Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
A Bird from the West
By Dora Sigerson Shorter (1866–1918)
AT the grey dawn, amongst the falling leaves,
  A little bird outside my window swung,
High on a topmost branch he trill’d his song,
  And ‘Ireland! Ireland! Ireland!’ ever sung.
‘Take me,’ I cried, ‘back to my island home;        5
  Sweet bird, my soul shall ride between thy wings’;
For my lone spirit wide his pinions spread,
  And home and home and home he ever sings.
We linger’d over Ulster stern and wild.
  I call’d: ‘Arise! doth none remember me?’        10
One turnèd in the darkness murmuring,
  ‘How loud upon the breakers sobs the sea!’
We rested over Connaught—whispering said:
  ‘Awake, awake, and welcome! I am here.’
One woke and shiver’d at the morning grey;        15
  ‘The trees, I never heard them sigh so drear.’
We flew low over Munster. Long I wept:
  ‘You used to love me, love me once again!’
They spoke from out the shadows wondering;
  ‘You’d think of tears, so bitter falls the rain.’        20
Long over Leinster linger’d we. ‘Good-bye!
  My best beloved, good-bye for evermore.’
Sleepless they toss’d and whisper’d to the dawn;
  ‘So sad a wind was never heard before.’
Was it a dream I dreamt? For yet there swings        25
  In the grey morn a bird upon the bough,
And ‘Ireland! Ireland! Ireland!’ ever sings.
  O, fair the breaking day in Ireland now!

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