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


The Boatman of Kinsale

By Thomas Davis (1814–1845)

HIS kiss is sweet, his word is kind,

His love is rich to me;

I could not in a palace find

A truer heart than he.

The eagle shelters not his nest

From hurricane and hail

More bravely than he guards my breast,

The Boatman of Kinsale.

The wind that round the Fastnet sweeps

Is not a whit more pure;

The goat that down Cnoc Sheehy leaps

Has not a foot more sure.

No firmer hand nor freer eye

E’er faced an autumn gale;

De Courcy’s heart is not so high,

The Boatman of Kinsale.

The brawling squires may heed him not,

The dainty stranger sneer,

But who will dare to hurt our cot,

When Myles O’Hea is here!

The scarlet soldiers pass along,

They ’d like, but fear to rail;

His blood is hot, his blow is strong,

The Boatman of Kinsale.

His hooker ’s in the Scilly van,

When seines are in the foam;

But money never made the man,

Nor wealth a happy home.

So, blest with love and liberty,

While he can trim a sail,

He ’ll trust in God, and cling to me,—

The Boatman of Kinsale.