Official Website of the County Tyrone Mail List
The Irish Emigrants

Co. Tyrone Headstone Project
Click banner to submit/search the Project!

The Irish Emigrants

Submitted by Teena

THEY came o'er the waves of the blue mirrored sea,
To the land where the hearts of a people are free;
They came, for the voice of oppression rose high,
And the cry of the poor seemed to challenge the sky.

They came, the sad husband and wife by his side, —
The unwavering in heart whose affections were tried,—
And the bright rising sun bade them falter adieu
To their last native cliff, as it sunk from their view.

O, say not the soul of green Erin is sear! —
0, say not her eyes never melt with a tear!
Tis the galling of bondage—the strength of her chain-
That make her best feelings in darkness remain.  

Our sails fluttered gaily the high masts among,
And the tones of our seamen in ecstasy rung;
Ah, well might our eyes glance with pleasure around,
For we knew the dear port where our vessel was bound.

Our thoughts traveled over the white-crested foam
To the deep welcome voice that would hail us at home,
And our spirits rushed wildly, as fancy portrayed
That bright cherished circle whose welfare we prayed.

But those children of Erin stood sadly the while,
Their eyes bending still towards their own emerald isle,
And that pale one clung close to her husband for stay,
As each bound of the ship bore them farther away.

She spoke not, nor wept — but that desolate look
Told a tale, which from childhood I never could brook,
And the long quivering sigh breathed a language more drear
Than the passion of words or the eloquent tear.

Alas ! broken-hearted — how black to thy sight
Seemed the wide-tossing billow so fearfully bright;
How mournful the sound of the murmuring sea,
That left neither home nor a country to thee!

Twas thine to gaze back towards that ivy-crowned hearth,
The covert of childhood, the place of thy birth,
Where a lone aged mother in hopelessness knelt,
And poured forth to Heaven the sorrows she felt.

Twas thine to remember a brother's farewell
The broken " God bless you," how bitter it fell!
And to feel on thy lip the last perishing kiss
Of a fair worshiped sister and partner of bliss.

But the thought of thy country, — that heaviest thought,
Of a lofty-souled people to slavery brought, —
No wonder it came like a withering blight,
And spread o'er the future its mantle of night.

Alas, that the ties which are broken in twain,
Can never, on earth, be united again!
Alas, that oppression and tyranny stand
Like merciless vultures, to prey o'er that land!

Alas, that the banner which Liberty rears,
Must bathe its pure folds in a foreigner's tears,
And the arm that is stretched for the exile's relief,
Must wreath o'er his forehead the chaplet of grief!

1831.  Mrs. Julia H. Scott:

Return To The Poems & Stories Home Page