Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

Tir Nan Og - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

THE breeze blows out from the land and it seeks the sea,
O and O! that my sail were set and away--
Fast and free on its wings would my sailing be
To the west: to the Tir Nan Og, where the blessed stay!

The darkness stirs, it awakes, it outspreads its arms,
O and O! and the birds in their nests are still,
The red-browed hill bleats low with the lamb's alarms,
And a sound of singing comes from the slipping rill.

My soul is awake alone, all alone in the earth,
O and O! and around is the lonely night.
As with the sun, would my soul go forth to its birth--
O'er the darkling sea, to the west--to the light, to the light!

Do they say, 'Be content with the land of the Innis Fail,
O and O! there is friendship here, there is song.'
But they smile to your face, when you turn they stammer and rail
And the song of the singer has tears and is over long!

A call comes out of the west and it calls a name,
O and O! it is soft, it is far, it is low--
Sweet, so sweet that it touches my soul with a flame
That burns the heart from my breast with the wish to go!

(Translated from the Celtic.)

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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