Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
84. Colum-Cille’s Farewell to Ireland
By Douglas Hyde (Translated)
ALAS for the voyage, O High King of Heaven,
  Enjoined upon me,
For that I on the red plain of bloody Cooldrevin
  Was present to see.
How happy the son is of Dima; no sorrow        5
  For him is designed,
He is having, this hour, round his own hill in Durrow,
  The wish of his mind.
The sounds of the winds in the elms, like strings of
  A harp being played,        10
The note of a blackbird that claps with the wings of
  Delight in the shade.
With him in Ros-Grencha the cattle are lowing
  At earliest dawn,
On the brink of the summer the pigeons are cooing        15
  And doves in the lawn.
Three things am I leaving behind me, the very
  Most dear that I know,
Tir-Leedach I’m leaving, and Durrow and Derry;
  Alas, I must go!        20
Yet my visit and feasting with Comgall have eased me
  At Cainneach’s right hand,
And all but thy government, Eiré, have pleased me,
  Thou waterful land.
The saint is supposed to have made this poem while in his self-imposed exile in Iona. Scholars do not believe that the poems in Irish attributed to Colum-cille belong to his period—the first half of the sixth century.


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