The Recluse of Inchidoney

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Once more I’m free — the city’s din is gone,
And with it wasted days and weary nights;
But bitter thoughts will sometimes rush upon
The heart that ever lov’d its sounds or sights.
To you I fly, lone glens and mountain heights,
From all I hate and much I love — no more
Than this I seek, amid your calm delights,
To learn my spirit’s weakness to deplore,
To strive against one vice, and gain one virtue more.

How firm are our resolves, how weak our strife!
We seldom man ourselves enough to brave
The syren tones that o’er the sea of life,
Breathe dangerously sweet from pleasure’s cave;
False are the lights she kindles o’er the wave;
Man knows her beacon’s fatal gleam nor flies,
But as the bird, which flight alone could save,
Still loves the serpent’s fascinating eyes,
Man seeks that dangerous light, and in th’ enjoyment dies.

But even when pleasure’s cup the brightest glow’d
And to her revel loudest was the call,
I felt her palace was not my abode,
I feared the handwriting upon the wall,
And said, amidst my blindness and my thrall,
Could I, as he of Nazareth did do,
But grasp the pillars of her dazzling hall,
And feel again the strength that once I knew,
I’d crumble her proud dome, tho’ I should perish too.

Is it existence ‘mid the giddy throng
Of those who live but o’er the midnight bowl,
To revel in the dance, the laugh, the song,
And all that chains to earth th’ immortal soul—
To breathe the tainted air of days that roll
In one dark round of vice — to hear the cries
Indignant virtue lifts to Glory’s goal,
When with unfettered pinion she would rise
To deeds that laugh at death and live beyond the skies?

Not such at least should be the poet’s life;
Heaven to his soul a nobler impulse gave.
His be the dwelling where there is no strife,
Save the wild conflict of the wind and wave;
His be the music of the ocean cave
When gentle waves, forgetful of their war,
Its rugged breast with whispering fondness lave,
And as he gazes on the evening star,
His heart will heave with joys the world can never mar.

O Nature! what art thou that thus can’st pour
Such tides of holy feeling round the heart?—
In all thy various works at every hour,
How sweet the transport which thy charms impart!
But sweetest to the pensive soul thou art,
In this calm time to man in mercy given;
When the dark mists of Passion leave the heart,
And the free soul, her earthly fetters riven,
Spreads her aspiring wing and seeks her native heaven.

There is a bitterness in man’s reproach,
Even when his voice is mildest, and we deem
That on our heaven-born freedom they encroach,
And with their frailties are not what they seem;
But the soft tones in star, in flower, or stream,
Over the unresisting bosom gently flow,
Like whispers which some spirit in a dream,
Brings from her heaven to him she loved below,
To chide and win his heart from earth, and sin, and woe.

Who, that e’er wandered in the calm blue night,
To see the moon upon some silent lake,
And as it trembled to her kiss of light,
Heard low soft sounds from its glad waters break—
Who that looked upward to some mountain peak,
That rose disdaining earth — or o’er the sea
Sent eye, sent thought in vain its bounds to seek,—
Who thus could gaze, nor wish his soul might be
Like those great works of God, sublime, and pure, and free!

Do I still see them, love them, live at last
Alone with Nature here to walk unseen?
To look upon the storms that I have pass’d
And think of what I might be or have been?
To read my life’s dark page? — O beauteous queen!
That won my boyish heart, and made me be
Thy inspiration’s child — if on this green
And sea-girt hill I feel my spirit free,
Next to yon ocean’s God, the praise be all to thee.

Spirit of Song! since first I wooed thy smile,
How many a sorrow hath this bosom known,
How many false ones did its truth beguile,
From thee and nature, while around it strewn
Lay shattered hopes and feelings, thou alone
Above my path of darkness brightly rose,
Yielding thy light when other light was gone;
O be thou still the soother of my woes,
‘Till the low voice of Death shall call me to repose!

I’ve seen the friend, whose faith I thought was proved,
Like one he knew not pass me heedless by;
I’ve marked the coldness of the maid I lov’d,
And felt the chill of her once beaming eye:
The bier of fond ones has received my sigh.
Yet am I not abandoned if among
The chosen few whose names can never die
Thy smile shall light me life’s dark waste along,
No friend but this wild lyre — no heritage but song.

