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

Blackwater, the River

The Rivers

By Thomas Davis (1814–1845)

THERE ’s a far-famed Blackwater that runs to Loch Neagh,

There ’s a fairer Blackwater that runs to the sea,—

The glory of Ulster,

The beauty of Munster,

These twin rivers be.

From the banks of that river Benburb’s towers arise;

This stream shines as bright as a tear from sweet eyes:

This fond as a young bride,

That with foeman’s blood dyed,—

Both dearly we prize.

Deep sunk in that bed is the sword of Monroe,

Since ’twixt it and Oonagh he met Owen Roe,

And Charlemont’s cannon

Slew many a man on

These meadows below.

The shrines of Armagh gleam far over yon lea,

Now afar is Dungannon that nursed liberty,

And yonder Red Hugh

Marshal Bagenal o’erthrew

On Béal-an-atha-Buidhe.

But far kinder the woodlands of rich Convamore,

And more gorgeous the turrets of saintly Lismore;

There the stream, like a maiden

With love overladen,

Pants wild on each shore.

Its rocks rise like statues, tall, stately, and fair,

And the trees and the flowers and the mountains and air,

With woman’s soul near you,

To share with, and cheer you,

Make Paradise there.

I would rove by that stream, ere my flag I unrolled;

I would fly to these banks my betrothed to enfold,—

The pride of our sire-land,

The Eden of Ireland,

More precious than gold.

May their borders be free from oppression and blight,

May their daughters and sons ever fondly unite,—

The glory of Ulster,

The beauty of Munster,

Our strength and delight.