Ethna Carbery

The Song of Ciabhan

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To the Isle of Peace
I turn our prow:
No angry seas
Shall fright you now;
But calm lake waters
Lie smooth as glass,
Where we shall pass
From the place of slaughters.

The slow blue stars
Beneath your brows
At the clash of wars
Need never rouse;
Through day hours winging,
My love shall tend,
And my gold harp send
You to sleep with singing.

Tall blossoms gleam
Where the spear-sharp sedge
Sways in its dream
By the wavelet's edge;
There shall come to harm you
No scourging wind;
But south-blown, kind,
It shall soothe and charm you.

A wattled dun
Safe-sheltered, strong,
For my treasured one
Hath waited long;
Of the wild bee's honey
A queenly fare
Shall glad you there
In a grianán sunny.

Broad wings of red,
And green and azure,
Make a roof outspread
To give you pleasure;
Strange scrolls are shining
On walls lime-white–
A mystic sight
In their wondrous twining.

Its oaken door
Hath a threshold shady,
To lure you o'er,
O sunbright lady.
My wolf-hound lingers
Beside our seat
For the stroking, Sweet,
Of your slender fingers.

In our Isle the calm
Slow-dropping dew
Shall shed its balm
'Twixt night and you:
And peace shall hover,
Till Angus calls,
And the Great Peace falls
On beloved and lover.

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Ethna Carbery