72 Poems about Ireland That Will Ignite Your Imagination

A cursory glance at history reveals that Irish literature has a vibrant past full of complex stories, captivating mythology and poetic expressions.

There’s something undeniably compelling about the lyrical sound of intricate stanzas and carefully constructed language as it hits our ears.

As Yeat’s wrote “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree” we can be inspired to feel beauty in our world just as he felt it touring the isle of Ireland.

To celebrate its beauty even further, let us dive into some of the best poemsabout Ireland ever written—a timeless collection that will surely ignite your imagination.

These Irish poems alsocapture the heart and soul of Irish history, culture, tradition & identity for all who explore them far or near.

Best Poems about Ireland

If you’re looking for some inspiration to transport yourself to the rolling hills and stunning landscapes of Ireland, then these poems are just what you need. With imagery that captures the essence of the Emerald Isle, these words will ignite your imagination and leave you feeling like you’re right there in the heart of it all. Have a look!

1. To God and Ireland True

       by Ellen O’Leary

I sit beside my darling’s grave
Who in the prison died,
And though my tears fall thick and fast
I think of him with pride;
Ay, softly fall my tears like dew
For one to God and Ireland true.

“I love my God o’er all,” he said,
“And then I love my land,
And next I love my Lily sweet
Who pledged me her white hand;
To each, to all, I’m ever true,
To God, to Ireland, and to you.”

No tender nurse his hard bed smoothed,
Or softly raised his head;
He fell asleep and woke in heaven
Ere I knew he was dead;
Yet why should I my darling rue?
He was to God and Ireland true.

Oh, ’tis a glorious memory;
I’m prouder than a queen
To sit beside my hero’s grave
And think on what has been:
And oh, my darling, I am true
To God, to Ireland, and to you!

2. Ireland, Ireland

       by Henry John Newbolt, Sir

Down thy valleys, Ireland, Ireland,
Down thy valleys green and sad,
Still thy spirit wanders wailing,
Wanders wailing, wanders mad.

Long ago that anguish took thee,
Ireland, Ireland, green and fair,
Spoilers strong in darkness took thee,
Broke thy heart and left thee there.

Down thy valleys, Ireland, Ireland,
Still thy spirit wanders mad;
All too late they love that wronged thee,
Ireland, Ireland, green and sad.

3. A Ballad of Athlone

       by Aubrey Thomas de Vere

Does any man dream that a Gael can fear,
Of a thousand deeds let him learn but one!
The Shannon swept onward, broad and clear,
Between the Leaguers and worn Athlone.

“Break down the bridge!”—Six warriors rushed
Through the storm of shot and the storm of shell:
With late, but certain victory flushed,
The grim Dutch gunners eyed them well.

They wrenched at the planks mid a hail of fire;
They fell in death, their work half done:
The bridge stood fast, and nigh and nigher
The foe swarmed darkly, densely on.

“O, who for Erin will strike a stroke?
Who hurl yon planks where the waters roar?”
Six warriors forth from their comrades broke,
And flung them upon that bridge once more.

Again at the rocking planks they dashed;
And four dropped dead, and two remained:
The huge beams groaned, and the arch down-crashed;
Two stalwart swimmers the margin gained.

St. Ruth in his stirrups stood up, and cried,
“I have seen no deed like that in France!”
With a toss of his head Sarsfield replied,
“They had luck, the dogs! ’T was a merry chance!”

O, many a year upon Shannon’s side
They sang upon moor and they sang upon heath
Of the twain that breasted that raging tide,
And the ten that shook bloody hands with Death!

4. Ireland

       by Francis William Lauderdale Adams

O we have loved you through cold and rain
And pitiless frost,
Consuming our offering of blood and brain
Gladly again and again and again,
Though it all seemed lost,
Ireland, Ireland!

O we will fight, fight on for you till
Your anguish is past,
The wronged ones righted, the tyrants still. –
Though God has not saved you, yet we will,
At the last, at the last,
Ireland, Ireland!

O we will love you in warmth and light
And the happy day,
When you have forgotten the terrible night,
Standing proud and beautiful bright
Forever and aye,
Ireland, Ireland!

5. Tipperary

       by Thomas Davis

Let Britain boast her British hosts,
About them all right little care we;
Not British seas nor British coasts
Can match the Man of Tipperary!

Tall is his form, his heart is warm,
His spirit light as any fairy-
His wrath is fearful as the storm
That sweeps the Hills of Tipperary!

Lead him to fight for native land,
His is no courage cold and wary;
The troops live not on earth would stand
The headlong charge of Tipperary!

Yet meet him in his cabin rude,
Or dancing with his dark-haired Mary,
You’d swear they knew no other mood
But Mirth and Love in Tipperary!

You’re free to share his scanty meal,
His plighted word he’ll never vary-
In vain they tried with gold and steel
To shake the Faith of Tipperary!

Soft is his cailin’s sunny eye,
Her mien is mild, her step is airy,
Her heart is fond, her soul is high-
Oh! she’s the Pride of Tipperary!

Let Britain brag her motley rag;
We’ll lift the Green more proud and airy-
Be mine the lot to bear that flag,
And head the Men of Tipperary!

Though Britain boasts her British hosts,
About them all right little care we-
Give us, to guard our native coasts,
The matchless Men of Tipperary!

6. To the Landlords of Ireland

       by Arthur M. Forrester

You tendered us when famine came
The pity of a thought,
Bestowed to slaves whose sense of shame
And hearts and souls you’d bought.
Time’s wheel turns round—you’ve lost your place,
And right into your tyrant face,
Your jibes and sneers
Of many years
At victims’ tears
Are thrown,
And in God’s name,
Our hearts aflame,
To-day we claim
Our own!

Once for ye, skulking, lazy elves,
Muscle and brain we wrought.
Toiled, starved, and died—scarce for ourselves
The crumbs of Lazarus sought;{142}
And when ye flung us out a crust,
Our faces grovelling in the dust,
We gave ye thanks—
No prize, all blanks
In our poor ranks
Was known;
But now, thank God,
We’ve spurned your rod,
And claim this sod
Our own!

We lift our faces to the sky
Where once our heads were bowed,
We breathe no more a timid sigh,
But speak our thoughts aloud.
From dizzy hill and peaceful plain
Our voices join in this refrain:
The seeds we sow,
The crops we grow,
The fields we mow,
Alone,
Without your aid
In cash or spade
At last are made
Our own!

7. Seven Churches of Clonmacnoise

       by Robert Leighton

There’s a place in the middle of Ireland called
Seven Churches of Clonmacnoise,—
As noisy a place as ever squalled,
If the churches have each a different voice.
I never was there myself, or mayhap
I ’d say something authentic of my own,
Only, I see the place on the map,
Some miles on the south side of Athlone;
And it strikes me, as the name I read,
That it must be a very queer place indeed.

In what year of our Lord did it get such a name?
When the ranting Protestant sects began?
Or farther back, when St. Patrick came,
And fashioned the heathen on the Roman plan?
And for what good reason was such a name given?
Did he actually seven churches raise?
Was the necromantic number seven
Supposed to be all essential for praise?
No; Patrick had too much equipoise
To pitch the whole seven at Clonmacnoise.

I rather think place and name arose
Subsequent to Luther, Calvin, and Knox,—
Three of the Pope’s most terrible foes,
Who broke up his fold into many flocks.
Then seven of the sects, for all one knows,
Had made their way to this central spot,
And seven churches, we may suppose,
Might then be built as well as not.
Hence Clonmacnoise when the noisy seven
Sang each in a different key to Heaven.

