A gray town in a country bare,
The leaden seas between,
When light falls on the hills of Clare
And shows their valleys green,
Take in my heart your place again
Between your lake and sea,
O city of the watery plain
That means so much to me!
Your cut-stone houses row on row,
Your streams too deep to sing,
Whose waters shine with green as though
They had dissolved the Spring:
Your streets that still bring into view
The harbour and its spars;
The chimneys with the turf-smoke blue
That never hides the stars!
It is not very long since you,
For Memory is long,
Saw her I owe my being to
And heart that takes to song,
Walk with a row of laughing girls
To Salthill from Eyre Square,
Light from the water on their curls
That never lit more fair.
Again may come your glorious days
Your ships come back to port,
And to your city’s shining ways
The Spanish dames resort!
And ere the tidal water falls
Your ships put out to sea.
Like crimson roses on grey walls,
Your memories to me.