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To Rathlin's Isle I chanced to sail
when summer breezes softly blew,
And there I heard so sweet a tale,
that oft I wished it could be true.
They said, at eve, when rude winds sleep,
And hushed is ev'ry turbid swell,
A mermaid rises from the deep
And sweetly tunes her magic shell.

And while she plays, rock dell and cave
In dying falls the sound retain,
As if some choral spirits gave
Their aid to swell her witching strain.
Then summoned by that dulcet note,
Uprising to th' admiring view,
A fairy island seems to float
With tints of many a gorgeous hue.

And glittering fanes, and lofty tower,
All on this fairy isle are seen;
And waving trees, and shady bowers
With more than mortal verdure green.
And as it moves, the western sky
Glows with a thousand varying rays;
And the calm sea, tinged with each dye,
Seems like a golden flood of blaze.

They also say, if earth or stone,
From verdant Erin's hallowed land,
Were on this magic island thrown,
For ever fixed, it then would stand,
But, when for this, some little boat
In silence ventures from the shore,
The mermaid sinks-hushed is the note,
The fairy isle is seen no more!

The Enchanted Island
16th Century
Anonymous

 

 

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