Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
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Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
 
133. Ways of War
 
By Lionel Johnson
 
 
A TERRIBLE and splendid trust,
  Heartens the host of Innisfail;
Their dream is of the swift sword-thrust;
  The lightning glory of the Gael.
 
Croagh Patrick is the place of prayers,        5
  And Tara the assembling place:
But each sweet wind of Ireland bears
  The trump of battle on its race.
 
From Dursey Isle to Donegal,
  From Howth to Achill, the glad noise        10
Rings: and the airs of glory fall,
  Or victory crowns their fighting joys.
 
A dream! a dream! an ancient dream!
  Yet, ere peace come to Innisfail,
Some weapons on some field must gleam,        15
  Some burning glory fire the Gael.
 
That field may lie beneath the sun,
  Fair for the treading of an host:
That field in realms of thought be won
  And armed minds do their uttermost.        20
 
Some way, to faithful Innisfail,
  Shall come the majesty and awe
Of martial truth, that must prevail,
  To lay on all the eternal law.
 

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