"The Green Plover" by Ethna Carbery [aka Mrs. Seumus MacManus, Anna Johnston] (1866-1902)
The Eske wood is lonely, and I go in fear,
Where the shadows are thickest, to seek you, my dear
Your bed is the sere leaf, your roof the green boughs,
And cold is your house, though the summer is near.
You crouch with the wild-birds in bracken and ling,
O'er your sleep, danger-haunted, the wistful larks sing,
And the gay blackbirds fling you their mirth, my Green Plover,
Lie close in your cover–the Hawk's on the wing.
In the sweep of the Hawk over mountain and moor,
Is danger, Green Plover, relentless and sure
He dangles the lure of his gold where he goes–
'Mid friends and 'mid foes, your doom to secure.
He hath taken your castle, your life he demands,
He hath harried with fire your father's broad lands,
At your broken gate stands all his red-coated men,
And through the green glen roam his murderous bands.
Oh, what if he knew that the bride he would wed,
Were pressing her cheek to your bonny dark head,
That her lips had grown red with the warmth of your kiss,
And her heart found its bliss in the fond words you said!
But a sail's on the waters–a snowy far sail:
And Christ in His mercy hath sent us a gale,
That from sad Innisfail we may fly in the night–
Green Plover, what sight makes your brown face grow pale?
The Hawk! God be praised for this marvellous grace
Our last earthly look is on each other's face
And death hath no trace of dread fear now that I
Am given to die in my true love's embrace.