Strange eyes around thee glisten,
To a strange tongue thou dost listen,
Strangers bend the suppliant knee:
Do thou not, for all their seeming
Truth, forget the constant beaming
Eyes at home that watch for thee.
Stately palaces surround thee,
Royal parks and gardens bound thee—
Gardens of the ‘Fleur de Lis’:
Do thou not, for all their splendour,
Quite forget the humble, tender
Thoughts at home, that turn to thee.
When, at length of absence weary,
When the year grows sad and dreary,
And an east wind sweeps the sea;
Ere the days of dark November,
Homeward turn, and then remember
Hearts at home that pine for thee!
Oh! bright are the names of the chieftains and sages,
That shine like the stars through the darkness of ages,
Whose deeds are inscribed on the pages of story,
There for ever to live in the sunshine of glory,
Heroes of history, phantoms of fable,
Charlemagne’s champions, and Arthur’s Round Table;
Oh! but they all a new lustre could borrow
From the glory that hangs round the name of MacCaura!
Thy waves, Manzanares, wash many a shrine,
And proud are the castles that frown o’er the Rhine,
And stately the mansions whose pinnacles glance
Through the elms of Old England and vineyards of France;
Many have fallen, and many will fall,
Good men and brave men have dwelt in them all,
But as good and as brave men, in gladness and sorrow,
Have dwelt in the halls of the princely MacCaura!
Montmorency, Medina, unheard was thy rank
By the dark-eyed Iberian and light-hearted Frank,
And your ancestors wandered, obscure and unknown,
By the smooth Guadalquiver and sunny Garonne.
Ere Venice had wedded the sea, or enrolled
The name of a Doge in her proud “Book of Gold;”
When her glory was all to come on like the morrow,
There were the chieftains and kings of the clan of MacCaura!
Proud should thy heart beat, descendant of Heber,
Lofty thy head as the shrines of the Guebre,
Like them are the halls of thy forefathers shattered,
Like theirs is the wealth of thy palaces scattered.
Their fire is extinguished—thy banner long furled—
But how proud were ye both in the dawn of the world!
And should both fade away, oh! what heart would not sorrow
O’er the towers of the Guebre—the name of MacCaura!
What a moment of glory to cherish and dream on,
When far o’er the sea came the ships of Heremon,
With Heber, and Ir, and the Spanish patricians,
To free Inisfail from the spells of magicians.
Oh! reason had these for their quaking and pallor,
For what magic can equal the strong sword of valour?
Better than spells are the axe and the arrow,
When wielded or flung by the hand of MacCaura!