Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
St. Patrick's Hymn before Tara (Author: James Clarence Mangan)


  1. At Tara to-day, in this awful hour,
    I call on the Holy Trinity!
    Glory to Him who reigneth in power,
    The God of the elements, Father and Son,
    And Paraclete Spirit, which Three are the One,
    The ever-existing Divinity!
  2. At Tara to-day I call on the Lord,
    On Christ the Omnipotent Word,
    Who came to redeem from Death and Sin
    Our fallen race;
    And I put and I place


    The virtue that lieth and liveth in
    His Incarnation lowly,
    His Baptism pure and holy,
    His life of toil, and tears, and affliction,
    His dolorous Death—His Crucifixion,
    His Burial, sacred and sad and lone,
    His Resurrection to life again.
    His glorious Ascension to Heaven's high Throne,
    And, lastly, his future dread
    And terrible coming to judge all men—
    Both the Living and Dead. . . .
  3. At Tara to-day I put and I place
    The virtue that dwells in the Seraphim's love,
    And the virtue and grace
    That are in the obedience
    And unshaken allegiance
    Of all the Archangels and angels above,
    And in the hope of the Resurrection
    To everlasting reward and election,
    And in the prayers of the Fathers of old,
    And in the truths the Prophets foretold,
    And in the Apostles' manifold preachings,
    And in the Confessors' faith and teachings,
    And in the purity ever dwelling
    Within the Immaculate Virgin's breast,
    And in the actions bright and excelling
    Of all good men, the just and the blest. . . .
  4. At Tara to-day, in this fateful hour,
    I place all Heaven with its power,
    And the sun with its brightness,
    And the snow with its whiteness,
    And fire with all the strength it hath,
    And lightning with its rapid wrath,


    And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
    And the sea with its deepness,
    And the rocks with their steepness,
    And the earth with its starkness,3
    All these I place,
    By God's almighty help and grace,
    Between myself and the Powers of Darkness.
  5. At Tara to-day
    May God be my stay!
    May the strength of God now nerve me!
    May the power of God preserve me!
    May God the Almighty be near me!
    May God the Almighty espy me!
    May God the Almighty hear me!
    May God give me eloquent speech!
    May the arm of God protect me!
    May the wisdom of God direct me!
    May God give me power to teach and to preach!
  6. May the shield of God defend me!
    May the host of God attend me,
    And ward me,
    And guard me,
    Against the wiles of demons and devils,
    Against the temptations of vices and evils,
    Against the bad passions and wrathful will
    Of the reckless mind and the wicked heart
    Against every man who designs me ill,
    Whether leagued with others or plotting apart!
  7. In this hour of hours,
    I place all those powers


    Between myself and every foe,
    Who threaten my body and soul
    With danger or dole,
    To protect me against the evils that flow
    From lying soothsayers' incantations,
    From the gloomy laws of the Gentile nations,
    From Heresy's hateful innovations,
    From Idolatry's rites and invocations,
    Be those my defenders,
    My guards against every ban,
    And spells of smiths, and Druids, and women;
    In fine, against every knowledge that renders
    The light Heaven sends us dim in
    The spirit and soul of Man!
    May Christ, I pray,
    Protect me to-day
    Against poison and fire
    Against drowning and wounding,
    That so, in His grace abounding,
    I may earn the Preacher's hire!
  8. Christ, as a light,
    Illumine and guide me!
    Christ, as a shield, o'ershadow and cover me
    Christ be under me! Christ be over me!
    Christ be beside me
    On left hand and right!
    Christ be before me, behind me, about me!
    Christ this day be within and without me!
  9. Christ, the lowly and meek,
    Christ, the All-powerful, be
    In the heart of each to whom I speak,
    In the mouth of each who speaks to me!
    In all who draw near me,
    Or see or hear me!

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  11. At Tara to-day, in this awful hour,
    I call on the Holy Trinity!
    Glory to Him who reigneth in power,
    The God of the Elements, Father and Son,
    And Paraclete Spirit, which Three are the One,
    The ever-existing Divinity!
  12. Salvation dwells with the Lord,
    With Christ, the Omnipotent Word.
    From generation to generation,
    Grant us, O Lord, thy grace and salvation!