Say, Blackbird! What’s the secret of your singing?
Blithe hearld of the Spring!
Why are your songs with rapture ever ringing?
O, teach me thus to sing.
Think not ‘tis a presumptuous stranger merely,
Your confidence who woos;
Like you, I am a rustic bard sincerely
Devoted to the Muse.
My heart, like yours, with love of Erin burning
Pours out that love in song;
Like you I hail delightful Spring returning
Our fav’rite scenes among.
‘Mong your loved haunts I oft have been a ranger,
Pining your voice to hear,
Then think me not a too presumptuous stranger,
But deem me quest sincere.
Your songs are filled with wild spontaneous rapture –
O, teach me thus to sing;
Teach me the magic of your mirth to capture,
O, Poet of the Spring!
Sad notes come creeping in to tinge the gladness
Of e’en my brightest lay;
Alas! This world is full enough of sadness
Without sad songs to-day.
O, teach me, Blackbird! Till I banish sorrows
Out of the hearts of men;
And sweep away from Erin’s face all furrows,
And from her heart all pain.
‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.