Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MARCH TO KINSALE; DECEMBER, 1601, by AUBREY THOMAS DE VERE



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THE MARCH TO KINSALE; DECEMBER, 1601, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O'er many a river bridged with ice
Last Line: And blow, thou breeze of sunrise, blow!'


O'ER many a river bridged with ice,
Through many a vale with snow-drifts dumb,
Past quaking fen and precipice
The Princes of the North are come!
Lo, these are they that, year by year,
Roll'd back the tide of England's war; --
Rejoice, Kinsale! thy help is near!
That wondrous winter march is o'er.
And thus they sang, 'To-morrow morn
Our eyes shall rest upon the foe:
Roll on, swift night, in silence borne,
And blow, thou breeze of sunrise, blow!'

Blithe as a boy on march'd the host
With droning pipe and clear-voiced harp;
At last above that southern coast
Rang out their war-steed's whinny sharp:
And up the sea-salt slopes they wound,
And airs once more of ocean quaff'd;
Those frosty woods, the blue wave's bound,
As though May touched them waved and laugh'd.
And thus they sang, 'To-morrow morn
Our eyes shall rest upon our foe:
Roll on, swift night, in silence borne,
And blow, thou breeze of sunrise, blow!'

Beside their watchfires couch'd all night
Some slept, some danced, at cards some play'd,
While, chanting on a central height
Of moonlit crag, the priesthood pray'd:
And some to sweetheart, some to wife
Sent message kind; while others told
Triumphant tales of recent fight,
Or legends of their sires of old.
And thus they sang, 'To-morrow morn
Our eyes at last shall see the foe:
Roll on, swift night, in silence borne,
And blow, thou breeze of sunrise, blow!'





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