Oh! Had I the Wings of a Bird

Denis MacCarthy

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Oh! had I the wings of a bird,
To soar through the blue, sunny sky,
By what breeze would my pinions be stirred?
To what beautiful land should I fly?
Would the gorgeous East allure,
With the light of its golden eyes,
Where the tall green palm, over isles of balm,
Waves with its feathery leaves?
Ah! no! no! no!
I heed not its tempting glare;
In vain should I roam from my island home,
For skies more fair!

Should I seek a southern sea,
Italia's shore beside,
Where the clustering grape from tree to tree
Hangs in its rosy pride?
My truant heart, be still,
For I long have sighed to stray
Through the myrtle flowers of fair Italy's bowers.
By the shores of its southern bay.
But no! no! no!
Though bright be its sparkling seas,
I never would roam from my island home,
For charms like these!

Should I seek that land so bright,
Where the Spanish maiden roves,
With a heart of love and an eye of light,
Through her native citron groves?
Oh! sweet would it be to rest
In the midst of the olive vales,
Where the orange blooms and the rose perfumes
The breath of the balmy gales!
But no! no! no!--
Though sweet be its wooing air,
I never would roam from my island home,
To scenes though fair!

Should I pass from pole to pole?
Should I seek the western skies,
Where the giant rivers roll,
And the mighty mountains rise?
Or those treacherous isles that lie
In the midst of the sunny deeps,
Where the cocoa stands on the glistening sands,
And the dread tornado sweeps!
Ah! no! no! no!
They have no charms for me;
I never would roam from my island home,
Though poor it be!

Poor!--oh! 'tis rich in all
That flows from Nature's hand;
Rich in the emerald wall
That guards its emerald land!
Are Italy's fields more green?
Do they teem with a richer store
Than the bright green breast of the Isle of the West,
And its wild, luxuriant shore?
Ah! no! no! no!
Upon it heaven doth smile;
Oh, I never would roam from my native home,
My own dear isle!

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