Thomas Moore

May 28, 1780 - Feb 26, 1852


The Song of Fionnula

by Thomas Moore

Silent, oh Moyle, be the roar of thy water,
Break not, ye breezes, your chain of repose,
While, murmuring mournfully, Lir's lonely daughter,
Tells to the night-star her tale of woes.
When shall the swan, her death-note singing,
Sleep, with wings in darkness furl'd?
When will heaven, its sweet bells ringing,
Call my spirit from this stormy world?

Sadly, oh Moyle, to thy winter wave weeping,
Fate bids me languish long ages away;
Yet still in her darkness doth Erin lie sleeping,
Yet still doth the pure light its dawning delay.
When will that day-star, mildly springing,
Warm our isle with peace and love?
When will heaven, its sweet bell ringing,
Call my spirit to the fields above?

Notes to the poem:

Fionnula, the daughter of Lir, was by some supernatural power transformed into a swan, and condemned to wander, for many hundred years, over certain lakes and rivers of Ireland, till the coming of Christianity: the first sound of the mass-bell was to be the signal of her release.


The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Copyright undated, very old
The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd.