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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
576. The Fair Hills of Ireland
 
From the Irish
 
Sir Samuel Ferguson (1810–1886)
 
 
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,        5
And her forest paths in summer are by falling waters fann’d,
There is dew at high noontide there, and springs i’ the yellow sand,
      On the fair hills of holy Ireland.
 
Curl’d he is and ringleted, and plaited to the knee—
            Uileacan dubh O!        10
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,        15
      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!        20
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 forests grand,
      On the fair hills of holy Ireland.
 

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