8. Ireland

       by John James Piatt

A great, still Shape, alone,
She sits (her harp has fallen) on the sand,
And sees her children, one by one, depart:—
Her cloak (that hides what sins beside her own!)
Wrapped fold on fold about her. Lo,
She comforts her fierce heart,
As wailing some, and some gay-singing go,
With the far vision of that Greater Land
Deep in the Atlantic skies,
St. Brandan’s Paradise!
Another Woman there,
Mighty and wondrous fair,
Stands on her shore-rock:—one uplifted hand
Holds a quick-piercing light
That keeps long sea-ways bright;
She beckons with the other, saying “Come,
O landless, shelterless,
Sharp-faced with hunger, worn with long distress:—
Come hither, finding home!
Lo, my new fields of harvest, open, free,
By winds of blessing blown,
Whose golden corn-blades shake from sea to sea—
Fields without walls that all the people own!”

9. Ireland Shall Rebel

       by Henry Lawson

While tyrants rule the land,
Beneath the Irish skies;
While e’er the iron hand
Upon our people lies;
While sons are driven forth
In other lands to dwell,
Still in the South and North
Old Ireland will rebel!
Rebel, rebel!
Old Ireland will rebel!

While fanlike from below,
And pale against the skies,
That light of shame—the glow
Of burning homes—shall rise;
While hot indignant tears
From Irish hearts shall swell:—
Be it a thousand years,
Old Ireland will rebel!
Rebel, rebel!
Old Ireland will rebel!

Until the tyrant’s rod
Shall broken be in twain,
And on the dear old sod
Blest freedom treads again;
Or till our masters learn
To rule our country well,
The fires of hate shall burn!—
Old Ireland will rebel!
Rebel, rebel!
Old Ireland will rebel!

10. Ireland

       by Francis Ledwidge

I called you by sweet names by wood and linn,
You answered not because my voice was new,
And you were listening for the hounds of Finn
And the long hosts of Lugh.

And so, I came unto a windy height
And cried my sorrow, but you heard no wind,
For you were listening to small ships in flight,
And the wail on hills behind.

And then I left you, wandering the war
Armed with will, from distant goal to goal,
To find you at the last free as of yore,
Or die to save your soul.

And then you called to us from far and near
To bring your crown from out the deeps of time,
It is my grief your voice I couldn’t hear
In such a distant clime.

11. To the Land of the Harp

       by Florence Kellett

Though my hair, it is white,
And my step, it is slow,
Yet back to the land
Of my birth I will go.
Though broken in life
Like surf on the sea,
Though tossed by the torrents
And tempests that be.
Yet I know I shall stand
Again on the shore,
Of the land of the harp
And the shamrock, once more.
Back, back to my cabin
So long I have left,
That it seems but a ruin
So lone and bereft.
Soon, soon what a
Glorified home it will be;
What a haven of rest
For a wanderer like me.
And though my time now
Grows shorter each day
Fain, fain, would I linger
Fain, fain, would I stay.
Just to see but a springtime
And autumn once more,
Amid the green hills
Of the land I adore.
* * *

Oh, I hear a voice calling
Far over the sea,
And I answer, “I am coming,
Dear Erin, to thee.”

12. There’s a Grave in the Green Sod

       by Florence Kellett

I have a message for you
From a land beyond the sea,
From the home of the little shamrock,
The country of the free.
From the land of your sire
Where your fathers lie at rest,
From that green, green little island,
The Emerald of the West.
Oh balmy are its breezes
And gently do they blow,
And many are the flowers
That in its woodlands grow.
No land on earth can ever
Be fairer in your eyes;
Think of its glorious sunsets
And of its morning skies.
Think of the gray blue mountains
And of the wandering streams,
Oh! only shall such beauty
Return to you in dreams.
Oh Ireland recalls,
The sons who left her shore,
Who went away in sadness
To come back to her once more.
Oh children of the green sod,
Of the Celtic ancient race,
Remember in your native land
There is for you a place.
A place with peace and honor
She will give you with the best,
A quiet, peaceful, sheltered place
Wherein your soul can rest.

Famous Poems about Ireland

Whether you’re a wordsmith or simply appreciate the beauty of language, these famous poems about Ireland are sure to leave you spellbound. So do yourself a favor and check them out – you won’t be disappointed!

1. The Eyes That Come from Ireland

       by Richard Le Gallienne

Don’t you love the eyes that come from Ireland?
The grey-blue eyes so strangely grey and blue,
The fighting loving eyes,
The eyes that tell no lies –
Don’t you love the eyes that come from Ireland?

Don’t you love the eyes that come from Ireland?
The dreaming mocking eyes that see you through,
The eyes that smile and smile,
With the heart-break all the while, –
Don’t you love the eyes that come from Ireland?

Don’t you love the eyes that come from Ireland?
The eyes that hate of England made so blue,
The mystic eyes that see
More than Saxon you and me –
Don’t you love the eyes that come from Ireland?

2. To Kilbarron Castle

       by Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Broad, blue, and deep, the Bay of Donegal
Spreads north and south and far a-west before
The beetling cliffs sublime, and shattered wall
Where the O’Clery’s name is known no more.
Kilbarron, many castle names are sung
In deathless verse they less deserved than thee,—
The Rhine-towers still endure in German tongue;

Gray Scotland’s keeps in Scottish poesy;
In chronicles of Spain, and songs of France,
Full many a grim château and fortress stands;
And Albion’s genius, strong as Uther’s lance,
Guards her old mansions mid their altered lands;
Home of an hundred annalists, round thy hearths, alas!
The churlish thistles thrive, and the dull graveyard grass.

3. Sunset on the Lower Shannon

       by Sir Aubrey de Vere

Stilled are the winds, scarce heard far ocean’s roar;
And maiden waves creep coyly to the shore,
Tinged with the purest blush of closing even.
Behold yon hills that catch the glow of heaven!
Those shadows purpling o’er the watery scene,
Now streaked with gold, now tinged with tender green,
And yon bright path that burns along the deep,
Ere the sun sinks behind his western steep!
Soft fades the parting glory through the sky,
Commingling with the cool aerial dye.
Light barks, with dusky sails, scarce seen to glide,
Bend their brown shadows o’er the burnished tide;
And hark! at intervals the sound of oars
Comes, faint with distance, to the listening shores,
Blent with the plaintive cadence of the song
Of boatmen chanting as they drift along;—
But see, the radiant orb now sinks apace,
Gradual and slow he stoops his glorious face;
And now but half his swelling disk appears,
And now how quickly gone! he scarcely rears
One burning point above the mountain’s head,—
And now the last expiring beam has fled.

4. To Ireland in the Coming Times

       by William Butler Yeats

Know, that I would accounted be
True brother of a company
That sang, to sweeten Ireland’s wrong,
Ballad and story, rann and song;
Nor be I any less of them,
Because the red-rose-bordered hem
Of her, whose history began
Before God made the angelic clan,
Trails all about the written page.
When Time began to rant and rage
The measure of her flying feet
Made Ireland’s heart begin to beat;
And Time bade all his candles flare
To light a measure here and there;
And may the thoughts of Ireland brood
Upon a measured quietude.
Nor may I less be counted one
With Davis, Mangan, Ferguson,
Because, to him who ponders well,
My rhymes more than their rhyming tell
Of things discovered in the deep,
Where only body’s laid asleep.
For the elemental creatures go
About my table to and fro,
That hurry from unmeasured mind
To rant and rage in flood and wind,
Yet he who treads in measured ways
May surely barter gaze for gaze.
Man ever journeys on with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.
Ah, faerics, dancing under the moon,
A Druid land, a Druid tune.!
While still I may, I write for you
The love I lived, the dream I knew.
From our birthday, until we die,
Is but the winking of an eye;
And we, our singing and our love,
What measurer Time has lit above,
And all benighted things that go
About my table to and fro,
Are passing on to where may be,
In truth’s consuming ecstasy,
No place for love and dream at all;
For God goes by with white footfall.
I cast my heart into my rhymes,
That you, in the dim coming times,
May know how my heart went with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.

