Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Ireland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V.  1876–79.
 
Arra
O’Brien of Arra
Thomas Davis (1814–1845)
 
          Arra is a small mountain-tract, south of Lough Deargairt, and north of the Camailte (vulgo the Keeper) hills. It was the seat of a branch of the Thomond princes, called the O’Briens of Arra, who hold an important place in the Munster Annals.

TALL are the towers of O’Kennedy,
  Broad are the lands of MacCarha,
Desmond feeds five hundred men a-day;
  Yet here ’s to O’Brien of Arra!
      Up from the Castle of Drumineer,        5
        Down from the top of Camailte,
      Clansman and kinsman are coming here
        To give him the Cead mile failte. 1
 
See you the mountains look huge at eve,—
  So is our chieftain in battle;        10
Welcome he has for the fugitive,
  Usquebaugh, fighting, and cattle!
      Up from the Castle of Drumineer,
        Down from the top of Camailte,
      Gossip and ally are coming here        15
        To give him the Cead mile failte.
 
Horses the valleys are tramping on,
  Sleek from the Sasanach manger;
Creaghts the hills are encamping on,
  Empty the bawns of the stranger!        20
      Up from the Castle of Drumineer,
        Down from the top of Camailte,
      Kern and bonaght are coming here
        To give him the Cead mile failte.
 
He has black silver from Killaloe,—        25
  Ryan and Carroll are neighbors,
Nenagh submits with a pillileu,
  Butler is meat for our sabres!
      Up from the Castle of Drumineer,
        Down from the top of Camailte,        30
      Ryan and Carroll are coming here
        To give him the Cead mile failte.
 
’T is scarce a week since through Ossory
  Chased he the Baron of Durrow,—
Forced him five rivers to cross, or he        35
  Had died by the sword of Red Murrough!
      Up from the Castle of Drumineer,
        Down from the top of Camailte,
      All the O’Briens are coming here
        To give him the Cead mile failte.        40
 
Tall are the towers of O’Kennedy,
  Broad are the lands of MacCarha,
Desmond feeds five hundred men a-day;
  Yet here ’s to O’Brien of Arra!
      Up from the Castle of Drumineer,        45
        Down from the top of Camailte,
      Clansman and kinsman are coming here
        To give him the Cead mile failte.
 
Note 1. A hundred thousand welcomes. [back]
 
 
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