Erin, Oh Erin

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Melody - "Thamma Halla"
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Thomas Moore, from Irish Melodies, vol. 3

Like the bright lamp, that shone in Kildare's holy fane,*
And burn'd through long ages of darkness and storm,
Is the heart that sorrows have frown'd on in vain,
Whose spirit outlives them, unfading and warm.
Erin, oh Erin, thus bright through the tears
Of a long night of bondage, thy spirit appears.

2. The nations have fallen, and thou still art young,
Thy sun is but rising, when others are set;
And though slavery's cloud o'er thy morning hath hung,
The full noon of freedom shall beam round thee yet.
Erin, oh Erin, though long in the shade,
Thy star will shine out when the proudest shall fade.

3. Unchill'd by the rain, and unwaked by the wind,
The lily lies sleeping through winter's cold hour,
Till Spring's light touch her fetters unbind,
And daylight and liberty bless the young flower.**
Thus Erin, oh Erin, thy winter is past,
And the hope that lived through it shall blossom at last.


* The inextinguishable fire of St Bridget, at Kildare, which Giraldus mentions: "Apud Kildariam occurrit Ignis Sanctæ Brigidæ, quem inextinguibilem vocant: non quod extingui non possit, sed quod tam solicite moniales et sanctiæ mulieres ignem, suppetente materia, fovent et nutriunt, ut a tempore virginis per tot annorum curricula semper mansit inextinetus." - Girald. Camb. de Mirabil. Hibern., dist 2, c.34.

** Mrs. H. Tighe, in her exquisite lines on the lily, has applied this image to a still more important object. - notes from Irish Melodies.

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