By the Fireside

Where glows the Irish hearth with peat

There lives a subtle spell—

The faint blue smoke, the gentle heat,

The moorland odours, tell

Of long roads running through a red

Untamed unfurrowed land,

With curlews keening overhead,

And streams on either hand;

Black turf-banks crowned with whispering sedge,

And black bog-pools below;

While dry stone wall or ragged hedge

Leads on, to meet the glow

From cottage doors, that lure us in

From rainy Western skies,

To seek the friendly warmth within,

The simple talk and wise;

Or tales of magic, love and arms

From days when princes met

To listen to the lay that charms

The Connacht peasant yet.

There Honour shines through passions dire,

There beauty blends with mirth—

Wild hearts, ye never did aspire

Wholly for things of earth!

Cold, cold this thousand years—yet still

On many a time-stained page

Your pride, your truth, your dauntless will,

Burn on from age to age.

And still around the fires of peat

Live on the ancient days;

There still do living lips repeat

The old and deathless lays.

And when the wavering wreaths ascend,

Blue in the evening air,

The soul of Ireland seems to bend

Above her children there.

Source: Project Gutenberg

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