Taken from The History of Ireland by A.M Sullivan (1830-1884), published 1910.
What joy to fly upon the white-crested sea; and watch the waves break upon the Irish shore!
My foot is in my little boat; but my sad heart ever bleeds!
There is a grey eye which ever turns to Erinn; but never in this life shall it see Eirinn, nor her sons, nor her daughters!
From the high prow I look over the sea; and great tears are in my eyes when I turn to Erinn –
To Erinn, where the songs of the birds are so sweet, and where the clerks sing like the birds:
Where the young are so gentle, and the old are so wise; where the great men are so noble to look at, and the women so fair to wed!
Young traveller! Carry my sorrows with you; carry them to Comgall of eternal life!
Noble youth, take my prayer with thee, and my blessing; one part for Ireland – seven times may she be blest – and the other for Albyn.
Carry my blessing across the sea; carry it to the West. My heart is broken in my breast!
If death comes suddenly to me, it will be because of the great love I bear to the Gael!1
1 This poem appears to have been presented as a farewell gift by St. Columba to some of his Irish visitors at Iona, when returning home to Ireland. It is deservedly classed amongst the most beautiful of his poetic compositions.