Heaven to me a mystic Erin is,
God’s sea-encircled dwelling, wholly lit
by its own inner and eternal day,
and all my birds of longing nest in it.
I pray to Patrick of the Trinity
to gain for me this isle of the Triune.
Grant me to turn my prow into its port
before the cycle of the next new moon.
I pray to Brigid, Mary of the Gael,
so clothe me with the Virgin it may be
that when my mantle sweeps against the waves
they may take heed to her tranquility.
Brendan the Voyageur I too implore:
through these dark waters take me to my goal.
As once you found my earthland, find for me
the unimagined homeland of my soul.
Have pity, saints of Erin; help my ship
out to the blessed isle! And till I be
anchored in God my postexilic Good,
O Columbkill the exile, pray for me.
Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
The Far Island (1946)
Note: Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. (Agnes Jessica Powers) was born in Mauston, Wisconsin and baptized there in St. Patrick’s Church. Her grandparents’ families were immigrants from County Waterford, Ireland.
Powers, J 1999, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Featured image: Ballinacourty Lighthouse near Dungarvan, County Waterford. Image credit: John Finn / Flickr (Some rights reserved)
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