5. As Vanquished Erin

       by Thomas Moore

As vanquish’d Erin wept beside
The Boyne’s ill-fated river,
She saw where Discord, in the tide,
Had dropp’d his loaded quiver.
“Lie hid,” she cried, “ye venom’d darts,
Where mortal eye may shun you;
Lie hid — the stain of manly hearts,
That bled for me, is on you.”

But vain her wish, her weeping vain —
As Time too well hath taught her —
Each year the Fiend returns again,
And dives into that water;
And brings, triumphant, from beneath
His shafts of desolation,
And sends them, wing’d with worse than death,
Through all her maddening nation.

Alas for her who sits and mourns,
Even now, beside that river —
Unwearied still the Fiend returns,
And stored is still his quiver.
“When will this end, ye Powers of Good?”
She weeping asks for ever;
But only hears, from out that flood,
The Demon answer, “Never!”

6. Old Ireland

       by Walt Whitman

Far hence, amid an isle of wondrous beauty,
Crouching over a grave, an ancient, sorrowful mother,
Once a queen—now lean and tatter’d, seated on the ground,
Her old white hair drooping dishevel’d round her shoulders;
At her feet fallen an unused royal harp,
Long silent—she too long silent—mourning her shrouded hope and heir;
Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow, because most full of love.
Yet a word, ancient mother;
You need crouch there no longer or the cold ground, with forehead between your knees;

O you need not sit there, veil’d in your old white hair, so dishevel’d;
For know you, the one you mourn is not in that grave;
It was an illusion—the heir, the son you love, was not really dead;
The Lord is not dead—he is risen again, young and strong, in another country;
Even while you wept there by your fallen harp, by the grave,
What you wept for, was translated, pass’d from the grave,
The winds favor’d, and the sea sail’d it,
And now with rosy and new blood,
Moves to-day in a new country.

7. To the Castle of Donegal

       by William Allingham

Castle of Donegal! both green and gray,
Like an old poet; where thine outworks lay
A sessions-house, and barracks for police
Lie in thy shadow. If from ivied peace
We could recall thee, and revive to-day
The men whom thy crazed walls, their children, cease
Almost to recollect, how we and they

Would wonder! How their wonder would increase
When by their antique customs they were driven
(As soon would happen to those chiefs of yore)
To feel our unromantic forms of power,
Police and statute law. Therefore, still riven
And roofless be thou; strength is law no more;
The times that suited thee are gone, thank Heaven!

8. To Ireland

       by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I.
Bear witness, Erin! when thine injured isle
Sees summer on its verdant pastures smile,
Its cornfields waving in the winds that sweep
The billowy surface of thy circling deep!
Thou tree whose shadow o’er the Atlantic gave
Peace, wealth and beauty, to its friendly wave, its blossoms fade,
And blighted are the leaves that cast its shade;
Whilst the cold hand gathers its scanty fruit,
Whose chillness struck a canker to its root.

II.
I could stand
Upon thy shores, O Erin, and could count
The billows that, in their unceasing swell,
Dash on thy beach, and every wave might seem
An instrument in Time the giant’s grasp,
To burst the barriers of Eternity.
Proceed, thou giant, conquering and to conquer;
March on thy lonely way! The nations fall
Beneath thy noiseless footstep; pyramids
That for millenniums have defied the blast,
And laughed at lightnings, thou dost crush to nought.
Yon monarch, in his solitary pomp,
Is but the fungus of a winter day
That thy light footstep presses into dust.
Thou art a conqueror, Time; all things give way
Before thee but the ‘fixed and virtuous will’;
The sacred sympathy of soul which was
When thou wert not, which shall be when thou perishest.

9. At Currabwee

       by Francis Ledwidge

Every night at Currabwee
Little men with leather hats
Mend the boots of Faery
From the tough wings of the bats.
So my mother told to me,
And she is wise you will agree.

Louder than a cricket’s wing
All night long their hammer’s glee
Times the merry songs they sing
Of Ireland glorious and free.
So I heard Joseph Plunkett say,
You know he heard them but last May.

And when the night is very cold
They warm their hands against the light
Of stars that make the waters gold
Where they are labouring all the night.
So Pearse said, and he knew the truth,
Among the stars he spent his youth.

And I, myself, have often heard
Their singing as the stars went by,
For am I not of those who reared
The banner of old Ireland high,
From Dublin town to Turkey’s shores,
And where the Vardar loudly roars?

10. The Bells of Shandon

       by Francis Sylvester Mahony

With deep affection
And recollection,
I often think of
The Shandon bells,
Whose sounds so wild would
In days of childhood
Fling round my cradle
Their magic spells.
On this I ponder,
Where’er I wander,
And thus grow fonder,
Sweet Cork, of thee;
With thy bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.
I ’ve heard bells chiming
Full many a clime in,
Tolling sublime in,
Cathedral shrine,
While at a glib rate
Brass tongues would vibrate;
But all their music
Spoke naught like thine;
For memory, dwelling
On each proud swelling
Of thy belfry, knelling
Its bold notes free,
Made the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.
I ’ve heard bells tolling
Old Adrian’s Mole in,
Their thunder rolling
From the Vatican;
And cymbals glorious
Swinging uproarious
In the gorgeous turrets
Of Notre Dame:
But thy sounds were sweeter
Than the dome of Peter
Flings o’er the Tiber,
Pealing solemnly.
O, the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee!
There’s a bell in Moscow;
While on tower and kiosk O
In St. Sophia
The Turkman gets,
And loud in air
Calls men to prayer,
From the tapering summits
Of tall minarets.
Such empty phantom
I freely grant them;
But there’s an anthem
More dear to me,
’Tis the bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

11. I Dreamt and in My Dreams

       by Florence Kellett

I dreamt, and in my dreams I heard
Sweet music faint and low,
It was a song of Ireland,
A song of long ago.
I saw once more my dear old home
With its gables and its towers,
The dear old fashioned garden
With all its brilliant flowers.
Once more I heard the church bells ring
Through the quiet evening air.
Once more I sang the vesper hymn,
Once more I knelt at prayer.
And then I saw the harvest moon
Shed forth its lustrous light
Upon the fields of yellow corn.
It was a glorious sight.
Then in the early dawn
I walked beside the silent stream,
I saw the blue forget-me-not
And picked it in my dream.
I saw the mountains and the hills
The woodland and the lea,
And memories of bygone days
Came rushing over me.
For Ireland and for freedom
I felt my pulses glow,
I saw the patriots of old
Go forth to meet the foe.
And when I saw the green flag
That fluttered in the air,
I prayed that God would bless it
And that God would hear my prayer.
Oh Ireland forever
Thou art graven on my heart,
No dream can make thee sweeter
Or fairer than thou art.

Inspirational Poems about Ireland

These Inspirational poems about Ireland is a way of painting such vivid pictures in your mind and taking you on a journey through the lush green fields, by the rugged coastlines, and into the heart of Irish culture. Each one is so insightful and beautifully crafted that it’s hard not to feel moved by them. Dive in!

