The Fifteen Acres

James Stephens was an Irish Republican and the founding member of an originally unnamed revolutionary organisation in Dublin on 17 March 1858, later to become known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood, also referred to as the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood by contemporaries.






I
I cling and swing
On a branch, or sing
Through the cool, clear hush of Morning, O!
Or fling my wing
On the air, and bring
To sleepier birds a warning, O!
That the night's in flight,
And the sun's in sight,
And the dew is the grass adorning, O!
And the green leaves swing
As I sing, sing, sing,
Up by the river,
Down the dell,
To the little wee nest,
Where the big tree fell,
So early in the morning, O!

II
I flit and twit
In the sun for a bit
When his light so bright is shining, O!
Or sit and fit
My plumes, or knit
Straw plaits for the nest's nice lining, O!
And she with glee
Shows unto me
Underneath her wings reclining, O!

And I sing that Peg
Has an egg, egg, egg,
Up by the oat-field,
Round by the mill,
Past the meadow,
Down the hill,
So early in the morning, O!

III
I stoop and swoop
On the air, or loop
Through the trees, and then go soaring, O!
To group with a troop
On the gusty poop
While the wind behind is roaring, O!
I skim and swim
By a cloud's red rim
And up to the azure flooring, O!
And my wide wings drip
As I slip, slip, slip,
Down through the rain-drops,
Back where Peg
Broods in the nest
On the little white egg,
So early in the morning, O!

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