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.
 
Rathlin
The Enchanted Island
Anonymous
 
TO Rathlin’s Isle I chanced to sail,
  When summer breezes softly blew,
And there I heard so sweet a tale,
  That oft I wished it could be true.
They said, at eve, when rude winds sleep,        5
  And hushed is every turbid swell,
A mermaid rises from the deep,
  And sweetly tunes her magic shell.
 
And while she plays, rock, dell, and cave
  In dying falls the sound retain,        10
As if some choral spirits gave
  Their aid to swell her witching strain.
Then summoned by that dulcet note,
  Uprising to the admiring view,
A fairy island seems to float        15
  With tints of many a gorgeous hue.
 
And glittering fanes and lofty towers
  All on this fairy isle are seen;
And waving trees and shady bowers,
  With more than mortal verdure green.        20
And as it moves, the western sky
  Glows with a thousand varying rays;
And the calm sea, tinged with each dye,
  Seems like a golden flood of blaze.
 
They also say, if earth or stone        25
  From verdant Erin’s hallowed land
Were on this magic island thrown,
  Forever fixed it then would stand.
But when for this some little boat
  In silence ventures from the shore,        30
The mermaid sinks, hushed is the note,
  The fairy isle is seen no more!
 
 
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