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


The Three Woes

By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)

THAT angel whose charge is Eire sang thus, o’er the dark isle winging;

By a virgin his song was heard at a tempest’s ruinous close:

“Three golden ages God gave while your tender green blade was springing;

Faith’s earliest harvest is reaped. To-day God sends you three Woes.

“For ages three without laws ye shall flee as beasts in the forest;

For an age and a half-age faith shall bring not peace, but a sword;

Then laws shall rend you, like eagles sharp-fanged, of your scourges the sorest:

When these three woes are past, look up, for your hope is restored.

“The times of your woe shall be twice the time of your foregone glory;

But fourfold at last shall lie the grain on your granary floor.”

The seas in vapor shall fleet, and in ashes the mountains hoary:

Let God do that which he wills. Let his servants endure and adore!