O, softly, sweetly sail along,
And sweep the fields, and touch the trees;
I love to listen to your song –
Dear Irish breeze.
Old Gaelic songs by cailins sung,
And children’s laughter echo sweet;
And rills, that ripple meads among,
On silver feet.
The lark above the mountain’s crest,
The thrush within the shady glen
Could make the sad and the opprest
Feel glad again.
And yet – there’s some strange talisman
In your sweet croon, O Irish breeze!
More tender and more touching than
All, all of these.
While herding in my father’s field,
A dreamy lad from troubles free,
Your song, through golden gorsy shields,
Was dear to me
Oh! How our exiles would rejoice
‘Mong crowded cities o’er the sea,
Could they but hear once more your voice,
Loved Irish breeze!
And how their hearts with joy would thrill,
Could they but fill their lungs again
With pure winds of an Irish hill,
Or Irish glen!
O Irish breeze! When far you roam
Where exiles roam beyond the seas,
Console them, soothe them, call them home –
Blest Irish breeze!
‘THE BARD OF FOREMASS’
FOREMASS LOWER, SIXMILECROSS, CO. TYRONE