Arran of many stags!
Her very shoulders washed by ocean’s foam;
Of companies of hardy men the home,
Whose blue spears reddened oft along her crags
Where the quick-leaping deer doth roam.
Beneath her russet oaks the acorns fall,
Cool water in her streams, and, scattered all,
Dark berries lurk, like down-dropped hidden tears,
Beneath her slowly-moving grasses tall.
Greyhounds there were in her, and beagles brown;
And, when the winding horn her stillness shocks,
From out the friendly shelter of her rocks
The startled stag leaps down.
Around her noble crags, in thickening flocks,
To one another wheeling sea-mews cry;
Yet, all unmoved, the fawns feed silently,
Unconscious of the storm-cloud’s gathering frown
That spreads across the leaden autumn sky.
Smooth were her level lands and sleek her swine,
Cheerful her fields (true is the tale I tell)
The heavy hazel-boughs remembered well,
The purple crop, where bramble-trails entwine.
Above the nestling homesteads of the dell.
Her whispering streams, her clear deep pools I miss,
Where brown trout browse beneath the fairy liss;
Pleasant thine isle, Arran of bounding stags,
On such a sultry summer’s day as this.
-The Poem-Book of the Gael-
Photograph: George Shiras