Roderic Quinn

Here you will find the Poem The Circling Hearths of poet Roderic Quinn

The Circling Hearths

MY Countrymen, though we are young as yet 
With little history, nought to show 
Of lives enleagued against a foreign foe, 
Torn flags and triumph, glory or regret; 
Still some things make our kinship sweet, 
Some deeds inglorious but of royal worth, 
As when with tireless arms and toiling feet 
We felled the tree and tilled the earth. 
?Tis no great way that we have travelled since 
Our feet first shook the storied dust 
Of England from them, when with love and trust 
In one another, and large confidence 
In God above, our ways were ta?en 
?Neath alien skies?each keeping step in mind 
And soul and purpose to one trumpet strain, 
One urging music on the wind: 
Yet tears of ours have wet the dust, have wooed 
Some subtle green things from the ground? 
Like violets?only violets never wound 
Such tendrils round the heart: the solitude 
Has seen young hearts with love entwine; 
And many gentle friends gone down to death 
Have mingled with the dust, and made divine 
The very soil we tread beneath. 
Thus we have learned to love our country, learned 
To treasure every inch from foam 
To foam; to title her with name of Home; 
To light in her regard a flame that burned 
No land in vain, that calls the eyes 
Of men to glory heights and old renown; 
That wild winds cannot quench, nor thunder-skies 
Make dim, nor many waters drown. 
Six hearths are circled round our shores, and round 
The six hearths group a common race, 
Though leagues divide, the one light on their face; 
The same old songs and stories rise; the sound 
Of kindred voices and the dear 
Old English tongue make music; and men move 
From hearth to hearth with little fear 
Of aught save open arms and love. 
To keep these hearth-fires red, to keep the door 
Of each house wide?that is our part: 
Surely ?tis noble! Surely heart to heart, 
God?s love upon us and one goal before, 
Is something worth; something to win 
Our hearts to effort; something it were good 
To garner soon; and something ?twould be sin 
To cast aside in wanton mood. 
My Countrymen, hats off! with heart and will 
Thank God that you are free, and then 
Arise and don your nationhood like men, 
And manlike face the world for good or ill. 
Peace be to you, and in the tide 
Of years great plenty till Time?s course be run: 
Six Ploughmen in the same field side by side, 
But, if need be, six Swords as one.