I found in Innisfail the fair
I found in Innisfail the fair,
in Ireland while in exile there,
women of worth, both grave and gay men,
many clerics and many laymen.
I travelled its fruitful provinces round,
and in every one of the five I found,
alike in church and in palace hall,
abundant apparel, and food for all.
Gold and silver I found, and money,
plenty of wheat and plenty of honey;
I found God's people rich in pity,
found many a feast and many a city.
I also found in Armagh, the splendid.
meekness, wisdom, and prudence blended,
fasting, as Christ hath recommended,
and noble councillors untranscended.
I found in each great church moreo'er,
whether on island or on shore,
piety, learning, fond affection,
holy welcome and kind protection.
I found the good lay monks and brothers
ever beseeching help for others,
and in their keeping the Holy Word,
pure as it came from Jesus the Lord.
I found in Munster, unfettered by any,
kings and queens and poets a many—
poets well skilled in music and measure,
prosperous doings, mirth and pleasure.
I found in the country of Conall the glorious,
bravest heroes, ever victorious;
fair complection men and warlike,
Ireland's lights, the high, the star-like!
I found in Ulster, from hill to glen,
hardy warriors, resolute men;
beauty that bloomed when youth was gone,
and strength transmitted from sire to son.
I found in the noble district of Boyle
Brehons, Erenachs, weapons bright,
and horsemen bold and sudden in fight.
I found besides, from Ara to Glea,
in the broad rich country of Ossory,
sweet fruits, good laws for all and each,
great chess-players, men of truthful speech.
I found in Meath's fair principality,
virtue, vigour, and hospitality,
candour, joyfulness, bravery, purity,
Ireland's bulwark and security.
I found strict morals in age and youth,
I found historians recording truth;
the things I sing of in verse unsmooth,
I found them all—I have written sooth.