| A Taste of Ireland's Poets | Early Verses | Middle Ages to Modern | Joseph Mary Plunkett | W.B. Yeats |
Ardmore Island, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland
Anonymous Verses
8th-10th  centuries (translated by Robin Flower)
The Scribe

Over my head the woodland wall
Rises; the ousel sings to me.
Above my booklet lined for words
The woodland birds shake out their glee.

There's the blithe cuckoo chanting clear
In mantle gre from bouth to bough!
God keep me still! for here I write
A scripture bright in great woods now.

The White Lake

When holy Patrick full of grace
Suffered on Cruach, that blest place,
In grief and gloom enduring then
For Eire's women, Eire's men,

God for his comfort sent a flight
Of birds angelically bright
That sang above the darkling lake
A song of unceasing for his sake.

'Twas thus they chanted, all and some,
'Come hither, Patrick! hither come!
Shield of the Gael, thou light of story,
Appointed star of the golden glory!'

Thus singing all those fair birds smite
The waters with soft wings in flight
Till the dark lake its gloom surrenders
And rolls a tide of silvery splendours.

The Lark

Learned in music sings the lark,
I leave my cell to listen;
His open beak spills music, hark!
Where Heaven's bright cloudlets glisten.

And so I'll sing my morning psalm
That God bright Heaven may give me
And keep me in eternal calm
And from all sin relieve me.

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager