THE SONG OF THE HEATHER
[Set to the air of " Brian Boru's March," by Dr. Charles Wood, Professor of Music at Cambridge.] A BLOSSOM there blows
That scoffs at the snows And faces, root-fast, The rage of the blast, Yet sweetens a sod No slave ever trod, Since the mountains upreared Their altars to God.
That Flower of the Free Is the Heather, the Heather ; It springs where the sea And the land leap together. Six Nations are we, Yet, beneath its proud feather, In heart we are one, Wheresoever we be.
Our blossom is red As the life-blood we've shed In Liberty's cause Under alien laws, When O'Neill and Lochiel And Liewelyn drew steel For Erin's and Alba's And Cambria's weal.
Then our couch when we tired
Was the Heather, the Heather : Its beacon we fired
In blue and black weather ; Its mead-cup inspired When we pledged it together To the king of our choice, Or the maid most admired.
Let the Saxon and Dane Bear rule o'er the plain ; On the hem of God's robe Is our sceptre and globe, For the Lord of all Light Stood revealed on the height And to Heaven from the Main Rose up in men's sight.
And the blossom and bud Of the Heather, the Heather, Is like His dear blood, Dropped hither and thither, From all evil to purge And evermore urge Each son of the Celt
To the goal of all good.
ALFRED ar-L, rasCIVAL GRAVES.