1. Becoming Anne Bradstreet

       by Eavan Boland

It happens again
As soon as I take down her book and open it.
 
I turn the page.
My skies rise higher and hang younger stars.
 
The ship’s rail freezes.
Mare Hibernicum leads to Anne Bradstreet’s coast.
 
A blackbird leaves her pine trees
And lands in my spruce trees.
 
I open my door on a Dublin street.
Her child/her words are staring up at me:
 
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
 
We say home truths
Because her words can be at home anywhere—
 
At the source, at the end and whenever
The book lies open and I am again
 
An Irish poet watching an English woman
Become an American poet.

2. As the Ruin Falls

       by C.S.Lewis

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.
Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love—a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek—
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.
Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.
For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.

3. Irish Blessing

       by Anonymous

May your joys be as bright as the morning,
and your sorrows merely be shadows that fade in the sunlight of love.
May you have enough happiness to keep you sweet, enough trials to keep you strong,
enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to keep you happy,
enough failure to keep you humble, enough success to keep you eager,
enough friends to give you comfort, enough faith and courage in yourself to banish sadness, enough wealth to meet your needs and one thing more;
enough determination to make each day a wonderful day than the one before.

4. The Lake Isle of Innisfree

       by W.B. Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

5. Heartsome Ireland

       by Anonymous

Heartsome Ireland, winsome Ireland,
Charmer of the sun and sea,
Bright beguiler of old anguish,
How could Famine frown on thee?
As our Gulf-Stream, drawn to thee-ward,
Turns him from his northward flow,
And our wintry western headlands
Send thee summer from their snow,
Thus the main and cordial current
Of our love sets over sea, —
Tender, comely, valiant Ireland,
Songful, soulful, sorrowful Ireland,
Streaming warm to comfort thee.

6. Dawn at St. Patrick’s

       by Derek Mahon

There is an old
statue in the courtyard
that weeps, like Niobe, its sorrow in stone.
The griefs of the ages she has made her own.
Her eyes are rain-washed but not hard,
her body is covered in mould,
the garden overgrown.
 
One by one
the first lights come on,
those that haven’t been on all night.
Christmas, the harshly festive, has come and gone.
No snow, but the rain pours down
in the first hour before dawn,
before daylight.
 
Swift’s home
for ‘fools and mad’ has become
the administrative block. Much there
has remained unchanged for many a long year —
stairs, chairs, Georgian windows shafting light and dust,
of the satirist;
 
but the real
hospital is a cheerful
modern extension at the back
hung with restful reproductions of Dufy, Klee and Braque.
Television, Russian fiction, snooker with the staff,
a snifter of Lucozade, a paragraph
of Newsweek or the Daily Mail
 
are my daily routine
during the festive season.
They don’t lock the razors here
as in Bowditch Hall. We have remained upright —
though, to be frank, the Christmas dinner scene,
with grown men in their festive gear,
was a sobering sight.
 
I watch the last
planes of the year go past,
silently climbing a cloud-lit sky.
Earth-bound, soon I’ll be taking a train to Cork
and trying to get back to work
at my sea-lit, fort-view desk
in the turf-smoky dusk.
 
Meanwhile,
next door, a visiting priest
intones to a faithful dormitory.
I sit on my Protestant bed, a make-believe existentialist,
and stare the clouds of unknowing. We style,
as best we may, our private destiny;
or so it seems to me
 
as I chew my thumb
and try to figure out
what brought me to my present state­ —
an ‘educated man’, a man of consequence, no bum
but one who has hardly grasped what life is about,
if anything. My children, far away,
don’t know where I am today,

in a Dublin asylum
with a paper whistle and a mince pie,
my bits and pieces making a home from home.
I pray to the rain-clouds that they never come
where their lost father lies; that their mother thrives;
     and that I
may measure up to them
before I die.
 
Soon a new year
will be here demanding, as before,
modest proposals, resolute resolutions, a new leaf,
new leaves. This is the story of my life,
the story of all lives everywhere,
mad fools whatever we are,
in here or out there.
 
Light and sane
I shall walk down to the train,
into that world whose sanity we know,
like Swift to be a fiction and a show.
The clouds part, the rain ceases, the sun
casts now upon everyone
its ancient shadow.

7. An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

       by William Butler Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

8. The Shannon River

       by Robert J. Kerr

By the stately Shannon River
In the Autumn evenfall,
Waving willows bend and shiver
To the weary wild-bird’s call.
Limerick’s tolling bells deliver
As of old their tale to all,
By the stately Shannon River
In the Autumn evenfall.
Darkening slow the last rays quiver
Over cottage, spire, and hall,
And upon a boy—for ever
Building dream-lit castles tall.
By the stately Shannon River
In the Autumn evenfall.

Short Poems about Ireland

If you’re looking for a quick escape to the breathtaking landscapes of Ireland, these short poems about Ireland are a must-read. They provide a poetic gateway to a world filled with emerald hills, rolling waves, and charming villages. Check them out!

1. Mother Ireland

       by Arthur Stringer

A true and dark-eyed Mother Land, ye’ve mourned thim day be day,
The childer’ av your achin’ breast who’ve fared a world away!
Be moorland and be lough and whin, ye’ve mourned for all your lost,
But still ye’ve smiled and still ye’ve watched and counted not the cost!

And dark, in faith, the ould hours fell and cold the ashes grew,
But Ireland, Mother Ireland, still ye’ve waited fond and thrue;
And now the Night has vanished, wid the sorrows it has known,
We’ll hear the call av Ireland, lads, av Ireland to her own!

2. Come to Glengariff! Come!

       by Gerald Griffin

Come to Glengariff! come!
Close by the sea,
Ours is a happy home,
Peaceful and free.

There, there, far away,
Happy by our sunny bay,
We live from day to day,
Blithe as the bee.

For ours is a sunny home,
Joyous and free;
Come to Glengariff! come!
Close by the sea.

3. The Harp That Once Thro’ Tara’s Halls

       by Thomas Moore

The harp that once through Tara’s halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls,
As if that soul were fled. —
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory’s thrill is o’er,
And hearts, that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more.

No more to chiefs and ladies bright
The harp of Tara swells;
The chord alone, that breaks at night,
Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives,
Is when some heart indignant breaks,
To show that still she lives.

4. An Irish Toast

       by Edwin C. Ranck

Here’s to dear Ould Ireland,
Here’s to the Irish lass,
Here’s to Dennis and Mike and Pat,
Here’s to the sparkling glass.
Here’s to the Irish copper,
He may be green all right,
But you bet he’s Mickie on the spot
Whenever it comes to a fight.
Here’s to Robert Emmet, too,
And here’s to our dear Tom Moore.
Here’s to the Irish shamrock,
Here’s to the land we adore.

5. An Irish Song

       by Clinton Scollard

Over me lifts the peat-reek
That parts and drifts and veers,
And the wind’s uneasy moaning
Is loud about mine ears.

The waves upon the shingle
They murmur drearily,
And the streamers of the fog-wraith
Drive in from the open sea.

The mist hangs over the passes,
The mist hangs over the moors,
And the eerie cry of the curlew
It quavers and endures.

And it all is lonely, lonely,
And there’s sorrow on every face,
But the heart of me needs must love it,
For the land is mine own place!

