Padraic Colum

(8 December 1881 – 11 January 1972 / County Longford)

King Cahill's Farewell To The Rye Field - Poem by Padraic Colum


'Tira autumn sun your shadow's flung, my Cahill,
Upon the field where now your reapmg's done,
Lo, there! And lo! Your reaper's wreath of rushes
Is on your forehead like a kingly crown.

'And I have come to name you King of Connacht,
And bid you where O'Connor's muster grows:
No shadow-king, but one to front the Norman,
And rear the standard that all Eire knows.'

'Farewell,' he said, 'farewell the field I've sickled,
Farewell the youths whose backs were bent with mine,
Farewell the maids whose singing now comes to me
'O Brighid, bless our fields, our roofs, our kine!''

'No Norman keep shall frown above your labors,
No pale they'll make to hold our Irish deer;
A true-born scion of Connacht's kings, I go now:
This brand, my father's sword, shall lead your axe,
your spear.'

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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