• Deirdre


Call me nurse Levarcam, and bring my harp.
Sirs, I am ready. Yes, I knew thy cry,
Fergus, for, I remember, once you rode
To hunt with Nessa close beneath my bower :
And I could tell you still what robes ye wore.
And what the several names ye called your hounds.
'Twas then I heard it, and I know it still,
But feigned I knew it not ; and to no end.
Yes, from that turret on my garden wall
I oft have viewed the Brethren of the Branch,
And learned their cries of combat and of chase ;
And there I oft saw him my eyes preferred,
As my heart prizes still above all men.
And where he goes, I go along with him.

See here our galley. Send us forth a plank.
Hold by my hand. Deirdre, I swear to you,
My heart is lighter now you are on board ;
For a good ending shall our journey have,
And I am sure thou 'It thank me for it yet.
Cast off ! Up sail ! She feels the wind. We fly.

The hills race past us See, we leave the lake
And breast the sea. There Jura bares her paps
Amid her cloudy sucklings, nurse of storms.
We steer betwixt her and the mainland here,
For outside lies the whirlpool in whose gulf
Brecan of old and all his ships went down.
Dance, sparkling billows, as my spirits dance !
Mine now were perfect joy were thou but gay.


Give me my harp, and let me sing a song ;
And, nurse, undo the fastenings of my hair ;
For I would mingle tresses with the wind
From Etive side, where happy days were mine.

Harp, take my bosom's burthen on thy string,
And, turning it to sad, sweet melody,
Waste and disperse it on the careless air.

Air, take the harp-string's burthen on thy breast,
And, softly thrilling soul ward through the sense,
Bring my love's heart again in tune with mine

Bless'd v/ere the hours when, heart in tune with heart.
My love and I desired no happier home
Than Etive's airy glades and lonely shore.

Alba, farewell ! Farewell, fair Etive bank !
Sun kiss thee ; moon caress thee ; dewy stars
Refresh thee long, dear scene of quiet days !

'Tis loved companionship makes nature fair;
And scenes as fair as Etive wait thee yet.
Thou soon shall have that company thou wouldst,
And choice of Ulad to enjoy it in :

Harp, Etive, Glades
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg046", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Fri, 12/03/2021 - 20:22, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg046