smart,
      But if she soften not her eye,
      Then life and I shall surely part.

                                                         _Douglas Hyde_



I SHALL NOT DIE FOR THEE

_From the Irish_


    For thee I shall not die,
      Woman high of fame and name;
    Foolish men thou mayest slay,
      I and they are not the same.

    Why should I expire
      For the fire of any eye,
    Slender waist, or swan-like limb,
      Is't for them that I should die?

    The round breasts, the fresh skin,
      Cheeks crimson, hair so long and rich;
    Indeed, indeed, I shall not die,
      Please God, not I, for any such.

    The golden hair, the forehead thin,
      The chaste mien, the gracious ease,
    The rounded heel, the languid tone,
      Fools alone find death from these.

    Thy sharp wit, thy perfect calm,
      Thy thin palm like foam of sea;
    Thy white neck, thy blue eye,
      I shall not die for thee.

    Woman, graceful as the swan,
      A wise man did nurture me,
    Little palm, white neck, bright eye,
      I shall not die for ye.

                                                         _Douglas Hyde_



RIDDLES

_From the Irish_


    A great, great house it is,
    A golden candlestick it is,
    Guess it rightly,
    Let it not go by thee.
                      _Heaven_.

    There's a garden that I ken,
    Full of little gentlemen,
    Little caps of blue they wear,
    And green ribbons very fair.
                      _Flax_.

    He comes to ye amidst the brine
      The butterfly of the sun,
    The man of the coat so blue and fine,
      With red thread his shirt is done.
                      _A Lobster_.

    You see it come in on the shoulders of men,
    Like a thread of the silk it will leave us again.
                      _Turf_.

                                                         _Douglas Hyde_



LOUGH BRAY


    A little lonely moorland lake,
      Its waters brown and cool and deep--
    The cliff, the hills behind it make
      A picture for my heart to keep.

    For rock and heather, wave and strand,
      Wore tints I never saw them wear;
    The June sunshine was o'er the land,
      Before, 'twas never half so fair!

    The amber ripples sang all day,
      And singing spilled their crowns of white
    Upon the beach, in thin pale spray
      That streaked the sober sand with light.

    The amber ripples sang their song,
      When suddenly from far o'erhead
    A lark's pure voice mixed with the throng
      Of lovely things about us spread.

    Some flowers were there, so near the brink
      Their shadows in the waves were thrown;
    While mosses, green and gray and pink,
      Grew thickly round each smooth dark stone.

    And, over all, the summer sky,
      Shut out the town we left behind;
    'Twas joy to stand in silence by,
      One bright chain linking mind to mind.

    O, little lonely mountain spot!
      Your place within my heart will be
    Apart from all Life's busy lot
      A true, sweet, solemn memory.

                                                        _Rose Kavanagh_



THE CHILDREN OF LIR


    Out upon the sand-dunes thrive the coarse long grasses,
      Herons standing knee-deep in the brackish pool,
    Overhead the sunset fire and flame amasses,
      And the moon to Eastward rises pale and cool:
    Rose and green around her, silver-grey and pearly,
      Chequered with the black rooks flying home to bed;
    For, to wake at daybreak birds must couch them early,
      And the day's a long one since the dawn was red.

    On the chilly lakelet, in that pleasant gloaming,
      See the sad swans sailing: they shall have no rest:
    Never a voice to greet them save the bittern's booming
      Where the ghostly sallows sway against the West.
    'Sister,' saith the grey swan, 'Sister, I am weary,'
      Turning to the white swan wet, despairing eyes;
    'O,' she saith, 'my young one.' 'O,' she saith, 'my dearie,'
      Casts her wings about him with a storm of cries.

    Woe for Lir's sweet children whom their vile step-mother
      Glamoured with her witch-spells for a thousand years;
    Died their father raving--on his throne another--
      Blind before the end came from his burning tears.
    She--the fiends possess her, torture her for ever,
      Gone is all the glory of the race of Lir;
    Gone and long-forgotten like a dream of fever:
      But the swans remember all the days that were.

    Hugh, the black and white swan with the beauteous feathers;
      Fiachra, the black swan with the emerald breast;
    Conn, the youngest, dearest, sheltered in all weathers,
      Him his snow-white sister loves the tenderest.
    These her mother gave her as she lay a-dying,
      To her faithful keeping, faithful hath she been,
    With her wings spread o'er them when the tempest's crying,
      And her songs so hopeful when the sky's serene.

    Other swans have nests made 'mid the reeds and rushes,
      Lined with downy feathers where the cygnets sleep
    Dreaming, if a bird dreams, till the daylight blushes,
      Then they sail out swiftly on the current deep,
    With the proud swan-father, tall, and strong, and stately,
      And the mild swan-mother, grave with household cares,
    All well-born and comely, all rejoicing greatly:
      Full of honest pleasure is a life like theirs.

    But alas! for my swans, with the human nature,
      Sick with human longings, starved with human ties,
    With their hearts all human, cramped in a bird's stature,
      And the human weeping in the bird's soft eyes.
    Never shall my swans build nests in some green river,
      Never fly to southward in the autumn grey,
    Rear no tender children, love no mates for ever,
      Robbed alike of bird's joys and of man's are they.

    Babbled Conn the youngest, 'Sister, I remember
      At my father's palace how I went in silk,
    Ate the juicy deer-flesh roasted from the ember,
      Drank from golden goblets my child's draught of milk.
    Once I rode a-hunting, laughed to see the hurly,
      Shouted at the ball-play, on the lake did row;
    You had for your beauty gauds that shone so rarely':
      'Peace,' saith Finnuola, 'that was long ago.'

    'Sister,' saith Fiachra, 'well do I remember
      How the flaming torches lit the banquet hall,
    And the fire leaped skyward in the mid-December,
      And amid the rushes slept our staghounds tall.
    By our father's right hand you sat shyly gazing,
      Smiling half and sighing, with your eyes aglow,
    As the bards sang loudly, all your beauty praising';
      'Peace,' saith Finnuola, 'that was long ago.'

