The Passing of the Gael

 Ethna Carbery

They are going, going, going from the valleys and the hills

They are leaving far behind them heathery moor and mountain rills,

All the wealth of hawthorn hedges where the brown thrush sways and trills

They are going, shy-eyed colleens, and lads so straight and tall,

From the purple peaks of Kerry, from the crags of wild Imaal,

From the greening plains of Mayo, and the glens of Donegal.

They are leaving pleasant places, shores with snowy sands outspread

Blue and lonely lakes a-stirring when the wind stirs overhead:

Tender loving hearts that love them, and the graves of kindred dead.

Oh, the cabins, long deserted! - Olden memories awake -

Oh, the pleasant, pleasant places! - Hush! the blackbird in the brake!

Oh, the dear and kindly voices! - Now their hearts are fain to ache.

They are going, going, going, and we cannot bid them stay;

Their fields are now the stranger's where the stranger's cattle stray.

Oh Kathleen Ni Houlihan, your way's a thorny way


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