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


The Banshee

By Anonymous

SHE sat beside the haunted stream

While ’t was crimsoned yet with the sunset beam,

And her long black hair with the wild winds flew,

And her robe was a robe of snowy hue,

And she gazed with sad, dark-glancing eye

Where Mac Caura’s towers rose proud and high.

But sudden that gaze was past, and the one

That sat by the lonely stream was gone;

And aloft, on the misty mountain’s height

Was seen the dark form in snowy white,—

And wild and high, over hill and dale

Was heard the loud cry of the Banshee’s wail.


The fen fog fell, and the robe of white

Was dimmer seen on the mountain’s height,

And the long black locks still floated away,

Till the night glooms came as black as they,

And the form at length was in darkness shaded,

And the song at length was in distance faded.

But still the sounds in the listening ear,

With the cool calm gale, were wafted near,

And still the murmuring echoes fell

O’er heath-clad hill and o’er moss-green dell,

And still they sung of woe and grief,

And blood, and death, to Mac Caura’s chief.


The day-beam breaks on the green-hill side,

And gleams over hill and river;

And the Saxon’s banner is floating wide,

With the blood of the hapless heroes dyed;

But Mac Caura’s boast and Mac Caura’s pride

Is faded and lost forever.