To Ireland Poem by William Drennan

To Ireland

My Country! Shall I mourn, or Bless,
Thy tame and wretched happiness?

'Tis true! The vast atlantic tide
Has scoop'd thy harbours deep, and wide,
Bold to protect, and prompt to save,
From fury of the Western wave:
And Shannon points to Europe's trade,
For THAT, his chain of lakes was made;
For THAT, he scorns to waste his store,
In channel of a subject shore,
But courts the Southern wind to bring
A world, upon its tepid wing.

True! Thy resplendent rivers run,
And safe beneath a temp'rate sun
Springs the young verdure of thy plain,
Nor dreads a torrid Eastern reign.

True! Thou art blest, in nature's plan,
Nothing seems wanting here, but - Man;
MAN to subdue, not serve the soil,
To win and wear its golden spoil;
MAN - conscious of an earth his own,
No savage biped, torpid, prone;
Living, to dog his brother brute,
And hung'ring for a lazy root,
Food for a soft, contended slave;
Not for the hardy and the Brave.

Had nature been her enemy,
Ierne might be fierce and free.
To the stout heart, and iron hand,
Temp'rate each sky, and tame each land;
A climate and a soil less kind,
Had form'd a map of richer mind.
Now, a mere sterile swamp of soul,
Tho' meadows spread, and rivers roll;
A nation of abortive men,
That dart the tongue; and point - the pen.

And, at the back of Europe, hurl'd-
A base posterior of the world.
In lap of Araby the blest,
Man lies with luxury opprest;
While spicy odour, blown around,
Enrich the air, and gems - the ground.
But thro' the pathless, burning waste,
Man marches with his patient beast,
Braves the hot sun, and heaving sand,
and calls it free and happy land.
Enough to make a desert known,
'Arms and the Man,' and sand, and stone!

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