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The Collected Poems of Dora Sigerson Shorter/A Bird from the West


At the grey dawn, amongst the falling leaves,
A little bird outside my window swung,
High on a topmost branch he trilled his song,
And “Ireland! Ireland! Ireland!” ever sung.

“Take me,” I cried, “back to my island home;
Sweet bird, my soul shall ride between thy wings”;
For my lone spirit wide his pinions spread,
And “Home” and “Home” and “Home” he ever sings.

We lingered over Ulster stern and wild.
I called: “Arise! doth none remember me?”
One turnèd in the darkness murmuring,
“How loud upon the breakers sobs the sea!”

We rested over Connaught—whispering said:
“Awake, awake, and welcome! I am here.”
One woke and shivered at the morning grey:
“The trees, I never heard them sigh so drear.”

We flew low over Munster. Low I wept:
“You used to love me, love me once again!”
They spoke from out the shadows wondering:
“You'd think of tears, so bitter falls the rain.”

Long over Leinster lingered we. “Goodbye!
My best beloved, goodbye for evermore.”
Sleepless they tossed and whispered to the dawn:
“So sad a wind was never heard before.”

Was it a dream I dreamt? For yet there swings
In the grey mom a bird upon the bough,
And “Ireland! Ireland! Ireland!” ever sings.
Oh I fair the breaking day in Ireland now.