    'Sister,' then saith Hugh, 'most do I remember
      One I called my brother, you, earth's goodliest man,
    Strong as forest oaks are where the wild vines clamber,
      First at feast or hunting, in the battle's van.
    Angus, you were handsome, wise and true and tender,
      Loved by every comrade, feared by every foe:
    Low, low lies your beauty, all forgot your splendour':
      'Peace,' saith Finnuola, 'that was long ago.'

    Dews are in the clear air, and the roselight paling,
      Over sands and sedges shines the evening star,
    And the moon's disk high in heaven is sailing,
      Silvered all the spear-heads of the rushes are--
    Housed warm are all things as the night grows colder,
      Water-fowl and sky-fowl dreamless in the nest,
    But the swans go drifting, drooping wings and shoulder,
      Cleaving the still waters where the fishes rest.

                                              _Katharine Tynan Hinkson_



ST. FRANCIS TO THE BIRDS


    Little sisters, the birds,
      We must praise God, you and I--
      You with songs that fill the sky;
    I, with halting words.

    All things tell His praise,
      Woods and waters thereof sing,
      Summer, winter, autumn, spring,
    And the nights and days.

    Yea, and cold and heat,
      And the sun, and stars, and moon,
      Sea with her monotonous tune,
    Rain and hail and sleet.

    And the winds of heaven,
      And the solemn hills of blue,
      And the brown earth and the dew,
    And the thunder even,

    And the flowers' sweet breath,--
      All things make one glorious voice;
      Life with fleeting pains and joys
    And our brother--Death.

    Little flowers of air,
      With your feathers soft and sleek
      And your bright brown eyes and meek,
    He hath made you fair.

    He hath taught to you
      Skill to weave on tree and thatch
      Nests where happy mothers hatch
    Speckled eggs of blue.

    And hath children given:
      When the soft heads overbrim
      The brown nests; then thank ye Him
    In the clouds of heaven.

    Also in your lives,
      Live His laws who loveth you.
      Husbands, be ye kind and true;
    Be homekeeping wives.

    Love not gossiping;
      Stay at home and keep the nest;
      Fly not here and there in quest
    Of the newest thing.

    Live as brethren live;
      Love be in each heart and mouth;
      Be not envious, be not wroth,
    Be not slow to give.

    When ye build the nest
      Quarrel not o'er straw or wool;
      He who hath, be bountiful
    To the neediest.

    Be not puffed or vain
      Of your beauty or your worth,
      Of your children or your birth,
    Or the praise you gain.

    Eat not greedily:
      Sometimes, for sweet mercy's sake,
      Worm or insect spare to take;
    Let it crawl or fly.

    See ye sing not near
      To our church on holy day,
      Lest the human-folk should stray
    From their prayer to hear.

    Now depart in peace,
      In God's name I bless each one;
      May your days be long i' the sun
    And your joys increase.

    And remember me,
      Your poor brother Francis, who
      Loveth you, and thanketh you
    For this courtesy.

    Sometimes when ye sing,
      Name my name, that He may take
      Pity for the dear song's sake
    On my shortcoming.

                                              _Katharine Tynan Hinkson_



SHEEP AND LAMBS


    All in the April morning,
      April airs were abroad;
    The sheep with their little lambs
      Passed me by on the road.

    The sheep with their little lambs
      Passed me by on the road;
    All in the April evening,
      I thought on the Lamb of God.

    The lambs were weary, and crying
      With a weak human cry,
    I thought on the Lamb of God
      Going meekly to die.

    Up in the blue, blue mountains
      Dewy pastures are sweet:
    Rest for the little bodies,
      Rest for the little feet.

    Rest for the Lamb of God
      Up on the hill-top green,
    Only a cross of shame
      Two stark crosses between.

    All in the April evening,
      April airs were abroad;
    I saw the sheep with their lambs,
      And thought on the Lamb of God.

                                              _Katharine Tynan Hinkson_



THE GARDENER SAGE


    Here in the garden-bed,
      Hoeing the celery,
    Wonders the Lord has made
      Pass ever before me.
    I saw the young birds build,
      And swallows come and go,
    And summer grow and gild,
      And winter die in snow.

    Many a thing I note,
      And store it in my mind;
    For all my ragged coat,
      That scarce will stop the wind.
    I light my pipe and draw,
      And, leaning on my spade,
    I marvel with much awe
      O'er all the Lord hath made.

    Now, here's a curious thing:
      Upon the first of March,
    The crow goes house-building,
      In the elms and in the larch.
    And be it shine or snow,
      Though many winds carouse,
    That day the artful crow
      Begins to build his house.

    But then--the wonder's big!--
      _If Sunday fall that day_
    _Nor straw, nor scraw, nor twig,
      Till Monday will he lay._
    His black wings to his side,
      He'll drone upon his perch,
    Subdued and holy-eyed,
      As though he were at church.

    The crow's a gentleman
      Not greatly to my mind,
    He'll steal what seeds he can,
      And all you hide he'll find.
    Yet though he's bully and sneak,
      To small birds bird of prey--
    He counts the days of the week,
      And keeps the Sabbath day.

                                              _Katharine Tynan Hinkson_



THE DARK MAN


    Rose o' the world, she came to my bed
    And changed the dreams of my heart and head:
    For joy of mine she left grief of hers
    And garlanded me with a crown of furze.

    Rose o' the world, they go out and in,
    And watch me dream and my mother spin:
    And they pity the tears on my sleeping face
    While my soul's away in a fairy place.

    Rose o' the world, they have words galore,
    And wide's the swing of my mother's door:
    But soft they speak of my darkened eyes,
    But what do they know, who are all so wise?

    Rose o' the world, the pain you give
    Is worth all days that a man may live:
    Worth all shy prayers that the colleens say
    On the night that darkens the wedding day.

