James Bernard Dollard

(30 August 1872 - 1946 / Ireland)

The Passing Of The Sidhe - Poem by James Bernard Dollard

There is weeping on Cnoc-Aulin and on hoary Slieve-na-mon,
There's a weary wind careering over haggard Knocknaree;
By the broken mound of Almhin
Sad as death the voices calling,
Calling ever, wailing ever, for the passing of the Sidhe.

Where the hunting-call of Ossian waked the woods of Glen-na-mar,
Where the Fianna's hoarse cheering silenced noisy Assaroe,
Like the homing swallows meeting,
Like a beaten host retreating,
Hear them sobbing as they hurry from the hills they used to know!

There's a haunted hazel standing on a grim and gloomy scaur,
Tossing ceaselessly its branches like a keener o'er the dead;
Deep around it press the masses
Of the Sluagh-shee * that passes
To the moan of fairy music timing well their muffled tread.

Came a wail of mortal anguish o'er the night-enshrouded sea,
Sudden death o'ertook the aged while the infant cried in fear,
And the dreamers on their pillows
Heard the beat of bursting billows,
And the rumble and the rhythm of an army passing near.

They have left the unbelieving–past and gone their gentle sway,
Lonely now the rath enchanted, eerie glen and wild crannoge;
But the sad winds, unforgetting,
Call them back with poignant fretting,
Snatching songs of elfin sorrow from the streams of Tir-na-n'Og.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 10, 2012

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