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

Rivers of Ireland

Rivers of Ireland

By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

NE thence the Irishe Rivers absent were:

Sith no lesse famous then the rest they bee,

And ioyne in neighbourhood of kingdome nere,

Why should they not likewise in love agree,

And ioy likewise this solemne day to see?

They saw it all, and present were in place;

Though I them all, according their degree,

Cannot recount, nor tell their hidden race,

Nor read the salvage countries thorough which they pace.

There was the Liffy rolling downe the lea;

The sandy Slane; the stony Anbrian;

The spacious Shenan spreading like a sea;

The pleasant Boyne; the fishy fruitfull Ban;

Swift Awniduff, which of the English man

Is cal’de Blacke-water; and the Liffar deep;

Sad Trowis, that once his people over-ran;

Strong Allo tombling from Slewlogher steep;

And Mulla mine, whose waves I whilom taught to weep.

And there the three renowned Brethren were,

Which that great gyant Blomius begot

Of the faire nimph Rheüsa wandring there:

One day, as she to shunne the season whot

Under Slewboome in shady grove was got,

This gyant found her, and by force deflower’d;

Whereof conceiving, she in time forth brought

These three faire sons, which being thenceforth powrd

In three great rivers ran, and many countreis scowrd.

The first the gentle Shure that, making way

By sweet Clonmell, adornes rich Waterford;

The next, the stubborne Newre whose waters gray

By faire Kilkenny and Rosseponte boord;

The third, the goodly Barow which doth hoord

Great heaps of salmons in his deepe bosóme:

All which, long sundred, doe at last accord

To ioyne in one, ere to the sea they come;

So, flowing all from one, all one at last become.

There also was the wide embayed Mayre;

The pleasaunt Bandon crownd with many a wood;

The spreading Lee that, like an island fayre,

Encloseth Corke with his divided flood;

And balefull Oure late staind with English blood:

With many more whose names no tongue can tell.

All which that day in order seemly good

Did on the Thames attend, and waited well

To doe their dueful service, as to them befell.