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

Tor Conainn

The Legends

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

THEY fought ere sunrise at Tor Conainn;

All day they fought on the wild sea-shore.

The sun dropped downward, they fought amain;

The tide rose upward, they fought the more.

The sands were covered; the sea grew red;

The warriors fought in the reddening wave:

That night the sea was the sea-king’s bed;

The land-king drifted past cliff and cave.

Great was the rage in those ancient days

(We were pagans then) in the land of Eire;

Like eagles men vanquished the noontide blaze;

Their bones were iron, their nerves were wire.

We are hinds to-day! The Nemedian kings

Like elk and bison of old stalked forth;

Their name—the sea-kings’—forever clings

To the “Giant Stepping-Stones” round the North.