Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Ireland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V.  1876–79.
 
Ballyshannon
The Emigrant’s Adieu to Ballyshannon
William Allingham (1824–1889)
 
ADIEU to Ballyshannon! where I was bred and born;
Go where I may, I ’ll think of you, as sure as night and morn;
The kindly spot, the friendly town, where every one is known,
And not a face in all the place but partly seems my own.
There ’s not a house or window, there ’s not a field or hill,        5
But, east or west, in foreign lands, I ’ll recollect them still.
I leave my warm heart with you, though my back I ’m forced to turn,—
So adieu to Ballyshannon, and the winding banks of Erne!
 
No more on pleasant evenings we ’ll saunter down the Mall,
Where the trout is rising to the fly, the salmon to the fall,        10
The boat comes straining on her net, and heavily she creeps,
Cast off, cast off!—she feels the oars, and to her berth she sweeps;
Now stem and stern keep hauling, and gathering up the clew,
Till a silver wave of salmon rolls in among the crew,
Then they may sit, and have their joke, and set their pipes to burn;—        15
Adieu to Ballyshannon, and the winding banks of Erne!
 
The music of the waterfall, the mirror of the tide,
When all the green-hilled harbor is full from side to side—
From Portnasun to Bulliebawns, and round the Abbey Bay,
From the little rocky island to Coolnargit sand-hills gray;        20
While far upon the southern line, to guard it like a wall,
The Leitrim mountains, clothed in blue, gaze calmly over all,
And watch the ship sail up or down, the red flag at her stern;—
Adieu to these, adieu to all the winding banks of Erne!
 
Farewell to you, Kildony lads, and them that pull an oar,        25
A lug-sail set, or haul a net, from the Point to Mullaghmore;
From Killybegs to Carrigan, with its ocean-mountain steep,
Six hundred yards in air aloft, six hundred in the deep;
From Dooran to the Fairy Bridge, and round by Tullen strand,
Level and long, and white with waves, where gull and curlew stand;—        30
Head out to sea when on your lee the breakers you discern;—
Adieu to all the billowy coast, and winding banks of Erne!
 
Farewell Coolmore,—Bundoran! and your summer crowds that run
From inland homes, to see with joy the Atlantic-setting sun;
To breathe the buoyant salted air, and sport among the waves;        35
To gather shells on sandy beach, and tempt the gloomy caves;
To watch the flowing, ebbing tide, the boats, the crabs, the fish;
Young men and maids to meet and smile, and form a tender wish;
The sick and old in search of health, for all things have their turn—
And I must quit my native shore, and the winding banks of Erne!
*        *        *        *        *
        40
 
 
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