(By the Fireside.)
Where glows the Irish hearth with peat
There lives a subtle spell—
The faint blue smoke, the gentle heat,
The moorland odours, tell
Of long roads running through a red
Untamed unfurrowed land,
With curlews keening overhead,
And streams on either hand;
Black turf-banks crowned with whispering sedge,
And black bog-pools below;
While dry stone wall or ragged hedge
Leads on, to meet the glow
From cottage doors, that lure us in
From rainy Western skies,
To seek the friendly warmth within,
The simple talk and wise;
Or tales of magic, love and arms
From days when princes met
To listen to the lay that charms
The Connacht peasant yet.
There Honour shines through passions dire,
There beauty blends with mirth—
Wild hearts, ye never did aspire
Wholly for things of earth!
Cold, cold this thousand years—yet still
On many a time-stained page
Your pride, your truth, your dauntless will,
Burn on from age to age.
And still around the fires of peat
Live on the ancient days;
There still do living lips repeat
The old and deathless lays.
And when the wavering wreaths ascend,
Blue in the evening air,
The soul of Ireland seems to bend
Above her children there.