    Rose o' the world, what man would wed
    When he might dream of your face instead?
    Might go to his grave with the blessed pain
    Of hungering after your face again?

    Rose o' the world, they may talk their fill,
    For dreams are good, and my life stands still
    While their lives' red ashes the gossips stir,
    But my fiddle knows: and I talk to her.

                                                          _Nora Hopper_



THE FAIRY FIDDLER


    'Tis I go fiddling, fiddling,
      By weedy ways forlorn:
    I make the blackbird's music
      Ere in his breast 'tis born:
    The sleeping larks I waken
      Twixt the midnight and the morn.

    No man alive has seen me,
      But women hear me play
    Sometimes at door or window,
      Fiddling the souls away,--
    The child's soul and the colleen's
      Out of the covering clay.

    None of my fairy kinsmen
      Make music with me now:
    Alone the raths I wander
      Or ride the whitethorn bough;
    But the wild swans they know me,
      And the horse that draws the plough.

                                                          _Nora Hopper_



OUR THRONES DECAY


    I said, my pleasure shall not move;
      It is not fixed in things apart:
    Seeking not love--but yet to love--
      I put my trust in mine own heart.

    I knew the fountain of the deep
      Wells up with living joy, unfed;
    Such joys the lonely heart may keep,
      And love grow rich with love unwed.

    Still flows the ancient fount sublime;
      But, ah, for my heart shed tears, shed tears;
    Not it, but love, has scorn of time;
      It turns to dust beneath the years.

                                                                 _A.E._



IMMORTALITY


    We must pass like smoke or live within the spirit's fire;
    For we can no more than smoke unto the flame return
    If our thought has changed to dream, our will unto desire,
      As smoke we vanish though the fire may burn.

    Lights of infinite pity star the grey dusk of our days:
    Surely here is soul: with it we have eternal breath:
    In the fire of love we live, or pass by many ways,
      By unnumbered ways of dream to death.

                                                                 _A.E._



THE GREAT BREATH


    Its edges foamed with amethyst and rose,
    Withers once more the old blue flower of day:
    There where the ether like a diamond glows
        Its petals fade away.

    A shadowy tumult stirs the dusky air;
    Sparkle the delicate dews, the distant snows;
    The great deep thrills for through it everywhere
        The breath of Beauty blows.

    I saw how all the trembling ages past,
    Moulded to her by deep and deeper breath,
    Neared to the hour when Beauty breathes her last
        And knows herself in death.

                                                                 _A.E._



SUNG ON A BY-WAY


    What of all the will to do?
      It has vanished long ago,
    For a dream-shaft pierced it through
      From the Unknown Archer's bow.

    What of all the soul to think?
      Some one offered it a cup
    Filled with a diviner drink,
      And the flame has burned it up.

    What of all the hope to climb?
      Only in the self we grope
    To the misty end of time:
      Truth has put an end to hope.

    What of all the heart to love?
      Sadder than for will or soul,
    No light lured it on above;
      Love has found itself the whole.

                                                                 _A.E._



DREAM LOVE


    I did not deem it half so sweet
    To feel thy gentle hand,
    As in a dream thy soul to greet
    Across wide leagues of land.

    Untouched more near to draw to you
    Where, amid radiant skies,
    Glimmered thy plumes of iris hue,
    My Bird of Paradise.

    Let me dream only with my heart,
    Love first, and after see:
    Know thy diviner counterpart
    Before I kneel to thee.

    So in thy motions all expressed
    Thy angel I may view:
    I shall not in thy beauty rest,
    But Beauty's ray on you.

                                                                 _A.E._



ILLUSION


    What is the love of shadowy lips
    That know not what they seek or press,
    From whom the lure for ever slips
    And fails their phantom tenderness?

    The mystery and light of eyes
    That near to mine grow dim and cold;
    They move afar in ancient skies
    Mid flame and mystic darkness rolled.

    O beauty, as thy heart o'erflows
    In tender yielding unto me,
    A vast desire awakes and grows
    Unto forgetfulness of thee.

                                                                 _A.E._



JANUS


    Image of beauty, when I gaze on thee,
    Trembling I waken to a mystery,
    How through one door we go to life or death
    By spirit kindled or the sensual breath.

    Image of beauty, when my way I go;
    No single joy or sorrow do I know:
    Elate for freedom leaps the starry power,
    The life which passes mourns its wasted hour.

    And, ah, to think how thin the veil that lies
    Between the pain of hell and paradise!
    Where the cool grass my aching head embowers
    God sings the lovely carol of the flowers.

                                                                 _A.E._



CONNLA'S WELL


    A cabin on the mountain side hid in a grassy nook,
    With door and windows open wide where friendly stars may look;
    The rabbit shy can patter in; the winds may enter free
    Who throng around the mountain throne in living ecstasy.

    And when the sun sets dimmed in eve and purple fills the air,
    I think the sacred hazel tree is dropping berries there
    From starry fruitage waved aloft where Connla's well o'erflows;
    For sure the immortal waters run through every wind that blows.

    I think when night towers up aloft and shakes the trembling dew,
    How every high and lonely thought that thrills my spirit through
    Is but a shining berry dropped down through the purple air,
    And from the magic tree of life the fruit falls everywhere.

                                                                 _A.E._



NAMES


    No temple crowned the shaggy capes,
      No safety soothed the kind,
    The clouds unfabled shifted shapes,
      And nameless roamed the wind.

    The stars, the circling heights of heaven,
      The mountains bright with snows
    Looked down, and sadly man at even
      Lay down and sad he rose.

    Till ages brought the hour again,
      When fell a windless morn,
    And, child of agonistic pain
      And bliss, the Word was born.

    Which grew from all it gazed upon,
      And spread thro' soil and sphere,
    And shrunk the whole into the one,
      And fetched the farthest here.

    High is the summer's night, but deep
      The hidden mind unfolds:
    Within it does an image sleep
      Of all that it beholds.

    Alas! when man with busy brow,
      His conquering names hath set
    To planet, plant, and worm, who now
      Will teach us to forget?

