Dora Sigerson Shorter

(1866-1918 / Ireland)

A Bird From The West


At the grey dawn, amongst the falling leaves,
A little bird outside my window swung,
High on a topmost branch he trilled his song,
And ' Ireland! Ireland! Ireland!' ever sung.

“Take me,' I cried, 'back to my island home;
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 lingered over Ulster stern and wild.
I called: ' Arise! doth none remember me ?'
One turned 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 shivered at the morning grey:
“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: ^
M You'd think of tears, so bitter falls the rain.' !|

Long over Leinster lingered we. ' Good-bye!
My best beloved, good-bye for evermore.' v^
Sleepless they tossed and whispered to the dawn;
“So sad a wind was never heard before.'

Was it a dream I dreamt ? For yet there swings
In the grey morn a bird upon the bough,
And ' Ireland! Ireland! Ireland!' ever sings.
Oh! fair the breaking day in Ireland now.

Submitted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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