Ode to the Island King


WHERE thou hast reigned there wilt thou reign again
With greater pomp and splendour in thy train,
Mannanan Beg Mac-Leir!
And all thy host in white foam clad
Will rise from out the stormy deep,
Shaking their locks from their long sleep,
And haunt again the elfin waves and grots
Which mortals now invade;
And faery music will pervade the spots
We hold most dear.

Thy grey mist-mantle will surround the isle,
Again the faithful brazen head will smile,
And all ‘Themselves’, long dead,
Will rise and flit across the glades,
And haunt each gloomy silent pool,
And sing upon the gaunt Barool.
Then the old hills will to the cold stars croon,
And all their hidden shads
Will meet beneath the searching silver moon
When day is fled.

Must we wait long for thy delayed return?
The mountains call thee in their waving fern,
Their heather and their ling;
The great phynnoderee is still,
Yn Tarroo Ushtey lies asleep
And cannot from his cavern creep
Till thou hast risen from the clamouring sea
To stand upon thy hill;
Then will the captive spirits be set free
And we shall sing!

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