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King Cahill's Farewell To The Rye Field

Padraic Colum 1881 (County Longford) – 1972 (Enfield)

WRITTEN TO THE LONDONDERRY AIR

'Tira autumn sun your shadow's flung, my Cahill,
Upon the field where now your reapmg's done,
Lo, there! And lo! Your reaper's wreath of rushes
Is on your forehead like a kingly crown.

'And I have come to name you King of Connacht,
And bid you where O'Connor's muster grows:
No shadow-king, but one to front the Norman,
And rear the standard that all Eire knows.'

'Farewell,' he said, 'farewell the field I've sickled,
Farewell the youths whose backs were bent with mine,
Farewell the maids whose singing now comes to me
'O Brighid, bless our fields, our roofs, our kine!''

'No Norman keep shall frown above your labors,
No pale they'll make to hold our Irish deer;
A true-born scion of Connacht's kings, I go now:
This brand, my father's sword, shall lead your axe,
your spear.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Padraic Colum

Padraic Colum was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer, playwright, children's author and collector of folklore. more…

All Padraic Colum poems | Padraic Colum Books

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