The Rivers by Thomas Osborne Davis

There’s a far-famed Blackwater that runs to Loch Neagh;
There’s a fairer Blackwater that runs to the sea –
The glory of Ulster,
The beauty of Munster,
These twin rivers be.

From the banks of that river Benburb’s towers arise;
This stream shines as bright as a tear from sweet eyes;
This fond as a young bride,
That with foeman’s blood dyed –
Both dearly we prize.

Deep sunk in that bed is the sword of Monroe,
Since ‘twixt it and Oonagh, he met Owen Roe,
And Charlemont’s cannon
Slew many a man on
These meadows below.

The shrines of Armagh gleam far over yon lea,
Nor afar is Dungannon that nursed liberty,
And yonder Red Hugh
Marshal Bagenal o’erthrew
On Béal-an-atha-Buidhe.

But far kinder the woodlands of rich Convamore,
And more gorgeous the turrets of saintly lismore;
There the srteam, like a maiden
With love overladen,
Pants wild on each shore

It’s rocks rise like statues, tall, stately and fair,
And the trees and the flowers, and the mountains and air,
With Wonder’s soul near you.
To share with, and cheer you,
Make Paradise there.

I would love by that stream, ere my flag I unrolled;
I would fly to these banks my bethrothed to enfold –
The pride of our sireland,
The Eden of Ireland,
More precious than gold.

May their bodies be free from opression and blight;
May their daughters and sone ever fondly unite –
The glory of Ulster,
The beauty of munster,
Our strength and delight.

Air: Kathleen O’More

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