Alice Milligan: Irish Woman Poet

Alice Milligan (1866 – 1953) was a Methodist from Tyrone, an Irish Nationalist and a poet, not necessarily in that order. She collaborated with Eithne Carberry on the Northern Patriot journal and published poems in the United Irishman. A Song of Freedom was included in A. E.’s anthology New Songs: A Lyric Selection.

A SONG OF FREEDOM

In Cavan of little lakes,
As I was walking with the wind.
And no one seen beside me there,
There came a song into my mind :
It came as if the whispered voice
Of one, but none of humankind,
Who walked with me in Cavan then,
And he invisible as wind.

On Urris, of Inish-Owen,
As I went up the mountainside,
The brook that came leaping down
Cried to me, for joy it cried ;
And when from off the summit far
I looked o’er land and water wide,
I was more joyous than the brook
That met me on the mountainside.

To Ara, of Connacht’s isles,
As I went sailing o’er the sea,
The wind’s word, the brook’s word,
The wave’s word, was plain to me
” As we are, though she is not.
As we are shall Banba be
There is no King can ride the wind
There is no fetter for the sea”

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