6. Sojourn in the Whale

       by Marianne Moore

Trying to open locked doors with a sword, threading
the points of needles, planting shade trees
upside down; swallowed by the opaqueness of one whom the seas
love better than they love you, Ireland—

you have lived and lived on every kind of shortage.
You have been compelled by hags to spin
gold thread from straw and have heard men say:
“There is a feminine temperament in direct contrast to ours,

which makes her do these things. Circumscribed by a
heritage of blindness and native
incompetence, she will become wise and will be forced to give in.
Compelled by experience, she will turn back;

water seeks its own level”;
and you have smiled. “Water in motion is far
from level.” You have seen it, when obstacles happened to bar
the path, rise automatically.

7. Opening Time

       by Robert Andrew Lyle

I gaze across this land so green
With wonder and delight
I pause a moment and I think
When’s opening time tonight

I’ll just pop in and have a pint
And maybe if I see
A friend or two at the bar
Sure that would make it three

Then I would have to buy one back
So that would make it four
It won’t be very long now
‘Till I’m lying on the floor

And sure that’s not a bad thing
It saves the legs you know
From all that standing at the bar
Until it’s time to go

And if I lie here long enough
That too would be fine
I’ll be first in the queue tomorrow
Ready for opening time

8. Dancing in Green

       by Jennifer Fenn

Let’s dress up in green! It’s a cinch!
You don’t have to cover each inch.
We’ll dance on green hillocks
among all the shamrocks!
Come on or I’m going to pinch!

9. Kate Kearney

       by Anonymous

O, should you e’er meet with Kate Kearney,
Who lives near the lakes of Killarney,
Of her dark eyes beware, for love’s witching snare
Lies hid in the glance of Kate Kearney.
For those eyes, so seducingly beaming,
Will kill ere of mischief you ’re dreaming;
And who dares to view her cheek’s rosy hue
Must die by the spell of Kate Kearney!
At eve, should you meet this Kate Kearney,
On the balm-breathing banks of Killarney,
Of her smile, O, beware, for fatal ’s the snare
Concealed in the smile of Kate Kearney.
Though her hair o’er her snowy neck ’s streaming,
Her looks with simplicity teeming,
Beware ere you sip the balm from her lip,
For fatal ’s the breath of Kate Kearney!

10. My Cabin Home

       by Florence Kellett

I have a little cabin
That is everything to me—
Behind it, is a mountain
Before it, is the sea.
Around it is the wildness
Of the Island of the West,
It is the only home I know,
The only place of rest.
As I linger in the doorway
To see the setting sun,
My fireside it calls to me
After the day is done.
Oh, dear, dear is my cabin
Beyond all earthly worth,
I would not, could not, change it now
For anything on earth.
And I have traveled far and wide
O’er many and many a sea
But nothing now shall ever take
My cabin home from me.
God bless the hills of Ireland,
God bless its heart so true,
God give me strength and grace to live,
For many a year with you!

Funny Poems about Ireland

These funny poems about Ireland are not only hilarious, but they’re also full of vivid imagery and playful language that will spark your imagination. So, whether you’re a seasoned poetry reader or a complete newbie, we highly recommend checking out these fantastic poems.

1. Irish

       by Cheryl Darby

‘When Irish eyes are smiling’,
sang the midwife, gleefully,
as she handed me a bundle,
and revealed that it was ‘She’.

A baby, with the darkest hair,
blue eyes, that shone like sea,
here lay this little person,
blessed with Irish ancestry.

A girl no longer now, alas,
she’s long since flown the nest,
so I replaced her swiftly,
with 2 Greyhounds, I don’t jest!

Faye Shannah and Pigalle Blue,
an Irish racing pair,
but you can safely visit me,
unless you are a hare!

You could come for coffee?
and bring a Cake to finish,
actually, I love real ale,
but never, ever, Guinness!

2. Fishing Buy the Pound

       by Jerry T Curtis

Finn and Mcgee
went fishing once more
With the money they saved up all year

They rented a cabin
up by the lake
And filled it with fish bate and beer

For two weeks of fishing
They made it their mission
To wake up and start at first light

With poles in their hands
They hardly could wait
For a big fish to come up and bit

Day after day
They fished and they fished
but barely got even a nibble

Then on the last day
McGee caught a trout
That apparently wasn’t so fickle

Now on the way Home
Finn said ” McGee
You Know what this fish, has cost you—-

—A thousand Quid”
“Well Finn, if it did
Then I glad I didn’t catch two”

3. A Leprechaun with Drunken Lips

       by Andrew Crisci

My acushla,* today only kiss
this cute Leprechaun with drunken lips!
I drink lots of green beer,
sit next to me and cheer!
My cuishle, don’t make them boo and hiss!

4. Vaso Visits Ireland

       by Arthur Vaso

Poetry is the fashion
The pope, the last bastion
Out with the old
In with the aborted

Crowds gather in anticipation
Poet Arthur recites to Patrick’s Nation
England you see
Believes in the Orange and the free

They shout and they cheer
His fans are waiting for whiskey dear
Redheads filled with dragon tempers
A delight to Arthur’s Kingdom of pleasure

Buried among the Scottish thistle
One day yee shall find the orange rose
that tickles ones fancy

5. My Old Bucket

       by Isaiah Zerbst

I lost my old bucket so sadly,
And felt oh so terribly badly;
Then lo and behold
A pot full of gold!
I’d lose me another and gladly.

6. Grey Diamond

       by Roy Pett

There was a young jockey from Ireland
Booked to ride the race horse, grey diamond
he wanted to be seen
painted grey diamond green
and kissed the Blarney Stone for Ireland.

7. Irish Girl Love Song

       by Vee Bdosa

Don’t love an Irish girl.
She’s gonna do you wrong.
She’s a hard hearted woman
and she won’t stay home.
I got some Irish blood
in my family tree.
But I wouldn’t love an Irish girl
For the life of me.

I ain’t no leprechan,
but I’m on the run
cause a hard hearted Irish girl
wanted me for fun.
I lived on Irish stew
it was six days old,
cause she wasn’t home long enough
to warm it. I ate it cold.

8. A Peaceful Pub

       by Jerry T Curtis

Shawn walked in the local pub
and sat down by McGee
Shawn spoke softly in his ear
But McGee did not agree

He shook his head and waved his drink
As his voice was getting loud
When McGee insulted Shawn
It silenced the whole crowd

McGee slurred out one insult
followed by another
while knocking back another pint, said
“I Slept with your dear mother”

The crowd wide eyed and wondering
That sure would make Shawn mad
But Shawn just took him by the arm, said
” You’re drunk, let’s go home Dad “

9. Chatterbox

       by Gerard Quain

What a beautiful concept
A box to put chat in
Another pigeon for the common man
Labels so easily fit
When one seriously thinks of it
Just imagine it if you will
A box to lock gossips in
To kill their cackle
To tighten their loose tongues
To make them quiver a little less
But not I begin to digress
Sometimes I am guilty of their sin
To rant to rave
To become a slave to the shallow
Listening to their vile attempts
To bring humanity to its lowest ebb
A chatterbox indeed would be handy in times of woe
To silence my myriad foes

10. Galway Green

       by Tom Quigley

There once was a laddie from Galway
Lassies asked if he wore green, he said, “No way,”
I’m not trying to be smart,
It’s tattooed o’er my heart
But feel free to give me a pinch anyway!

Poems about Ireland That Rhyme

These poems about Ireland with rhyme are so evocative and beautiful, they’ll have you feeling all sorts of emotions you never knew existed. So why not give them a read? You never know, you just might find yourself falling in love with Ireland, one rhyme at a time.

