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Dora Sigerson Shorter (Дора Сигерсон Шортер)


A Bird from the West


At the grey dawn, amongst the felling 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.  Long 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. “Good-bye!
   My best beloved, good-bye 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 morn a bird upon the bough,
And “Ireland! Ireland! Ireland!” ever sings.
   Oh! fair the breaking day in Ireland now.



Dora Sigerson Shorter's other poems:
  1. I Prayed So Eagerly
  2. My Neighbour’s Garden
  3. The Blow Returned
  4. For Ever
  5. The Wreckage


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