    What poet now, when wisdoms fail,
      Another theme shall dare--
    The Nameless, and remove the veil
      Which hides it everywhere?

                                                        _John Eglinton_



THAT


    What is that beyond thy life,
    And beyond all life around,
    Which, when thy quick brain is still,
    Nods to thee from the stars?
    Lo, it says, thou hast found
    Me, the lonely, lonely one.

                                                       _Charles Weekes_



THINK


    Think, the ragged turf-boy urges
      O'er the dusty road his asses;
    Think, on sea-shore far the lonely
      Heron wings along the sand;

    Think, in woodland under oak-boughs
      Now the streaming sunbeam passes;
    And bethink thee thou art servant
      To the same all-moving hand.

                                                       _Charles Weekes_



TE MARTYRUM CANDIDATUS


    Ah, see the fair chivalry come, the companions of Christ!
    White Horsemen, who ride on white horses, the Knights of God!
    They, for their Lord and their Lover who sacrificed
    All, save the sweetness of treading, where he first trod!

    These through the darkness of death, the dominion of night,
    Swept, and they woke in white places at morning tide:
    They saw with their eyes, and sang for joy of the sight,
    They saw with their eyes the Eyes of the Crucified.

    Now, whithersoever He goeth, with Him they go:
    White Horsemen, who ride on white horses, oh fair to see!
    They ride, where the Rivers of Paradise flash and flow,
    White Horsemen, with Christ their Captain: for ever He!

                                                       _Lionel Johnson_



THE CHURCH OF A DREAM


    Sadly the dead leaves rustle in the whistling wind,
    Around the weather-worn gray church, low down the vale:
    The Saints in golden vesture shake before the gale;
    The glorious windows shake, where still they dwell enshrined;
    Old Saints, by long dead, shrivelled hands, long since designed:
    There still, although the world autumnal be, and pale,
    Still in their golden vesture the old saints prevail;
    Alone with Christ, desolate else, left by mankind.
    Only one ancient Priest offers the sacrifice,
    Murmuring holy Latin immemorial:
    Swaying with tremulous hands the old censer full of spice,
    In gray, sweet incense clouds; blue, sweet clouds mystical:
    To him, in place of men, for he is old, suffice
    Melancholy remembrances and vesperal.

                                                       _Lionel Johnson_



WAYS OF WAR


    A terrible and splendid trust
      Heartens the host of Inisfail:
    Their dream is of the swift sword-thrust,
      A lightning glory of the Gael.

    Croagh Patrick is the place of prayers,
      And Tara the assembling place:
    But each sweet wind of Ireland bears
      The trump of battle on its race.

    From Dursey Isle to Donegal,
      From Howth to Achill, the glad noise
    Rings: and the heirs of glory fall,
      Or victory crowns their fighting joys.

    A dream! a dream! an ancient dream!
      Yet, ere peace come to Inisfail,
    Some weapons on some field must gleam,
      Some burning glory fire the Gael.

    That field may lie beneath the sun,
      Fair for the treading of an host:
    That field in realms of thought be won,
      And armed minds do their uttermost:

    Some way, to faithful Inisfail,
      Shall come the majesty and awe
    Of martial truth, that must prevail,
      To lay on all the eternal law.

                                                       _Lionel Johnson_



THE RED WIND


    Red Wind from out the East:
      Red wind of blight and blood!
    Ah, when wilt thou have ceased
      Thy bitter, stormy flood?

    Red Wind from over sea,
      Scourging our holy land!
    What angel loosened thee
      Out of his iron hand?

    Red Wind! whose word of might
      Winged thee with wings of flame?
    O fire of mournful night!
      What is thy Master's name?

    Red Wind! who bade thee burn,
      Branding our hearts? Who bade
    Thee on and never turn,
      Till waste our souls were laid?

    Red Wind! from out the West
      Pour Winds of Paradise:
    Winds of eternal rest,
      That weary souls entice.

    Wind of the East! Red Wind!
      Thou scorchest the soft breath
    Of Paradise the kind:
      Red Wind of burning death!

    O Red Wind! hear God's voice:
      Hear thou, and fall, and cease.
    Let Inisfail rejoice
      In her Hesperian peace.

                                                       _Lionel Johnson_



CELTIC SPEECH


    Never forgetful silence fall on thee,
      Nor younger voices overtake thee,
    Nor echoes from thine ancient hills forsake thee,
      Old music heard by Mona of the sea:
    And where with moving melodies there break thee,
      Pastoral Conway, venerable Dee.

    Like music lives, nor may that music die,
      Still in the far, fair Gaelic places:
    The speech, so wistful with its kindly graces,
      Holy Croagh Patrick knows, and holy Hy:
    The speech, that wakes the soul in withered faces,
      And wakes remembrance of great things gone by.

    Like music by the desolate Land's End,
      Mournful forgetfulness hath broken:
    No more words kindred to the winds are spoken,
      Where upon iron cliffs whole seas expend
    That strength, whereof the unalterable token
      Remains wild music, even to the world's end.

                                                       _Lionel Johnson_



TO MORFYDD


    A voice on the winds,
    A voice on the waters,
        Wanders and cries:

    _O! what are the winds?
    And what are the waters?
        Mine are your eyes._

    Western the winds are,
    And western the waters,
        Where the light lies:

    _O! what are the winds?
    And what are the waters?
        Mine are your eyes._

    Cold, cold, grow the winds,
    And dark grow the waters,
        Where the sun dies:

    _O! what are the winds?
    And what are the waters?
        Mine are your eyes._

    And down the night winds,
    And down the night waters
        The music flies:

    _O! what are the winds?
    And what are the waters?
    Cold be the winds,
    And wild be the waters,
        So mine be your eyes._

                                                       _Lionel Johnson_



CAN DOOV DEELISH


    Can doov deelish, beside the sea
    I stand and stretch my hands to thee
                Across the world.
    The riderless horses race to shore
    With thundering hoofs and shuddering, hoar,
                Blown manes uncurled.

