Fairest! Put on a While

Melody - "Cummilum"

Thomas Moore, from Irish Melodies, vol. 9

Fairest! put on a while
These pinions of light I bring thee,
And o'er thy own green isle
In fancy let me wing thee.
Never did Ariel's plume,
At golden sunset, hover
O'er scenes so full of bloom
As I shall waft thee over.

2. Fields, where the Spring delays
And fearlessly meets the ardour
Of the warm Summer's gaze,
With only her tears to guard her;
Rocks, through myrtle boughs
In grace majestic frowning,
Like some bold warrior's brows
That Love hath just been crowning.

3. Islets, so freshly fair,
That never hath bird come nigh them,
But, from his course through air,
He hath been won down by them;*
Types, sweet maid, of thee,
Whose look, whose blush inviting,
Never did Love yet see
From heaven, without alighting.

4. Lakes, where the pearl lies hid,**
And caves, where the gem is sleeping,
Bright as the tears thy lid
Lets fall in lonely weepin.
Glens, where Ocean comes,***
To 'scape the wild wind's rancour;
And harbours, worthiest homes
Where Freedom's fleet can anchor.

5. Then, if, while scenes so grand,
So beautiful, shine before thee,
Pride for thy own dear land
Should haply be stealing o'er thee,
Oh, let grief come first,
O'er pride itself victorious
Thinking how man hath curst
What Heaven hath made so glorious.

* In describing the Skelings (islands of the Barony of Forth), Dr Keating says, "There is a certain attractive virtue in the soil which draws down all the birds that attempt to fly over it, and obliges them to light upon the rock."

** "Nennius, a British writer of the ninth century, mentions the abudance of pearls in Ireland. Their princes, he says, hung them behind their ears: and this we find comfirmed by a present made A.C. 1094, by Gilbert, Bishop of Limerick, to Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, of a considerable quantity of Irish pearls." - O'Halloran.

*** Glengariff.

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