Yeats imagines a time when the Irish ruled Eire (Ireland). He envisions a green branch hung with bells. These bells sang in the weather - sometimes happy, sometimes sad - and charmed the people of Ireland away from their daily tasks to think upon them. Yeats suggests that however hard times may be in Ireland - where times can be very bad indeed - the bells and the memories they summon make one forget the petty injustice and bitterness of daily life.
Yeats touches upon a theme familiar in from the two preceding poems. Those poems suggested that it is worthwhile for the Irish to return to the eternities that follow from contemplating nature. This poem illustrates, in the image of the bell tree, how such contemplation can carry one away from the bitter cares of being Irish and reunite one with Ireland's mythic, peaceful past.
This poem is nostalgic for the old Eire (Gaelic for Ireland). Yeats imagines that peace existed in ancient Ireland, which is hard or even impossible to recapture after the arrival of the English. "A Book of Stories Selected from the Irish Novelists" thus describes a pre-colonized country, even before the invaders have withdrawn.
Munster and Connemara refer to two provinces which were designated before the English arrival. Munster is the southern province, while Connemara is an area in County Galway, facing the Atlantic Ocean.