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Cois na Teineadh

Beside The Fire

Where glows the Irish fire with peat
There lives a subtle spell,
The faint blue smoke, the gentle heat,
The moorland odours tell

Of white roads winding to the edge
Of bare, untamed land,
Where dry stone wall or ragged hedge
Runs wide on either hand.

The cottage lights that lure you in
From rainy western skies;
And by the friendly glow within
Of simple talk and wise,

And tales of magic, love or arms
From days when princes met
To listen to the lay that charms
The Connacht peasant yet.

There honour shines through passions dire,
There beauty blends with mirth,
Wild hearts, ye never did aspire
Wholly for things of earth!

Cold, cold this thousand years -- yet still
On many a time-stained page
Your pride, your truth, your dauntless will,
Burn on from age to age.

And still around the fires of peat
Live on the ancient days;
There still do living lips repeat
The old and deathless lays.

And when the wavering wreaths ascend
Blue in the evening air,
The soul of Ireland seems to bend
Above her children there.

- T. W. Rolleston -