The Exile’s Return

One last quick copy & paste post before we jet off, just because it seems so appropriate:

The Exile’s Return
(John Locke, 1847-1889)

T’anam chun Dia! but there it is –
The dawn on the hills of Ireland,
God’s angels lifting the night’s black veil
From the fair sweet face of my sireland.
Oh! Ireland isn’t it grand you look,
Like a bride in her fresh adorning,
And with all the pent-up love of my heart
I bid you the top of the morning.

This one brief hour pays lavishly back,
For many a year of mourning,
I’d almost venture another flight,
There is so much joy in returning,
Watching out for the hallowed shore,
All other attraction scorning,
Oh: Ireland don’t you hear me shout,
I bid you the top of the morning.

Ho, Ho, upon Glen’s shelving strand,
The surges are wildly beating,
And Kerry is pushing her headlands out,
To give us a kindly greeting,
Now to the shore the sea birds fly,
On pinons that know no drooping,
Now out from the shore with welcome gaze,
A million of eaves come trooping.

Oh! Fairly, generous Irish land,
So Loyal, so fair, so loving,
No wonder the wandering Celt should think,
And dream of you in his roving,
The Alien shore may have gems and gold,
And sorrow may ne’er have gloomed it.
But the heart will sigh for its native shore,
Where the love-light first illumed it.

And doesn’t old Cobh look charming there,
Watching the wild waves motion,
Resting her back against the hill.
And the tips of her toes to the ocean,
I wonder I don’t hear the Shandon bells,
But maybe their chiming is over,
For it’s a year since I began,
The life of a western rover.

For thirty years “A chuisle mochroi”,
Those hills I now feast my eyes on,
Ne’er met my vision save at night,
In memory’s dim horizon,
Even so, ’twas grand and fair they seemed,
In the landscape spread before me,
But dreams are dreams, and I would awake
To find American skies still o’er me.

And often in Texan plain,
When the day and the chase was over,
My heart would fly o’er the weary ways,
And around the coastline hover,
And my prayers would arise that some future date,
All danger, doubting and scorning,
I might help to win for my native land
The light of young liberty’s morning.

Now fuller and turner the coastline shows
Was there ever a scene more splendid!
I feel the breath of the Munster breeze,
Oh! Thank God my exile is ended,
Old scenes, old songs, old friends again
There’s the vale, there’s the cot I was born in
Oh! Ireland from my heart of hearts
I bid you the “top o’ the morning”

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