Thomas Campbell

(1777-1844 / Glasgow / Scotland)

The Exile Of Erin


There came to the beach a poor Exile of Erin,
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill:
For his country he sign'd, when at twilight repairing
To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill.
But the day-star attracted his eye's sad devotion,
For it rose o'er his own native isle fo the ocean,
Where once, in the fire of his youthful emotion.
He sang the bold anthem of Erin Go Bragh!

'Sad is my fate!'- said the heart-broken stranger -
'The wild deer and wolf to the covert can flee;
But I have no refuge from famine and danger:
A home and a country remain not to me!
Never again, in my green, sunny bowers,
Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours;
Or cover my harp with the wild-woven flowers,
And strike to the numbers of Erin Go Bragh!

'Erin, my country! though sad and forsaken,
In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore!
But, alas! in a far - foreign land I awaken,
And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more!
Oh! cruel fate, wilt thou never replace me
In a mansion of peace, where no perils can chase me?
Never again shall my brothers embrace me!-
They died to defend me!- or live to deplore!

'Where is my cabin-door, fast by the wild wood?
Sisters and sire, did ye weep for its fall?
Where is the mother that looked on my childhood?
And where is the bosom-friend, dearer than all?
Ah! my sad soul, long abandoned by pleasure!
Why did it dote on a fast-fading treasure?
Tears, like the rain-drops, may fall without measure;
But rapture and beauty they cannot recall!

'Yet - all its fond recollections suppressing -
One dying wish my lone bosom shall draw:
Erin!- an exile bequeaths thee his blessing!
Land of my forefathers!- Erin go bragh!
Buried and cold, when my heart stills her motion,
Green be thy fields, sweetest isle of the ocean!
And thy harp-striking bards sind aloud with devotion,-
ERIN MAVOURNEEN! ERIN GO BRAGH!'

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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