Yeats' FAIRY AND FOLK TALES OF THE IRISH PEASANTRY

A LAMENTATION

For the Death of Sir Maurice Fitzgerald, Knight, of Kerry, who was killed in Flanders, 1642.

FROM THE IRISH, BY CLARENCE MANGAN

There was lifted up one voice of woe,
  One lament of more than mortal grief,
Through the wide South to and fro,
  For a fallen Chief.
In the dead of night that cry thrilled through me,
  I looked out upon the midnight air?
My own soul was all as gloomy,
  As I knelt in prayer.

O'er Loch Gur, that night, once--twice-yea, thrice--
  Passed a wail of anguish for the Brave
That half curled into ice
  Its moon-mirroring wave.
Then uprose a many-toned wild hymn in
  Choral swell from Ogra's dark ravine,
And Mogeely's Phantom Women
  Mourned the Geraldine!

Far on Carah Mona's emerald plains
  Shrieks and sighs were blended many hours,
And Fermoy in fitful strains
  Answered from her towers.
Youghal, Keenalmeaky, Eemokilly,
  Mourned in concert, and their piercing keen
Woke wondering life the stilly
  Glens of Inchiqueen.

From Loughmoe to yellow Dunanore
  There was fear; the traders of Tralee
Gathered up their golden store,
  And prepared to flee;
For, in ship and hall from night till morning,
  Showed the first faint beamings of the sun,
All the foreigners heard the warning
  Of the Dreaded One!

"This," they spake, "portendeth death to us,
  If we fly not swiftly from our fate!
Self-conceited idiots! thus
  Ravingly to prate!
Not for base-born higgling Saxon trucksters
  Ring laments like those by shore and sea!
Not for churls with souls like hucksters
  Waileth our Banshee!

For the high Milesian race alone
  Ever flows the music of her woe!
For slain heir to bygone throne,
  And for Chief laid low!
Hark! ... Again, methinks, I hear her weeping
  Yonder! is she near me now, as then?
Or was but the night-wind sweeping
  Down the hollow glen?

Aran Islanders, J. Synge [1898] (public domain photograph)