Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V. 1876–79.

Lough Ina (Inagh)

Loch Ina

By Anonymous

I KNOW a lake where the cool waves break,

And softly fall on the silver sand;

And no steps intrude on that solitude,

And no voice, save mine, disturbs the strand.

And a mountain bold, like a giant of old

Turned to stone by some magic spell,

Uprears in might his misty height,

And his craggy sides are wooded well.

In the midst doth smile a little isle,

And its verdure shames the emerald’s green;

On its grassy side, in ruined pride,

A castle of old is darkling seen.

On its lofty crest the wild cranes nest,

In its halls the sheep good shelter find;

And the ivy shades where a hundred blades

Were hung, when the owners in sleep reclined.

That chieftain of old, could he now behold

His lordly tower a shepherd’s pen,

His corpse, long dead, from its narrow bed

Would rise with anger and shame again.

’T is sweet to gaze when the sun’s bright rays

Are cooling themselves in the trembling wave,

But ’t is sweeter far when the evening star

Shines like a smile at Friendship’s grave.

There the hollow shells through their wreathed cells

Make music on the silent shore,

As the summer breeze, through the distant trees,

Murmurs in fragrant breathings o’er.

And the seaweed shines, like the hidden mines,

Or the fairy cities beneath the sea;

And the wave-washed stones are bright as the thrones

Of the ancient Kings of Araby.

If it were my lot in that fairy spot

To live forever, and dream ’t were mine,

Courts might woo, and kings pursue,

Ere I would leave thee, loved Loch-Ine.