Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IRELAND; A SEASIDE PORTRAIT, by JOHN JAMES PIATT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

IRELAND; A SEASIDE PORTRAIT, by                    
First Line: A great, still shape, alone
Last Line: "fields without walls that all the people own!"
Subject(s): Ireland; Patriotism; Irish

A GREAT, still Shape, alone,
She sits (her harp has fallen) on the sand,
And sees her children, one by one, depart: --
Her cloak (that hides what sins beside her own!)
Wrapped fold on fold about her. Lo,
She comforts her fierce heart,
As wailing some, and some gay-singing go,
With the far vision of that Greater Land
Deep in the Atlantic skies,
Saint Brandan's Paradise!
Another Woman there,
Mighty and wondrous fair,
Stands on her shore-rock: -- one uplifted hand
Holds a quick-piercing light
That keeps long sea-ways bright;
She beckons with the other, saying "Come,
O landless, shelterless,
Sharp-faced with hunger, worn with long dis-
tress --
Come hither, finding home!
Lo, my new fields of harvest, open, free,
By winds of blessing blown,
Whose golden corn-blades shake from sea to sea --
Fields without walls that all the people own!"

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