Wandered from the Antrim hills,
Wandered from Killala's rills,
He could hear upon the breeze
Voices from the Irish seas.
Folk of Fochlad called to him
From their forest deep and dim;
And in vision little hands
Beckoned from the Irish lands,
Where the western billows spoke
With the Druid groves of oak.
Evermore their cry did seem
Calling, calling, through his dream:
"Hasten with the flower of truth,
Walk among us, holy youth!"
When he spread his dauntless sail
To the gladness of the gale,
Glowering demons, mile on mile,
Stood in league around the Isle,
Laughing out their crackling rage,
At the young, unfearing sage.
There with lifted cross he came,
Breathing low the Sacred Name,
And the demons, form by form,
Fled in fury down the storm.
Over the Isle his spirit went
Like fire across the firmament.
Kings at Tara caught the word,
Churl and kern and chieftain heard.
Lo, the Druid's mystic rod
Fell down withered before God!
With the frost he kindled fire;
Drove the snakes from brake and briar,
Hurling out the writhing brood
With the lightning of his rood.
Once he stooped, and with his hand
Traced a cross upon the sand;
Then a wonder—from the ground
Sprang a stream with silver sound;
And a blind man kneeling there
Laved his eyelids, whispering prayer.
Then on his relighted eyes
Rushed the splendor of the skies—
Flashed the water's glancing bubble—
Gleamed the gold across the stubble—
Shined the roads that have no ends—
Smiled the faces of old friends.
And when Patrick fell on sleep,
Twelve the days were, still and deep—
Twelve the days, with never a night,
Never a cloud across the light.
Angels chanted out the hours
Leaning from their sky-hung towers;
Like a garden blown to bloom
Was the sweetness round his tomb....
Fable, legend, all are true:
More than these did Patrick do!
For he cleared the serpent den,
Hiding in the hearts of men;
Letting Love's bright fountain spring
Into sweetest murmuring.
Yes, the wise, heroic breed
Bring us miracle indeed.
On the dark he left God's smile,
Lighting up Ierne's Isle;
And forever lives his name
As the rose upon her fame.