1. April in Ireland

       by Nora Hopper Chesson

She hath a woven garland all of the sighing sedge,
And all her flowers are snowdrops grown on the winter’s edge:
The golden looms of Tir na n’ Og wove all the winter through
Her gown of mist and raindrops shot with a cloudy blue.

Sunlight she holds in one hand, and rain she scatters after,
And through the rainy twilight we hear her fitful laughter.
She shakes down on her flowers the snows less white than they,
Then quicken with her kisses the folded “knots o’ May.”

She seeks the summer-lover that never shall be hers,
Fain for gold leaves of autumn she passes by the furze,
Though buried gold it hideth: she scorns her sedgy crown,
And pressing blindly sunwards she treads her snowdrops down.

Her gifts are all a fardel of wayward smiles and tears,
Yet hope she also holdeth, this daughter of the years—
A hope that blossoms faintly set upon sorrow’s edge:
She hath a woven garland of all the sighing sedge.

2. The Meeting of the Waters

       by Thomas Moore

There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet;
Oh! the last rays of feeling and life must depart,
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart.

Yet it was not that nature had shed o’er the scene
Her purest of crystal and brightest of green;
‘Twas not her soft magic of streamlet or hill,
Oh! no, — it was something more exquisite still.

‘Twas that friends, the beloved of my bosom, were near,
Who made every dear scene of enchantment more dear,
And who felt how the best charms of nature improve,
When we see them reflected from looks that we love.

Sweet vale of Avoca! how calm could I rest
In thy bosom of shade, with the friends I love best,
Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease,
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace.

3. Ode to the Hill of Howth

       by William Hamilton Drummond

How sweet from proud Ben-Edir’s height,
To see the ocean roll in light;
And fleets swift-bounding in the gale,
With warriors clothed in shining mail!
Fair hill, on thee great Finn of old
Was wont his counsels sage to hold;
On thee rich bowls the Fenians crowned,
And passed the foaming beverage round.

’T was thine within a sea-washed cave
To hide and shelter Duivne brave,
When, snared by Grace’s charms divine,
He bore her o’er the raging brine.
Fair hill, thy slopes are ever seen
Bedecked with flowers or robed in green;
Thy nut-groves rustle o’er the deep,
And forests crown thy cliff-girt steep.

High from thy russet peaks ’t is sweet
To see the embattled war-ships meet;
To hear the crash, the shout, the roar
Of cannon, through the caverned shore.
Most beauteous hill, around whose head
Ten thousand sea-birds’ pinions spread,
May joy thy lord’s true bosom thrill,
Chief of the Fenians’ happy hill!

4. Shanid Castle

       by Gerald Griffin

On Shannon side the day is closing fair,
The kern sits musing by his shieling low,
And marks, beyond the lonely hills of Clare,
Blue, rimmed with gold, the clouds of sunset glow.
Hush in that sun the wide-spread waters flow,
Returning warm the day’s departing smile;
Along the sunny highland pacing slow
The keyriaght lingers with his herd the while,
And bells are tolling faint from far Saint Sinon’s isle.
O loved shore! with softest memories twined,
Sweet fall the summer on thy margin fair!
And peace come whispering, like a morning wind,
Dear thoughts of love to every bosom there!
The horrid wreck and driving storm forbear
Thy smiling strand, nor oft the accents swell
Along thy hills of grief or heart-wrung care;
But heaven look down upon each lowly dell,
And bless thee for the joys I yet remember well!

5. The Blarney

       by Samuel Lover

O, did you ne’er hear of “the Blarney”
That’s found near the banks of Killarney?
Believe it from me,
No girl’s heart is free,
Once she hears the sweet sound of the Blarney.

For the Blarney ’s so great a deceiver,
That a girl thinks you ’re there, though you leave her;
And never finds out
All the tricks you ’re about,
Till she’s quite gone herself—with your Blarney.

O, say, would you find this same “Blarney”?
There’s a castle, not far from Killarney,
On the top of its wall
(But take care you don’t fall)
There’s a stone that contains all this Blarney.

Like a magnet, its influence such is,
That attraction it gives all it touches;
If you kiss it, they say,
From that blessed day
You may kiss whom you please with your Blarney.

6. The Music of St. Patrick’s

       by Felicia Hemans

Again, O, send that anthem peal again
Through the arched roof in triumph to the sky!
Bid the old tombs ring proudly to the strain,
The banners thrill as if with victory!
Such sounds the warrior awe-struck might have heard,
While armed for fields of chivalrous renown;
Such the high hearts of kings might well have stirred,
While throbbing still beneath the recent crown!
Those notes once more!—They bear my soul away,
They lend the wings of morning to its flight;
No earthly passion in the exulting lay
Whispers one tone to win me from that height.
All is of Heaven! Yet wherefore to mine eye
Gush the vain tears unbidden from their source,
Even while the waves of that strong harmony
Roll with my spirit on their sounding course?
Wherefore must rapture its full heart reveal
Thus, by the burst of sorrow’s token shower!
O, is it not, that humbly we may feel
Our nature’s limit in its proudest hour?

7. Gougaune Barra

       by James Joseph Callanan

There is a green island in lone Gougaune Barra,
Where Allua of songs rushes forth as an arrow;
In deep-valleyed Desmond a thousand wild fountains
Come down to that lake from their home in the mountains.

There grows the wild ash, and a time-stricken willow
Looks chidingly down on the mirth of the billow;
As, like some gay child, that sad monitor scorning,
It lightly laughs back to the laugh of the morning.

And its zone of dark hills,—O, to see them all brightening,
When the tempest flings out its red banner of lightning,
And the waters rush down, mid the thunder’s deep rattle,
Like clans from their hills at the voice of the battle;

And brightly the fire-crested billows are gleaming,
And wildly from Mullagh the eagles are screaming!
O, where is the dwelling, in valley or highland,
So meet for a bard as this lone little island?

How oft when the summer sun rested on Clara,
And lit the dark heath on the hills of Ivera,
Have I sought thee, sweet spot, from my home by the ocean,
And trod all thy wilds with a minstrel’s devotion,

And thought of thy bards, when assembling together,
In the cleft of thy rocks, or the depth of thy heather;
They fled from the Saxon’s dark bondage and slaughter,
And waked their last song by the rush of thy water.

High sons of the lyre, O, how proud was the feeling,
To think while alone through that solitude stealing,
Though loftier minstrels green Erin can number,
I only awoke your wild harp from its slumber,

And mingled once more with the voice of those fountains
The songs even Echo forgot on her mountains;
And gleaned each gray legend that darkly was sleeping
Where the mist and the rain o’er their beauty were creeping!

8. Dedication, —To Ireland

       by Jane Francesca Agnes Wilde

My country, wounded to the heart,
Could I but flash along thy soul
Electric power to rive apart
The thunder‐clouds that round thee roll,
And, by my burning words, uplift
Thy life from out Death’s icy drift,
Till the full splendours of our age
Shone round thee for thy heritage
As Miriam’s, by the Red Sea strand
Clashing proud cymbals, so my hand
Would strike thy harp,
Loved Ireland!

She flung her triumphs to the stars
In glorious chants for freedom won,
While over Pharaoh’s gilded cars
The fierce, death‐bearing waves rolled on;
I can but look in God’s great face,
And pray Him for our fated race,
To come in Sinai thunders down,
And, with His mystic radiance, crown
Some Prophet‐Leader, with command
To break the strength of Egypt’s band,
And set thee free,
Loved Ireland!

