Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
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Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
 
141. The Three Woes
 
By Aubrey de Vere
 
 
THAT angel whose charge was Eiré sang thus, o’er the dark Isle winging;
By a virgin his song was heard at a tempest’s ruinous close:
“Three golden ages God gave while your tender green blade was springing;
Faith’s earliest harvest is reaped. To-day God sends you three woes.
 
“For ages three without laws ye shall flee as beasts in the forest;        5
For an age and a half age faith shall bring, not peace, but a sword;
Then laws shall rend you, like eagles sharp-fanged, of your scourges the sorest;
When these three woes are past, look up, for your hope is restored.
 
“The times of your woes shall be twice the time of your foregone glory;
But fourfold at last shall lie the grain on your granary floor.”        10
The seas in vapour shall flee, and in ashes the mountains hoary;
Let God do that which He wills. Let his servants endure and adore!”
 

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