Saturday, 12 December 2015

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 ledge
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 and of arms
From days when princes met
To listen to the lay that charms
The Connacht dweller yet

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.

— T.W. Rolleston

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