New energies, from higher source,
Must make the strong life‐currents flow,
As Alpine glaciers in their course
Stir the deep torrents ‘neath the snow.
The woman’s voice dies in the strife
Of Liberty’s awakening life;
We wait the hero heart to lead,
The hero, who can guide at need,
And strike with bolder, stronger hand,
Though towering hosts his path withstand
Thy golden harp,
Loved Ireland!

For I can breathe no trumpet call,
To make the slumb’ring Soul arise;
I only lift the funeral‐pall,
That so God’s light might touch thine eyes,
And ring the silver prayer‐bell clear,
To rouse thee from thy trance of fear;
Yet, if thy mighty heart has stirred,
Even with one pulse‐throb at my word,
Then not in vain my woman’s hand
Has struck thy gold harp while I stand,
Waiting thy rise
Loved Ireland!

9. Ireland

       by Florence Kellett

Dew washed and sun kissed,
Out of the blue and the gray mist,
Vision of beauty and rest,
Shining afar in the West.
Gently the clouds float by
Waking the sleeping sky.
Bathing the hill and glade
In light of every shade.
Green land of hope and endeavor
Whose people are children forever,
Held by its sway they glide
Ever a long life’s tide,
Far from life’s crowded way
Dreaming they live today,
Free in their own wild home
Washed by the sea’s white foam.
Island so loved by all,
Who hear its mystic call,
Enchantment dwells in every bower,
In tree and leaf and wayside flower.
All hail to thee! whose magic spell
Is felt in woodland dale and dell.
Oh wondrous land! Oh land of rest!
A green light shining in the West.

10. Oh Erin, My Home

       by Florence Kellett

Oh Erin, my home,
I am coming to thee,
Across desert and mountain
And river and sea.
To the dear little cabin
The place I was born
Mid the wave of the rye
And the gleam of the corn.
Near the wild rugged mountain,
Where the heather grows free,
And the wild rose unfettered
Creeps down to the sea.
Oh land of the gray mist,
Of sunshine and rain,
In thy rapturous beauty
I see thee again.
Oh, the breath of the bog land,
And the smell of the peat,
And the flowers all gleaming
Like stars at my feet.
Soon, soon, I’ll be with you,
Then, never to part,
I shall dream my last dream
In the land of my heart.
What a home for a wanderer
When the storms are past,
In the green isle of Erin
There’ll be rest at the last.

Poems about Ireland’s Beauty

Have you ever been to Ireland? If not, prepare to be transported to this beautiful country through the captivating poems that are waiting for you. These poems encapsulate the essence of Ireland’s natural beauty in a way that will leave you breathless. Try them!

1. The Oaks of Gleneigh

       by Robert Dwyer Joyce

O, think of the days when the crag’s hoary masses
Bent o’er one green forest in Houra’s wild passes,
When the gray wolf was king of the forest and mountain,
And the red deer ran free by the blue torrent’s shore,
When the prey scarcely rested at eve by the fountain,
Swept on by the spear of the wild creachadore!

’T was a brave time, a wild time,—the hills seem to mourn
Till the splendor of glade and of forest return;
Yet is there not splendor as wild and as shaggy,
Where the huge blasted roots of that forest remain,
Wide spread o’er each deep cave and precipice craggy,
Sending scions of strength to the blue sky again?

Afar where Molama in thunder is flowing,
Afar in Gleneigh are these strong scions growing,—
They spring from the stream and they tower from the ledges
Of the huge rocks which frown o’er that wild fairy dell;
Like young guardian giants encircling the edges
Of the deep, silent pool and the moss-wreathéd well.

How thick in the summer their green leaves were shining!
How sear and how scattered at autumn’s declining!
But the wild hills shall see them far greener than ever,
When winter hath fled from the bright smiles of May;
Ah! thus should Adversity’s children endeavor
To breast the rude blasts, like the oaks of Gleneigh!

2. The Rivers

       by Thomas Davis

There’s a far-famed Blackwater that runs to Loch Neagh,
There’s a fairer Blackwater that runs to the sea,—
The glory of Ulster,
The beauty of Munster,
These twin rivers be.

From the banks of that river Benburb’s towers arise;
This stream shines as bright as a tear from sweet eyes:
This fond as a young bride,
That with foeman’s blood dyed,—
Both dearly we prize.

Deep sunk in that bed is the sword of Monroe,
Since ’twixt it and Oonagh he met Owen Roe,
And Charlemont’s cannon
Slew many a man on
These meadows below.

The shrines of Armagh gleam far over yon lea,
Now afar is Dungannon that nursed liberty,
And yonder Red Hugh
Marshal Bagenal o’erthrew
On Béal-an-atha-Buidhe.

But far kinder the woodlands of rich Convamore,
And more gorgeous the turrets of saintly Lismore;
There the stream, like a maiden
With love overladen,
Pants wild on each shore.

Its rocks rise like statues, tall, stately, and fair,
And the trees and the flowers and the mountains and air,
With woman’s soul near you,
To share with, and cheer you,
Make Paradise there.

I would rove by that stream, ere my flag I unrolled;
I would fly to these banks my betrothed to enfold,—
The pride of our sire-land,
The Eden of Ireland,
More precious than gold.

May their borders be free from oppression and blight,
May their daughters and sons ever fondly unite,—
The glory of Ulster,
The beauty of Munster,
Our strength and delight.

3. The Fair Hills of Ireland

       by Sir Samuel Ferguson

A Plenteous place is Ireland for hospitable cheer,
Uileacan dubh O!
Where the wholesome fruit is bursting from the yellow barley ear;
Uileacan dubh O!
There is honey in the trees where her misty vales expand,
And her forest paths in summer are by falling waters fann’d,
There is dew at high noontide there, and springs i’ the yellow sand,
On the fair hills of holy Ireland.

Curl’d he is and ringleted, and plaited to the knee–
Uileacan dubh O!
Each captain who comes sailing across the Irish Sea;
Uileacan dubh O!
And I will make my journey, if life and health but stand,
Unto that pleasant country, that fresh and fragrant strand,
And leave your boasted braveries, your wealth and high command,
For the fair hills of holy Ireland.

Large and profitable are the stacks upon the ground,
Uileacan dubh O!
The butter and the cream do wondrously abound;
Uileacan dubh O!
The cresses on the water and the sorrels are at hand,
And the cuckoo’s calling daily his note of music bland,
And the bold thrush sings so bravely his song i’ the forests grand,
On the fair hills of holy Ireland.

4. The Groves of Blarney

       by Richard Alfred Milliken

The groves of Blarney
They look so charming,
Down by the purling
Of sweet silent streams,
Being banked with posies
That spontaneous grow there,
Planted in order
By the sweet rock close.

’T is there’s the daisy
And the sweet carnation,
The blooming pink,
And the rose so fair;
The daffodowndilly,
Likewise the lily,—
All flowers that scent
The sweet fragrant air.

’T is Lady Jeffers
That owns this station;
Like Alexander,
Or Queen Helen fair,
There’s no commander
In all the nation,
For emulation,
Can with her compare.

Such walls surround her,
That no nine-pounder
Could dare to plunder
Her place of strength;
But Oliver Cromwell,
Her he did pommel,
And made a breach
In her battlement.

There’s gravel-walks there
For speculation
And conversation
In sweet solitude.
’T is there the lover
May hear the dove, or
The gentle plover
In the afternoon;

And if a lady
Would be so engaging
As to walk alone in
Those shady bowers,
’T is there the courtier
He may transport her
Into some fort, or
All under ground.

For ’t is there’s a cave where
No daylight enters,
But cats and badgers
Are forever bred;
Being mossed by nature,
That makes it sweeter
Than a coach-and-six
Or a feather-bed.