    Can doov deelish, I cry to thee
    Beyond the world, beneath the sea,
                Thou being dead.
    Where hast thou hidden from the beat
    Of crushing hoofs and tearing feet
                Thy dear black head?

    God bless the woman, whoever she be,
    From the tossing waves will recover thee
                And lashing wind.
    Who will take thee out of the wind and storm,
    Dry thy wet face on her bosom warm
                And lips so kind?

    I not to know. It is hard to pray,
    But I shall for this woman from day to day,
                'Comfort my dead,
    The sport of the winds and the play of the sea.'
    I loved thee too well for this thing to be,
                O dear black head!

                                                        _Dora Sigerson_



    ANONYMOUS



SHULE AROON

    I would I were on yonder hill,
    'Tis there I'd sit and cry my fill,
    And every tear would turn a mill,
    _Is go de tu mo vuirnin slàn.
    Shule, shule, shule aroon,
    Shule go succir, agus shule go cuin,
    Shule go den durrus agus eligh lum,
    Is go de tu mo vuirnin slàn._

    I'll sell my rock, I'll sell my reel,
    I'll sell my only spinning-wheel,
    To buy for my love a sword of steel,
    _Is go de tu mo vuirnin slàn._

    _Chorus._

    I'll dye my petticoats, I'll dye them red,
    And around the world I'll beg my bread,
    Until my parents shall wish me dead,
    _Is go de tu mo vuirnin slàn._

    _Chorus._

    I wish, I wish, I wish in vain,
    I wish I had my heart again,
    And vainly think I'd not complain,
    _Is go de tu mo vuirnin slàn._

    _Chorus._

    But now my love has gone to France,
    To try his fortune to advance;
    If he e'er come back 'tis but a chance,
    _Is go de tu mo vuirnin slàn._

    _Chorus._



THE SHAN VAN VOCHT

    O! the French are on the sea,
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    The French are on the sea,
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    O! the French are in the bay,
    They'll be here without delay,
    And the Orange will decay,
      Says the _shan van vocht_.

    _Chorus._

        O! the French are in the bay,
        They'll be here by break of day,
        And the Orange will decay,
          Says the _shan van vocht_.

    And their camp it shall be where?
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    Their camp it shall be where?
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    On the Currach of Kildare,
    The boys they will be there,
    With their pikes in good repair,
      Says the _shan van vocht_.

        To the Currach of Kildare
        The boys they will repair,
        And Lord Edward will be there,
          Says the _shan van vocht_.

    Then what will the yeomen do?
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    What will the yeomen do?
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    What _should_ the yeomen do
    But throw off the red and blue,
    And swear that they'll be true
      To the _shan van vocht_?

        What _should_ the yeomen do
        But throw off the red and blue,
        And swear that they'll be true
          To the _shan van vocht_?

    And what colour will they wear?
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    What colour will they wear?
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    What colour should be seen
    Where our fathers' homes have been,
    But our own immortal Green?
      Says the _shan van vocht_.

        What colour should be seen
        Where our fathers' homes have been,
        But our own immortal Green?
          Says the _shan van vocht_.

    And will Ireland then be free?
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    Will Ireland then be free?
      Says the _shan van vocht_;
    Yes! Ireland SHALL be free,
    From the centre to the sea;
    Then hurra! for Liberty!
      Says the _shan van vocht_.

        Yes! Ireland SHALL be free,
        From the centre to the sea;
        Then hurra! for Liberty!
          Says the _shan van vocht_.



THE WEARING OF THE GREEN


    O Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that's going round?
    The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground;
    St. Patrick's day no more we'll keep, his colours can't be seen,
    For there's a bloody law agin the wearing of the green.
    I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand,
    And he said, 'How's poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?'
    She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen,
    They are hanging men and women for the wearing of the green.

    Then if the colour we must wear be England's cruel red,
    Let it remind us of the blood that Ireland has shed.
    You may take the shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod,
    But 'twill take root and flourish there, though under foot
        'tis trod.
    When law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow,
    And when the leaves in summer-time their verdure dare not show,
    Then I will change the colour that I wear in my caubeen,
    But 'till that day, please God, I'll stick to wearing of the green.



THE RAKES OF MALLOW


    Beauing, belleing, dancing, drinking,
    Breaking windows, damning, sinking,
    Ever raking, never thinking,
                          Live the rakes of Mallow.

    Spending faster than it comes,
    Beating waiters, bailiffs, duns,
    Bacchus's true-begotten sons,
                          Live the rakes of Mallow.

    One time nought but claret drinking,
    Then like politicians thinking
    To raise the sinking funds when sinking,
                          Live the rakes of Mallow.

    When at home with dadda dying,
    Still for Mallow water crying;
    But where there's good claret plying,
                          Live the rakes of Mallow.

    Living short, but merry lives;
    Going where the devil drives;
    Having sweethearts, but no wives,
                          Live the rakes of Mallow.

    Racking tenants, stewards teasing,
    Swiftly spending, slowly raising,
    Wishing to spend all their days in
                              Raking as at Mallow.

    Then to end this raking life
    They get sober, take a wife,
    Ever after live in strife,
                          And wish again for Mallow.



JOHNNY, I HARDLY KNEW YE

_Street Ballad_


    While going the road to sweet Athy,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    While going the road to sweet Athy,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    While going the road to sweet Athy,
    A stick in my hand and a drop in my eye,
    A doleful damsel I heard cry:--
    'Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!
    With drums and guns and guns and drums
        The enemy nearly slew ye,
        My darling dear, you look so queer,
    Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

    'Where are your eyes that looked so mild?
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    Where are your eyes that looked so mild?
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    Where are your eyes that looked so mild,
    When my poor heart you first beguiled?
    Why did you run from me and the child?
            Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!
    With drums, etc.

