The Three Roads [poem by Victor Daley]

[Editor: This poem by Victor Daley was published in The Bulletin Reciter, 1901.]

The Three Roads.

There is a town in Ireland,
A little town I know ;
Its girls have tender Irish eyes
Beneath their brows of snow ;
And in the fields around it
The Fairy Hawthorns grow.

O, the Hawthorn is a Queen
And the daughter of a King,
And amidst her branches green
The sweet brown thrushes sing.

And from that little city
Three roads forever run ;
And on those roads the people,
The father and the son,
The mother and the daughter,
Walk till the day is done.

O, the Hawthorn is a Queen
And the daughter of a King,
And amidst her branches green
The thrushes sadly sing.

One road runs to the seaport
Where stately vessels lie —
American, Australian —
The weeping exiles cry,
“Farewell to Grave and Hearthstone !
Dear Ireland — good-bye !”

O, the Hawthorn is a Queen
And the daughter of a King,
And amidst her branches green
“Farewell !” the thrushes sing.

One road it is a red, red road —
That road to England goes ;
The battle-drums are sounding,
The trump of battle blows,
And Ireland’s sons go forth to fight
Against Red England’s foes.

O, the Hawthorn is a Queen
And the daughter of a King,
And within her heart of green
The mournful thrushes sing.

One road it is a quiet road ;
They travel it full slow,
Their eyes are filled with sorrow,
The silent folk who go
To where the Stones of Silence
Are shining, row on row.

O, the Hawthorn is a Queen
And a Lady fair and grand,
And the thrushes sing the keen
Of the Dead — in Ireland.

Victor J. Daley.



Source:
A.G. Stephens (editor). The Bulletin Reciter: A Collection of Verses for Recitation from “The Bulletin” [1880-1901], The Bulletin Newspaper Company, Sydney, 1902 [first published 1901], pages 114-116

[Editor: Placed opening quotation mark before “Farewell to Grave”.]

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