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



By Sliabh Cuilinn (John O’Hagan) (1822–1890)

YE who rather

Seek to gather

Biding thought than fleeting pleasure,

In the South what wonders saw ye?

From the South what lesson draw ye?

Wonders, passing thought or measure,—

Lessons, through a life to treasure.

Ever living,

Nature, giving

Welcome wild, or soft caress,—

Scenes that sink into the being

Till the eye grows full with seeing,

And the mute heart can but bless

Him that shaped such loveliness.

Dark and wide ill

Rivers idle,

Wealth unwrought of sea and mine,—

Bays where Europe’s fleets might anchor,—

Scarce Panama’s waters blanker,

Ere Columbus crossed the brine,

Void of living sound or sign.

God hath blest it,

Man opprest it,—

Sad the fruits that mingling rise,—

Fallow fields, and hands to till them,

Hungry mouths, and grain to fill them;

But a social curse denies

Labor’s guerdon, want’s supplies.

Sunlight glances,

Life that dances

In the limbs of childhood there,—

Glowing tints, that fade and sicken

In the pallid, famine-stricken

Looks that men and women wear,

Living types of want and care.

Faith and patience,

Mid privations,—

Genial heart and open hand;

But, what fain the eye would light on,

Pleasant homes to cheer and brighten

Such a race and such a land,—

These, alas! their lords have banned.

These things press on

Us the lesson,

Much may yet be done and borne,

But the bonds that thus continue

Paralyzing limb and sinew,

From our country must be torn:

Then shines out young Munster’s morn.