Wild Geese

(A Lament for the Irish Jacobites.)

I have heard the curlew crying
On a lonely moor and mere;
And the sea-gull's shriek in the gloaming
Is a lonely sound in the ear:
And I've heard the brown thrush mourning
For her children stolen away; —
But it's O for the homeless Wild Geese
That sailed ere the dawn of day!

For the curlew out on the moorland
Hath five fine eggs in the nest;
And the thrush will get her a new love
And sing her song with the best.
As the swallow flies to the Summer
Will the gull return to the sea:
But never the wings of the Wild Geese
Will flash over seas to me.

And 'tis ill to be roaming, roaming
With homesick heart in the breast!
And how long I've looked for your coming,
And my heart is the empty nest!
O sore in the land of the stranger
They'll pine for the land far away!
But day of Aughrim, my sorrow,
It was you was the bitter day!
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