The Swallows.

Captive on the Moorish shore,1
Bent with chains, a warrior lay.2
Are ye here,” he cried, “ once more,3
Birds who hate the winter’s day ?4
Swallows, whom sweet hope pursues5
Hither even across the sea,6
Doubtless ye of France have news7
Speak, oh speak of home to me !8
Three years have I pray’d for ruth9
That some token ye would bear10
From that vale which saw my youth11
Nursed in dreams so sweet and fair.12
Where a limpid stream winds round13
Many a freshest lilac-tree,14
Ye my cottage home have found15
Of that vale oh speak to me !16
One of you perchance was born17
’Neath the eaves of that dear cot !18
Of the mother there forlorn,19
You must then have mourn’d the lot.20
Dying, she may hope in vain21
My return each hour to see :22
Then she lists—then weeps again23
Of her love oh speak to me !24
Is my sister wedded yet ?25
Have you seen a nuptial throng26
Of our village youngsters met,27
Her to praise and bless in song ?28
And my youthful comrades—they29
Who took arms with me in glee,30
Have they reach’d their village, say ?31
Of these friends oh speak to me !32
Ah ! the stranger o’er their graves33
Now may foot it through the vale34
Those who fill my hearth he braves,35
Makes my mateless sister wail !36
Mine no mother may be more !37
Chains, still chains my lot must be :38
Swallows of my native shore,39
Speak ye of its woes to me !40