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ST. COLUMBA IN IONA, by                    
First Line: Delightful would it be to me
Last Line: No evil shall undo me
Subject(s): "iona, Scotland;nature;


[From an Irish manuscript in the Burgundian Library, Brussels.]

Delightful would it be to me
From a rock pinnacle to trace
Continually
The ocean's face;
That I might watch the heaving waves
Of noble force
To God the Father chant their staves
Of the earth's course;
That I might mark its level strand,
To me no lone distress,
That I might hark the sea-bird's wondrous band--
Sweet source of happiness;
That I might hear the clamorous billows thunder
On the rude beach,
That by my blessed church side I might ponder
Their mighty speech,
Or watch surf-flying gulls the dark shoal follow
With joyous scream,
Or mighty ocean monsters spout and wallow--
Wonder supreme!

That I might well observe of ebb and flood
All cycles therein;
And that my mystic name might be for good
But "Cul-ri, Erin."
That gazing toward her on my heart might fall
A full contrition,
That I might then bewail my evils all,
Though hard the addition;
That I might bless the Lord who all things orders
For their great good;
The countless hierarchies through Heaven's bright borders--
Land, strand and flood.

That I might search all books and from their chart
Find my soul's calm;
Now kneel before the heaven of my heart,
Now chant a psalm;
Now meditate upon the King of Heaven,
Chief of the Holy Three;
Now ply my work, by no compulsion driven.
What greater joy could be?
Now plucking dulse upon the rocky shore,
Now fishing eager on,
Now furnishing food unto the famished poor;
In hermitage anon.
The guidance of the King of Kings
Hath been vouchsafed unto me;
If I keep watch beneath His wings,
No evil shall undo me.





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