    'Where are the legs with which you run?
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    Where are the legs with which you run?
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    Where are the legs with which you run,
    When you went to carry a gun?--
    Indeed, your dancing days are done!
            Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye
    With drums, etc.

    'It grieved my heart to see you sail,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    It grieved my heart to see you sail,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    It grieved my heart to see you sail,
    Though from my heart you took leg bail,--
    Like a cod you're doubled up head and tail.
            Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!
    With drums, etc.

    'You haven't an arm and you haven't a leg,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    You haven't an arm and you haven't a leg,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    You haven't an arm and you haven't a leg,
    You're an eyeless, noseless, chickenless egg;
    You'll have to be put in a bowl to beg:
            Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!
    With drums, etc.

    'I'm happy for to see you home,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    I'm happy for to see you home,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    I'm happy for to see you home,
    All from the island of Sulloon,
    So low in flesh, so high in bone,
            Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!
    With drums, etc.

    'But sad as it is to see you so,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    But sad as it is to see you so,
            Hurroo! hurroo!
    But sad as it is to see you so,
    And to think of you now as an object of woe,
    Your Peggy'll still keep ye on as her beau;
            Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!

    'With drums and guns and guns and drums,
        The enemy nearly slew ye,
        My darling dear, you look so queer,
    Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!'



KITTY OF COLERAINE


    As beautiful Kitty one morning was tripping
      With a pitcher of milk from the fair of Coleraine,
    When she saw me she stumbled, the pitcher down tumbled,
      And all the sweet buttermilk watered the plain.
    O! what shall I do now! 'Twas looking at you, now;
      Sure, sure, such a pitcher I'll ne'er meet again;
    'Twas the pride of my dairy! O Barney O'Cleary,
      You're sent as a plague to the girls of Coleraine!

    I sat down beside her, and gently did chide her,
      That such a misfortune should give her such pain;
    A kiss then I gave her, and ere I did leave her,
      She vowed for such pleasure she'd break it again.
    'Twas haymaking season--I can't tell the reason--
      Misfortunes will never come single 'tis plain;
    For very soon after poor Kitty's disaster
      The devil a pitcher was whole in Coleraine.



LAMENT OF MORIAN SHEHONE FOR MISS MARY ROURKE

_From an Irish keen_


    'There's darkness in thy dwelling-place, and silence reigns above,
    And Mary's voice is heard no more, like the soft voice of love.
    Yes! thou art gone, my Mary dear! and Morian Shehone
    Is left to sing his song of woe, and wail for thee alone.
    O! snow-white were thy virtues--the beautiful, the young,
    The old with pleasure bent to hear the music of thy tongue:
    The young with rapture gazed on thee, and their hearts in
        love were bound,
    For thou wast brighter than the sun that sheds its light around.
    My soul is dark, O Mary dear! thy sun of beauty's set;
    The sorrowful are dumb for thee--the grieved their tears forget;
    And I am left to pour my woe above thy grave alone;
    For dear wert thou to the fond heart of Morian Shehone.
    Fast-flowing tears above the grave of the rich man are shed,
    But they are dried when the cold stone shuts in his narrow bed;
    Not so with my heart's faithful love--the dark grave cannot hide
    From Morian's eyes thy form of grace, of loveliness, and pride.
    Thou didst not fall like the sere leaf, when autumn's chill
        winds blow--
    'Twas a tempest and a storm-blast that has laid my Mary low.
    Hadst thou not friends that loved thee well? hadst thou not
        garments rare?
    Wast thou not happy, Mary? wast thou not young and fair?
    Then why should the dread spoiler come, my heart's peace to destroy,
    Or the grim tyrant tear from me my all of earthly joy?
    O! am I left to pour my woes above thy grave alone?
    Thou idol of the faithful heart of Morian Shehone!
    Sweet were thy looks and sweet thy smiles, and kind wast thou
        to all;
    The withering scowl of envy on thy fortunes dared not fall;
    For thee thy friends lament and mourn, and never cease to weep--
    O! that their lamentations could awake thee from thy sleep!
    O! that thy peerless form again could meet my loving clasp!
    O! that the cold damp hand of Death could loose his iron grasp!
    Yet, when the valley's daughters meet beneath the tall elm tree,
    And talk of Mary as a dream that never more shall be,
    Then may thy spirit float around, like music in the air,
    And pour upon their virgin souls a blessing and a prayer.
    O! am I left to pour my wail above thy grave alone?'
    Then sinks in silence the lament of Morian Shehone!



THE GERALDINE'S DAUGHTER


    Speak low!--speak low--the banshee is crying;
    Hark! hark to the echo!--she's dying! 'she's dying.'
    What shadow flits dark'ning the face of the water?
    'Tis the swan of the lake--'tis _the Geraldine's Daughter_.

    Hush, hush! have you heard what the banshee said?
    O! list to the echo! she's dead! 'she's dead!'
    No shadow now dims the face of the water;
    Gone, gone is the wraith of _the Geraldine's Daughter_.

    The step of yon train is heavy and slow,
    There's wringing of hands, there's breathing of woe;
    What melody rolls over mountain and water?
    'Tis the funeral chant of _the Geraldine's Daughter_.

    The requiem sounds like the plaintive moan
    Which the wind makes over the sepulchre's stone;
    'O, why did she die? our hearts' blood had bought her!
    O, why did she die, _the Geraldine's Daughter_?'
    The thistle-beard floats--the wild roses wave
    With the blast that sweeps over the newly-made grave;
    The stars dimly twinkle, and hoarse falls the water,
    While night-birds are wailing _the Geraldine's Daughter_.



BY MEMORY INSPIRED

_Street Ballad_


              By Memory inspired,
              And love of country fired,
    The deeds of Men I love to dwell upon;
              And the patriotic glow
              Of my spirit must bestow
    A tribute to O'Connell that is gone, boys, gone!
    Here's a memory to the friends that are gone.

              In October 'Ninety-seven--
              May his soul find rest in Heaven--
    William Orr to execution was led on:
              The jury, drunk, agreed
              That Irish was his creed;
    For perjury and threats drove them on, boys, on:
    Here's the memory of John Mitchell that is gone.