’T is there the lake is,
Well stored with perches
And comely eels in
The verdant mud;
Besides the leeches,
And groves of beeches,
Standing in order
For to guard the flood.

There’s statues gracing
This noble place in,—
All heathen gods
And nymphs so fair;
Bold Neptune, Plutarch,
And Nicodemus,
All standing naked
In the open air!

So now to finish
This brave narration,
Which my poor genius
Could not entwine;
But were I Homer
Or Nebuchadnezzar,
’T is in every feature
I would make it shine.

There is a boat on
The lake to float on,
And lots of beauties
Which I can’t entwine;
But were I a preacher
Or a classic teacher,
In every feature
I ’d make ’em shine!

There is a stone there
That whoever kisses,
O, he never misses
To grow eloquent;
’T is he may clamber
To a lady’s chamber,
Or become a member
Of Parliament:

A clever spouter
He ’ll soon turn out, or
An out-and-outer,
“To be let alone.”
Don’t hope to hinder him,
Or to bewilder him,
Sure he’s a pilgrim
From the Blarney Stone!

5. Arranmore

       by Thomas Moore

O Arranmore, loved Arranmore,
How oft I dream of thee,
And of those days when by thy shore
I wandered young and free!
Full many a path I’ve tried since then,
Through pleasure’s flowery maze,
But ne’er could find the bliss again
I felt in those sweet days.

How blithe upon the breezy cliffs
At sunny morn I’ve stood,
With heart as bounding as the skiffs
That danced along the flood!
Or when the western wave grew bright
With daylight’s parting wing,
Have sought that Eden in its light
Which dreaming poets sing, —

That Eden where the immortal brave
Dwell in a land serene,
Whose bowers beyond the shining wave,
At sunset, oft are seen;
Ah, dream, too full of saddening truth!
Those mansions o’er the main
Are like the hopes I built in youth, —
As sunny and as vain!

6. Ireland

       by Dora Sigerson

‘Twas the dream of a God,
And the mould of His hand,
That you shook ‘neath His stroke,
That you trembled and broke
To this beautiful land.

Here He loosed from His hold
A brown tumult of wings,
Till the wind on the sea
Bore the strange melody
Of an island that sings.

He made you all fair,
You in purple and gold,
You in silver and green,
Till no eye that has seen
Without love can behold.

I have left you behind
In the path of the past,
With the white breath of flowers,
With the best of God’s hours,
I have left you at last.

7. Glengariff

       by Sir Aubrey de Vere

I.
Gazing from each low bulwark of this bridge,
How wonderful the contrast! Dark as night,
Here, amid cliffs and woods, with headlong might,
The black stream whirls, through ferns and drooping sedge,
’Neath twisted roots moss-brown, and weedy ledge,
Gushing. Aloft, from yonder birch-clad height,
Leaps into air a cataract, snow-white;
Falling to gulfs obscure. The mountain ridge,
Like a gray warder, guardian of the scene,
Above the cloven gorge gloomily towers.
O’er the dim woods a gathering tempest lours;
Save where athwart the moist leaves’ lucid green
A sunbeam, glancing through disparted showers,
Sparkles along the rill with diamond sheen!

II.
A sun-burst on the bay! Turn and behold!
The restless waves, resplendent in their glory,
Sweep glittering past yon purpled promontory,
Bright as Apollo’s breastplate. Bathed in gold,
Yon bastioned islet gleams. Thin mists are rolled,
Translucent, through each glen. A mantle hoary
Veils those peaked hills, shapely as e’er in story,
Delphic, or Alpine, or Vesuvian old,
Minstrels have sung. From rock and headland proud
The wildwood spreads its arms around the bay:
The manifold mountain cones, now dark, now bright,
Now seen, now lost, alternate from rich light
To spectral shade; and each dissolving cloud
Reveals new mountains while it floats away.

8. Adare

       by Gerald Griffin

Oh, sweet Adare! oh, lovely vale!
Oh, soft retreat of sylvan splendour!
Nor summer sun nor morning gale
E’er hail’d a scene more softly tender.
How shall I tell the thousand charms
Within thy verdant bosom dwelling,
Where, lull’d in Nature’s fost’ring arms,
Soft peace abides and joy excelling.

Ye morning airs, how sweet at dawn
The slumbering boughs your song awaken,
Or linger o’er the silent lawn,
With odour of the harebell taken.
Thou rising sun, how richly gleams
Thy smile from far Knockfierna’s mountain,
O’er waving woods and bounding streams,
And many a grove and glancing fountain.

In sweet Adare, the jocund spring
His notes of odorous joy is breathing;
The wild birds in the woodland sing,
The wild flowers in the vale are wreathing.
There wings the Mague, as silver clear,
Among the elms so sweetly flowing;
There, fragrant in the early year,
Wild roses on the banks are blowing.

The wild-duck seeks the sedgy bank,
Or dives beneath the glistening billow,
Where graceful droop and clustering dank
The osier bright and rustling willow.
The hawthorn scents the leafy dale,
In thicket lone the stag is belling,
And sweet along the echoing vale
The sound of vernal joy is swelling.

9. Colum-Cille’s Farewell to Ireland

       by Douglas Hyde

Alas for the voyage, O High King of Heaven,
Enjoined upon me,
For that I on the red plain of bloody Cooldrevin
Was present to see.

How happy the son is of Dima; no sorrow
For him is designed,
He is having, this hour, round his own hill in Durrow,
The wish of his mind.

The sounds of the winds in the elms, like strings of
A harp being played,
The note of a blackbird that claps with the wings of
Delight in the shade.

With him in Ros-Grencha the cattle are lowing
At earliest dawn,
On the brink of the summer the pigeons are cooing
And doves in the lawn.

Three things am I leaving behind me, the very
Most dear that I know,
Tir-Leedach I’m leaving, and Durrow and Derry;
Alas, I must go!

Yet my visit and feasting with Comgall have eased me
At Cainneach’s right hand,
And all but thy government, Eiré, have pleased me,
Thou waterful land.

10. The Hill of Killenarden

       by Charles Graham Halpine

Though time effaces memory,
And griefs the bosom harden,
I ’ll ne’er forget, where’er I be,
That day at Killenarden;
For there, while fancy revelled wide,
The summer’s day flew o’er me;
The friends I loved were at my side,
And Irish fields before me.

The road was steep; the pelting showers
Had cooled the sod beneath us;
And there were lots of mountain flowers,
A garland to enwreathe us.
Far, far below the landscape shone
With wheat and new-mown meadows,
And as o’erhead the clouds flew on,
Beneath swept on their shadows.

O friends, beyond the Atlantic’s foam
There may be nobler mountains,
And in our new far Western home
Green fields and brighter fountains;
But as for me, let time destroy
All dreams, but this one pardon,
And barren memory long enjoy
That day on Killenarden.

Final Thoughts

The music, culture, and history of Ireland are incredibly diverse and wonderfully captivating.

Through the medium of poetry it is possible to gain an even richer understanding of the Emerald Isle.

Whether it be a comedy or tragedy, a lament or a cry of joy and celebration, these best poems about Ireland touch on some of its most brilliant aspects.

So take some time to dive into their depths and explore for yourselves.

As you do so, please feel free to comment in the comments section below with any questions that you may have about this post or with other thoughts that you have on these classic Irish poems.

Also, if your favorite poem about Ireland isn’t listed here let us know!

Have you found any recently published gems?

We’d love to read them too!

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