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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

II. Scottish: Columcille Fecit

By Celtic Literature

(St. Columba Made It)

The following lines of St. Columba are taken from the ‘Lyra Celtica.’

DELIGHTFUL would it be to me to be in Uchd Ailiun

On the pinnacle of a rock,

That I might often see

The face of the ocean;

That I might see its heaving waves

Over the wide ocean,

When they chant music to their Father

Upon the world’s course;

That I might see its level sparkling strand,

It would be no cause of sorrow;

That I might hear the song of the wonderful birds,

Source of happiness;

That I might hear the thunder of the crowding waves

Upon the rocks;

That I might hear the roar by the side of the church

Of the surrounding sea;

That I might see its noble flocks

Over the watery ocean;

That I might see the sea monsters,

The greatest of all wonders;

That I might see its ebb and flood

In their career;

That my mystical name might be, I say,

Cul ri Erin [Back turned to Ireland];

That contrition might come upon my heart

Upon looking at her;

That I might bewail my evils all,

Though it were difficult to compute them;

That I might bless the Lord

Who conserves all,

Heaven with its countless bright orders,

Land, strand, and flood;

That I might search the books all,

That would be good for my soul;

At times kneeling to beloved Heaven;

At times psalm-singing;

At times contemplating the King of Heaven,

Holy the chief;

At times at work without compulsion,

This would be delightful;

At times plucking duilisc from the rocks;

At times at fishing;

At times giving food to the poor;

At times in a carcair [solitary cell];

The best advice in the presence of God

To me has been vouchsafed.

The King whose servant I am will not let

Anything deceive me.