              In 'Ninety-Eight--the month July--
              The informer's pay was high;
    When Reynolds gave the gallows brave MacCann;
              But MacCann was Reynolds' first--
              One could not allay his thirst;
    So he brought up Bond and Byrne, that are gone, boys, gone.
    Here's the memory of the friends that are gone!

              We saw a nation's tears
              Shed for John and Henry Shears;
    Betrayed by Judas, Captain Armstrong;
              We may forgive, but yet
              We never can forget
    The poisoning of Maguire that is gone, boys, gone--
    Our high Star and true Apostle that is gone!

              How did Lord Edward die?
              Like a man, without a sigh;
    But he left his handiwork on Major Swan!
              But Sirr, with steel-clad breast,
              And coward heart at best,
    Left us cause to mourn Lord Edward that is gone, boys, gone:
    Here's the memory of our friends that are gone!

              September, Eighteen-three,
              Closed this cruel history,
    When Emmett's blood the scaffold flowed upon
              O, had their spirits been wise,
              They might then realize
    Their freedom--but we drink to Mitchell that is gone, boys, gone:
    Here's the memory of the friends that are gone!



A FOLK VERSE


    When you were an acorn on the tree top,
      Then was I an eagle cock;
    Now that you are a withered old block,
      Still am I an eagle cock.



NOTES


Page xxi, lines 21 to 25. A well-known poet of the Fenian times has made
the curious boast--'Talking of work--since Sunday, two cols. notes, two
cols. London gossip, and a leader one col., and one col. of verse for
the _Nation_. For _Catholic Opinion_, two pages of notes and a leader.
For _Illustrated Magazine_, three poems and a five col. story.'

Page 1. 'The deserted village' is Lissoy, near Ballymahon, and Sir
Walter Scott tells of a hawthorn there which has been cut up into
toothpicks by Goldsmith enthusiasts; but the feeling and atmosphere of
the poem are unmistakably English.

Page 8. Some verses in 'The Epicurean' were put into French by Théophile
Gautier for the French translation, and back again into English by Mr.
Robert Bridges. If any Irish reader who thinks Moore a great poet, will
compare his verses with the results of this double distillation, and
notice the gradual disappearance of their vague rhythms and loose
phrases, he will be the less angry with the introduction to this book.
Moore wrote as follows--

    You, who would try
      Yon terrible track,
    To live or to die,
      But ne'er to turn back.

    You, who aspire
      To be purified there,
    By the terror of fire,
      Of water, and air,--

    If danger, and pain,
      And death you despise,
    On--for again
      Into light you shall rise:

    Rise into light
      With the secret divine,
    Now shrouded from sight
      By a veil of the shrine.

These lines are certainly less amazing than the scrannel piping of his
usual anapæsts; but few will hold them to be 'of their own arduous
fullness reverent'! Théophile Gautier sets them to his instrument in
this fashion,

    Vous qui voulez courir
    La terrible carrière,
    Il faut vivre ou mourir,
    Sans regard en arrière:

    Vous qui voulez tenter
    L'onde, l'air, et la flamme,
    Terreurs à surmonter
    Pour épurer votre âme,

    Si, méprisant la mort,
    Votre foi reste entière,
    En avant!--le coeur fort
    Reverra la lumière.

    Et lira sur l'autel
    Le mot du grand mystère,
    Qu'au profane mortel
    Dérobe un voile austère.

Then comes Mr. Robert Bridges, and lifts them into the rapture and
precision of poetry--

    O youth whose hope is high,
    Who dost to truth aspire,
    Whether thou live or die,
    O look not back nor tire.

    Thou that art bold to fly
    Through tempest, flood, and fire,
    Nor dost not shrink to try
    Thy heart in torments dire:

    If thou canst Death defy,
    If thy faith is entire,
    Press onward, for thine eye
    Shall see thy heart's desire.

    Beauty and love are nigh,
    And with their deathless quire--
    Soon shall thine eager cry
    Be numbered and expire.

Page 27. 'Dark Rosaleen' is one of the old names of Ireland. Mangan's
translation is very free; as a rule when he tried to translate
literally, as in 'The Munster Bards,' all glimmer of inspiration left
him.

Page 32, line 20. 'This passage is not exactly a blunder, though at
first it may seem one: the poet supposes the grave itself transferred to
Ireland, and he naturally includes in the transference the whole of the
immediate locality about the grave' (Mangan note).

Page 47, line 6. The two Meaths once formed a distinct province.

Page 55, line 7. This poem is an account of Mangan's own life, and is, I
think, redeemed out of rhetoric by its intensity. The following poem,
'Siberia,' describes, perhaps, his own life under a symbol.

Page 59. Hy Brasail, or Teer-Nan-Oge, is the island of the blessed, the
paradise of ancient Ireland. It is still thought to be seen from time to
time glimmering far off.

Page 61. _Mo Craoibhin Cno_ means my cluster of nuts, and is pronounced
_Mo Chreevin Knò_.

Page 64. Mr. O'Keefe has sent the writer a Gaelic version of this poem,
possibly by Walsh himself. A correspondent of his got it from an old
peasant who had not a word of English. A well-known Gaelic scholar
pronounces it a translation, and not the original of the present poem.
_Mairgréad ni Chealleadh_ is pronounced _Mairgréd nei Kealley_. The
_Ceanabhan_, pronounced _Kanovan_, is the bog cotton, and the _Monadan_
is a plant with a red berry found on marshy mountains.

Page 69. _A cuisle geal mo chroidhe_, pronounced _A cushla gal mo chre_,
means 'bright pulse of my heart.'

