Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Ireland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V.  1876–79.
 
Munster
Munster
Sliabh Cuilinn (John O’Hagan) (1822–1890)
 
          YE who rather
          Seek to gather
Biding thought than fleeting pleasure,
  In the South what wonders saw ye?
  From the South what lesson draw ye?        5
Wonders, passing thought or measure,—
Lessons, through a life to treasure.
 
          Ever living,
          Nature, giving
Welcome wild, or soft caress,—        10
  Scenes that sink into the being
  Till the eye grows full with seeing,
And the mute heart can but bless
Him that shaped such loveliness.
 
          Dark and wide ill        15
          Rivers idle,
Wealth unwrought of sea and mine,—
  Bays where Europe’s fleets might anchor,—
  Scarce Panama’s waters blanker,
Ere Columbus crossed the brine,        20
Void of living sound or sign.
 
          God hath blest it,
          Man opprest it,—
Sad the fruits that mingling rise,—
  Fallow fields, and hands to till them,        25
  Hungry mouths, and grain to fill them;
But a social curse denies
Labor’s guerdon, want’s supplies.
 
          Sunlight glances,
          Life that dances        30
In the limbs of childhood there,—
  Glowing tints, that fade and sicken
  In the pallid, famine-stricken
Looks that men and women wear,
Living types of want and care.        35
 
          Faith and patience,
          Mid privations,—
Genial heart and open hand;
  But, what fain the eye would light on,
  Pleasant homes to cheer and brighten        40
Such a race and such a land,—
These, alas! their lords have banned.
 
          These things press on
          Us the lesson,
Much may yet be done and borne,        45
But the bonds that thus continue
  Paralyzing limb and sinew,
From our country must be torn:
  Then shines out young Munster’s morn.
 
 
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