Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Ireland
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V.  1876–79.
Irish Boatman’s Hymn
From the Irish
Translated by Samuel Ferguson

BARK that bear me through foam and squall,
You in the storm are my castle wall:
Though the sea should redden from bottom to top,
From tiller to mast she takes no drop;
  On the tide-top, the tide-top,        5
    Wherry aroon, my land and store!
  On the tide-top, the tide-top,
    She is the boat can sail go leor. 1
She dresses herself, and goes gliding on,
Like a dame in her robes of the Indian lawn;        10
For God has blessed her, gunnel and wale,
And O, if you saw her stretch out to the gale,
  On the tide-top, on the tide-top, etc.
Whillan, 2 ahoy! old heart of stone,
Stooping so black o’er the beach alone,        15
Answer me well,—on the bursting brine
Saw you ever a bark like mine?
  On the tide-top, the tide-top, etc.
Says Whillan, “Since first I was made of stone,
I have looked abroad o’er the beach alone,        20
But till to-day, on the bursting brine,
Saw I never a bark like thine,”
  On the tide-top, on the tide-top, etc.
“God of the air!” the seamen shout,
When they see us tossing the brine about:        25
“Give us the shelter of strand or rock,
Or through and through us she goes with a shock!”
  On the tide-top, the tide-top,
    Wherry aroon, my land and store,
  On the tide-top, the tide-top,        30
    She is the boat can sail go leor!
Note 1. Abundantly well. [back]
Note 2. A rock on the shore near Blacksod Harbor. [back]

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