Page 74. Sir Samuel Ferguson introduces the poem as follows:--

Several Welsh families, associates in the invasion of Strongbow, settled
in the West of Ireland. Of these, the principal, whose names have been
preserved by the Irish antiquarians, were the Walshes, Joyces, Heils (_a
quibus_ MacHale), Lawlesses, Tolmyns, Lynotts, and Barretts, which last
draw their pedigree from Walynes, son of Guyndally, the _Ard Maor_, or
High Steward of the Lordship of Camelot, and had their chief seats in
the territory of the two Bacs, in the barony of Tirawley, and county of
Mayo. _Clochan-na-n'all_, i. e. 'The Blind Men's Stepping-stones,' are
still pointed out on the Duvowen river, about four miles north of
Crossmolina, in the townland of Garranard; and _Tubber-na-Scorney_, or
'Scrags Well,' in the opposite townland of Carns, in the same barony.
For a curious _terrier_ or applotment of the Mac William's revenue, as
acquired under the circumstances stated in the legend preserved by Mac
Firbis, see Dr. O'Donovan's highly-learned and interesting 'Genealogies,
&c. of Hy. Fiachrach,' in the publications of the _Irish Archæological
Society_--a great monument of antiquarian and topographical erudition.

Page 90, line 6. 'William Conquer' was William Fitzadelm De Burgh, the
Conqueror of Connaught.

Page 91, line 4. Sir Samuel Ferguson introduces the poem as follows:--

Aideen, daughter of Angus of Ben-Edar (now the Hill of Howth), died of
grief for the loss of her husband, Oscar, son of Ossian, who was slain
at the battle of Gavra (_Gowra_, near Tara in Meath), A.D. 284. Oscar
was entombed in the rath or earthen fortress that occupied part of the
field of battle, the rest of the slain being cast in a pit outside.
Aideen is said to have been buried on Howth, near the mansion of her
father, and poetical tradition represents the Fenian heroes as present
at her obsequies. The Cromlech in Howth Park has been supposed to be her
sepulchre. It stands under the summits from which the poet Atharne is
said to have launched his invectives against the people of Leinster,
until, by the blighting effect of his satires, they were compelled to
make him atonement for the death of his son.

Page 99. 'There was then no man in the host of Ulster that could be
found who would put the sons of Usnach to death, so loved were they of
the people and nobles. But in the house of Conor was one called Mainé
Rough Hand, son of the king of Lochlen, and Naesi had slain his father
and two brothers, and he undertook to be their executioners. So the sons
of Usnach were then slain, and the men of Ulster, when they beheld their
death, sent forth their heavy shouts of sorrow and lamentation. Then
Deirdre fell down beside their bodies wailing and weeping, and she tore
her hair and garments and bestowed kisses on their lifeless lips and
bitterly bemoaned them. And a grave was opened for them, and Deirdre,
standing by it, with her hair dishevelled and shedding tears abundantly,
chanted their funeral song.' (_Hibernian Nights' Entertainment_.)

Page 102. _Uileacan Dubh O_', pronounced _Uileacaun Doov O_, is a phrase
of lamentation.

Page 108, line 16. 'Anna Grace' is the heroine of another ballad by
Ferguson. She also was stolen by the Fairies.

Page 112, line 6. Thomas Davis had an Irish father and a Welsh mother,
and Emily Brontë an Irish father and a Cornish mother, and there seems
no reason for including the first and excluding the second. I find,
perhaps fancifully, an Irish vehemence in 'Remembrance.' Several of the
Irish poets have been of mixed Irish-Celtic and British-Celtic blood.
William Blake has been recently claimed as of Irish descent, upon the
evidence of Dr. Carter Blake; and if, in the course of years, that claim
becomes generally accepted, he should be included also in Irish
anthologies.

Page 119, line 13. 'The little Black Rose' is but another form of 'Dark
Rosaleen,' and has a like significance. 'The Silk of the Kine' is also
an old name for Ireland.

Page 138. _Maire Bhan Astór_ is pronounced _Mauria vaun a-stór_, and
means 'Fair Mary, my treasure.'

Page 140. _Mo bhuachaill_, pronounced _mo Vohil_, means 'my boy.'

Page 174. The Goban Saor, the mason Goban, is a familiar personage in
Irish folk-lore, and the reputed builder of the round towers.

Page 191. _Slainté_, ['your] health.'

Page 207. 'And their step-mother, being jealous of their father's great
love for them, cast upon the king's children, by sorcery, the shape of
swans, and bade them go roaming, even till Patrick's mass-bell should
sound in Erin; but no farther in time than that did her power
extend.'--_The Fate of the Children of Lir_.

Page 222. The wind was one of the deities of the Pagan Irish. 'The
murmuring of the Red Wind from the East,' says an old poem, 'is heard in
its course by the strong as well as the weak; it is the wind that wastes
the bottom of the trees, and injurious to man is that red wind.'

Page 226. _Can Doov Deelish_ means 'dear black head.'

Page 231. The chorus is pronounced _Shoo-il, shoo-il, shoo-il, a rooin,
Shoo-il go socair, ogus shoo-il go kiune, Shoo-il go den durrus ogus
euli liom, Iss go de too, mo vourneen, slaun_, and means--

    'Move, move, move, O treasure,
     Move quietly and move gently,
     Move to the door, and fly with me,
     And mayest thou go, my darling, safe!'

Page 232. _Shan van vocht_, meaning 'little old woman', is a name for
Ireland.

Page 235. This is not the most ancient form of the ballad, but it is the
form into which it was recast by Boucicault, and which has long taken
the place of all others.

Page 237, line 2. 'Sinking,' violent swearing.

THE END



=IRISH BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR.=

_VERSE._

    THE COUNTESS KATHLEEN.
    THE LAND OF HEART'S DESIRE.
    THE WANDERINGS OF OISIN.

_PROSE._

    THE CELTIC TWILIGHT.
    JOHN SHERMAN AND DHOYA.

_ANTHOLOGIES._

    IRISH FAIRY AND FOLK TALES.
    IRISH FAIRY STORIES.
    STORIES FROM CARLETON.
    IRISH TALES.

RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED, LONDON & BUNGAY.





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translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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