Lough Erne beautiful and bright,
Thou still art in my fancied sight,
While twice ten thousand charms appear,
As fresh, as living and as near
As when I viewed thy summer smiles,
And sailed around thy verdant isles.
How fair thy ev'ry bay and creek.
From Wattle-bridge down to Belleek!
Where could I brighter scenes explore
Than down by Crom to Inishmore;
While opening beauties deck the scene
Adown by fertile Inniskeen;
Or on by Killyhevlin, where
Thy loveliness is doubly fair.
But let me linger for a while
On Enniskillen's crowded isle;
Where art and nature both unite
To paint a scene of rare delight.
Dear Enniskillen, famed in story,
Thou'lt never lose thy ancient glory!
For thy loved name shall ever be
The synonym of loyalty.
Portora! in that word there lies
All that could please delighted eyes;
There Art uprears a stately pile,
Where Nature shows her sweetest smile;
That Royal School, Fermanagh's pride,
Diffusing blessings far and wide;
Here many a youth the race began,
Which ended in the honored man;
And many a youth of humble name
Has reached the pinnacle of fame;
Whose first aspiring days were spent
In that far-famed establishment.
But let me seek the eastern shore,
Scenes more familiar to explore;
Where many a happy day I spent
Beneath that lofty Monument,
Erected for as brave a soul,
As ever bore the name of Cole.
Forthill, some of my sweetest hours
Were spent among thy sylvan bowers!
Sweet haunt of consummate delight,
Where all is pleasing to the sight--
Where beauty lingers to impart,
A thrill of pleasure in the heart.
Then Cornagrade, and Derrygore--
The pride of Erne's lovely shore;
Where lavish wealth attracts your view--
Where one among the favoured few
Has built a mansion, planted trees,
Perhaps has said, "Soul take thy ease!"
But whether he find ease or not,
His home is a delightful spot.
Beyond, upon a neck of land,
The ruins of a Castle stand.
'Tis said O'Reilly and his clan
Came there one night, and ev'ry man
They found within these walls they slew,
And then destroyed the Castle, too.
But other ruins meet your gaze,
Which point you back to former days;
When devastation marked the path
Of warriors bitter in their wrath.
Adown the lake another mile,
And Devenish, that treeless isle,
Is there with all its glory gone;
And yet we still may gaze upon
The old Round Tower, tap'ring high,
And pointing upward to the sky.
But when or why it was uprear'd,
Some guess, but who has yet declared?
While some, may be, are reconciled
With what they have been told of Wilde.
Close by, some Gothic structures stand,
Still in their ruins sacred, grand
Whilst all around are relics spread,
And scattered o'er the sleeping dead.
Old Devenish, sweet, hallowed spot!
Tho' distant thou art not forgot.
But it would too much time consume
Were I to tell of Castle Hume--
Of Ely Lodge, of old Monea,
Of Riversdale and Inishway:
Or Tully Castle which Maguire
So cruelly destroyed with fire;
And put to death each inmate there--
For ah! his wrath knew not to spare.
But all is past, and peace prevails
Throughout Fermanagh's fertile vales.
Here Castle Archdall stands in view,
And there is Castlecaldwell too--
But ev'ry headland, creak and isle
Is beautified with nature's smile;
While pleasure, health and peace abound,
On all the lovely banks around.
The scenery of Ireland
Is varied, beautiful and grand;
But Erne and its numerous isles,
Show beauty in her witching smiles;
And throw a charm serenely fair
Around your heart to hold you there.
Thus, tho' far from these scenes removed,
And from the social friends I loved;
Yet oft my wandering thoughts explore
The beauties of Lough Erne shore.