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Thomas Osborne Davis (Томас Осборн Дэвис)

The Flower of Finae

BRIGHT red is the sun on the waves of Lough Sheelin,
A cool gentle breeze from the mountain is stealing,
While fair round its islets the small ripples play,
But fairer than all is the Flower of Finae.

Her hair is like night, and her eyes like gray morning,
She trips on the heather as if its touch scorning,
Yet her heart and her lips are as mild as May day,
Sweet Eily MacMahon, the Flower of Finae.

But who down the hillside than red deer runs fleeter?
And who on the lake-side is hastening to greet her?
Who but Fergus O’Farrel, the fiery and gay,
The darling and pride of the Flower of Finae?

One kiss and one clasp, and one wild look of gladness;
Ah! why do they change on a sudden to sadness?—
He has told his hard fortune; no more can he stay;
He must leave his poor Eily to pine at Finae.

For Fergus O’Farrel was true to his sire-land,
And the dark hand of tyranny drove him from Ireland;
He joins the Brigade, in the wars far away,
But he vows he ’ll come back to the Flower of Finae.

He fought at Cremona,—she hears of his story;
He fought at Cassano,—she ’s proud of his glory;
Yet sadly she sings “Shule Aroon” all the day,
“O, come, come, my darling, come home to Finae.”

Eight long years have passed, till she ’s nigh broken-hearted,
Her reel and her rock and her flax she has parted;
She sails with the “Wild Geese”1 to Flanders away,
And leaves her sad parents alone in Finae.

Lord Clare on the field of Ramillies is charging,
Before him the Sacsanach squadrons enlarging,
Behind him the Cravats their sections display,
Beside him rides Fergus, and shouts for Finae.

On the slopes of La Judoigne the Frenchmen are flying,
Lord Clare and his squadrons the foe still defying,
Outnumbered and wounded, retreat in array;
And bleeding rides Fergus, and thinks of Finae.

In the cloisters of Ypres a banner is swaying,
And by it a pale weeping maiden is praying;
That flag ’s the sole trophy of Ramillies’ fray,
This nun is poor Eily, the Flower of Finae.

1. A name given to the Irish soldiers who, after the capitulation of Limerick, went over to France and formed the celebrated Irish Brigade.

Thomas Osborne Davis's other poems:
  1. Emmeline Talbot
  2. When South Winds Blow
  3. The Boatman of Kinsale
  4. The Sack of Baltimore
  5. The Geraldines

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