Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
St. Patrick’s Hymn before Tarah
By James Clarence Mangan (1803–1849)
AT Tarah to-day, in this awful hour,
  I call on the holy Trinity:
Glory to him who reigneth in power,
The God of the elements, Father and Son
And Paraclete Spirit, which Three are the One,        5
  The ever-existing Divinity!
At Tarah to-day I call on the Lord,
  On Christ, the omnipotent Word,
Who came to redeem from death and sin
          Our fallen race;        10
        And I put and I place
The virtue that lieth and liveth in
      His incarnation lowly,
      His baptism pure and holy,
His life of toil and tears and affliction,        15
His dolorous death—his crucifixion,
His burial, sacred and sad and lone,
  His resurrection to life again,
His glorious ascension to Heaven’s high throne,
And, lastly, his future dread        20
  And terrible coming to judge all men—
Both the living and dead….
At Tarah to-day I put and I place
  The virtue that dwells in the seraphim’s love,
And the virtue and grace        25
      That are in the obedience
      And unshaken allegiance
  Of all the archangels and angels above,
And in the hope of the resurrection
To everlasting reward and election,        30
And in the prayers of the fathers of old,
And in the truths the prophets foretold,
And in the Apostles’ manifold preachings,
And in the confessors’ faith and teachings;
And in the purity ever dwelling        35
  Within the immaculate Virgin’s breast,
And in the actions bright and excelling
  Of all good men, the just and the blest….
At Tarah to-day, in this fateful hour,
I place all heaven with its power,        40
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And fire with all the strength it hath,
And lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,        45
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness,—
            All these I place,
  By God’s almighty help and grace,        50
Between myself and the powers of darkness.
        At Tarah to-day
        May God be my stay!
  May the strength of God now nerve me!
  May the power of God preserve me!        55
  May God the Almighty be near me!
    May God the Almighty espy me!
  May God the Almighty hear me!
    May God give me eloquent speech!
  May the arm of God protect me!        60
  May the wisdom of God direct me!
May God give me power to teach and to preach!
    May the shield of God defend me!
    May the host of God attend me,
          And ward me,        65
          And guard me
  Against the wiles of demons and devils,
  Against the temptations of vices and evils,
  Against the bad passions and wrathful will
    Of the reckless mind and the wicked heart,—        70
  Against every man who designs me ill,
    Whether leagued with others or plotting apart!
        In this hour of hours,
        I place all those powers
      Between myself and every foe        75
    Who threaten my body and soul
        With danger or dole,
To protect me against the evils that flow
From lying soothsayers’ incantations,
From the gloomy laws of the Gentile nations,        80
From heresy’s hateful innovations,
From idolatry’s rites and invocations.
        Be those my defenders,
      My guards against every ban—
And spell of smiths, and Druids, and women;        85
In fine, against every knowledge that renders
    The light Heaven sends us dim in
      The spirit and soul of man!
          May Christ, I pray,
          Protect me to-day        90
      Against poison and fire,
  Against drowning and wounding;
  That so, in His grace abounding,
      I may earn the preacher’s hire!
        Christ as a light        95
        Illumine and guide me!
Christ as a shield o’ershadow and cover me!
Christ be under me!—Christ be over me!
        Christ be beside me,
        On left hand and right!        100
Christ be before me, behind me, about me;
Christ this day be within and without me!
        Christ, the lowly and meek,
        Christ the All-Powerful be
In the heart of each to whom I speak,        105
In the mouth of each who speaks to me!
        In all who draw near me,
        Or see me or hear me!
At Tarah to-day, in this awful hour,
    I call on the Holy Trinity!        110
Glory to Him who reigneth in power,
The God of the elements, Father and Son
And Paraclete Spirit, which Three are the One,
  The ever-existing Divinity!
  Salvation dwells with the Lord,        115
  With Christ, the omnipotent Word.
  From generation to generation
Grant us, O Lord, thy grace and salvation!

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