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Letter More, Ballynakill Harbour, County Galway, Ireland 

Cois na Teineadh (Beside the Fire)
By T. W. Rolleston

 WHERE glows the Irish hearth with peat
 There lives a subtle spell—
 The faint blue smoke, the gentle heat,
 The moorland odours tell.
 Of white roads winding by the edge 
 Of bare, untamèd land,
 Where dry stone wall or ragged hedge
 Runs wide on either hand.
 To cottage lights that lure you in
 From rainy Western skies; 
 And by the friendly glow within
 Of simple talk, and wise,
 And tales of magic, love or arms
 From days when princes met
 To listen to the lay that charms 
 The Connacht peasant yet,
 There Honour shines through passions dire,
 There beauty blends with mirth—
 Wild hearts, ye never did aspire
 Wholly for things of earth!
 Cold, cold this thousand years—yet still
 On many a time-stained page
 Your pride, your truth, your dauntless will,
 Burn on from age to age.
 And still around the fires of peat 
 Live on the ancient days;
 There still do living lips repeat
 The old and deathless lays.
 And when the wavering wreaths ascend
 Blue in the evening air, 
 The soul of Ireland seems to bend
 Above her children there. 


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(c) 2001 Don Schwager