[From Manx Melodies, 1922]


THE winds cried over the waters
And the waves cried up to the sky;
And the curlews cried in the darkness
Where surely land was nigh.

The cry went tip in the old time
From souls in a demon thrall;
But the winds' and the waves' and the curlews'
Was the oldest cry of all.

And men cried out in the darkness
To the god of the cruel sea,
To spare their souls in the tumult
And hear their anguished plea.

And the winds and the waves and the curlews
Went on with their endless call;
But the cry of the men for mercy
Was the saddest cry of all.

Mananan, Mac-y-Leir
Mananan, hear oh hear!
Mananan, god of the wave
Mananan, hear and save !

From the might of the sea in the deep of the night,
From the roar in the darkness, the madness of fright,
From the Powers of Ill in the hopeless fight-
Mananan, hear and save!

Is there never an answer heard?
Never an answering word?
Never a hand to save-
Nought but the cruel wave.

In the might of the sea they were drowned deep,
In the roar of the darkness they sank to sleep,
And the wives and the children were left to weep-
And Mananan could not save.

THE Saints came over from Ireland,
And they heard the curlews cry,
And they knew that in mist and darkness
The land was surely nigh.

Far spent they were and weary
With battling the salt-sea wave,
And far was their home in Ireland
And ever the coracle drave.

And they heard the voice of the waters
And the storm winds took no rest;
But the curlews still were crying
And still they held their quest.

For Patrick had spoken in Ireland
And sent them on their way
To seek through the salt sea-waters
For the Hill of the Rising Day.

But grey was the sea around them
And grey was the mist before,
And full was the air with voices
But never a glimpse of shore.

And ever a space was rifted
By shadowy demon hands
And they watched the Powers of Evil
Warring in grisly bands.

Then Romuil said, " We have battled
And fought through the weary hours
And the mist that is folded around us
May save us from Evil Powers.

We will battle and fight no longer
No masterless men are we;
But rest in the Hand of our Master
Who ruleth all Powers that be."

And they laid them down in the darkness
Nor heeded the leaping wave;
And their sleep was the sleep of children
While ever the coracle drave.

And the winds and the waves and the waters
Went on with their endless call,
But the cry of the men for mercy
Went up to the Power of all.

And behold on the wings of the morning
They floated in Dalby Cove,
And the mist was riven before them
And the sun shone out above.

So the Saints came over from Ireland
To break the demon sway,
And the Light sprang out of the darkness
On the Hill of the Rising Day.


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HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2004