‘Tis a delightful calm! there is no sound
Save the low murmur of the distant rill;
A voice from heaven is breathing all around,
Bidding the earth and restless man be still.
Soft sleeps the moon on Inchidony’s hill,
And on the shore the shining ripples break,
Gently and whisperingly at Nature’s will,
Like some fair child that on its mother’s cheek
Sinks fondly to repose in kisses pure and meek.

‘Tis sweet, when Earth and Heaven such silence keep,
With pensive step to gain some headland’s height,
And look across the wide extended deep,
To where its farthest waters sleep in light;
Or gaze upon those orbs so fair and bright,
Still burning on in Heaven’s unbounded space,
Like Seraphs bending o’er life’s dreary night,
And with their look of love, their smile of peace,
Wooing the weary soul to her high resting-place.

Such was the hour the harp of Judah pour’d
Those strains no lyre of earth had ever rung,
When to the God his trembling soul adored
O’er the rapt chords the minstrel monarch hung—
Such was the time when Jeremiah sung
With more than Angel’s grief, the sceptre torn
From Israel’s land, the desolate streets among
Ruin gave back his cry ’till cheerless morn,
“Return thee to thy God — Jerusalem, return!”

Fair moon, I too have loved thee, love thee still,
Tho’ life to me hath been a chequered scene
Since first, with boyhood’s bound, I climb’d the Hill
To see the dark wave catch the silvery sheen;
Or when I sported on my native green
With many an innocent heart beneath thy ray,
Careless of what might come or what had been,
When passions slept and virtue’s holy ray
Shed its unsullied light round childhood’s lovely day.

Yes, I have loved thee; and while others spent
This hour of Heaven above the midnight bowl,
Oft to the lonely beach my steps were bent
That I might gaze on thee without control,
That I might watch the white clouds round thee roll
Their drapery of Heaven thy smiles to veil,
As if too pure for man, ’till o’er my soul
Came that sweet sadness none can e’er reveal,
But passion’d bosoms know, for they alone can feel.

O that I were once more what I was then,
With soul unsullied and with heart unsear’d!
Before I mingled with the herd of men
In whom all trace of man had disappear’d;
Before the calm pure morning star that cheer’d
And sweetly lured me on to virtue’s shrine
Was clouded — or the cold green turf was rear’d
Above the hearts that warmly beat to mine!
Could I be, that once more I need not now repine.

What form is that in yonder anchor’d bark
Facing the lonely deck, when all beside
Are hush’d in sleep? — tho’ undefined and dark,
His bearing speaks him one of birth and pride;
Now he leans o’er the vessel’s landward side,
This way his eye is turn’d — hush, did I hear
A voice as if some lov’d one just had died?
‘Tis from yon ship that wail comes on mine ear,
And now o’er ocean’s sleep it floats distinct and clear.

On Cleada’s hill the moon is bright,
Dark Avondu still rolls in light,
All changeless is that mountain’s head
That river still seeks ocean’s bed,
The calm blue waters of Loch Lene
Still kiss their own sweet isles of green;
But where’s the heart as firm and true
As hill, or lake, or Avondu?

It may not be, the firmest heart
From all it loves must often part,
A look, a word will quench the flame
That time or fate could never tame,
And there are feelings proud and high
That thro’ all changes cannot die,
That strive with love, and conquer too;
I knew them all by Avondu.

How cross and wayward still is fate
I’ve learn’d at last, but learned too late;
I never spoke of love, ’twere vain,
I knew it, still I dragg’d my chain;
I had not, never had a hope,
But who ‘gainst passion’s tide can cope?
Headlong it swept this bosom thro’
And left it waste by Avondu.

O Avondu, I wish I were
As once upon that mountain bare,
Where thy young waters laugh and shine
On the wild breast of Meenganine,
I wish I were by Cleada’s hill,
Or by Glenluachra’s rushy rill;
But no! I nevermore shall view
Those scenes I loved by Avondu.

Farewell ye soft and purple streaks
Of evening on the beauteous Reeks,
Farewell ye mists that lov’d to ride
On Cahir-bearna’s stormy side,
Farewell November’s moaning breeze,
Wild Minstrel of the dying trees,
Clara! a fond farewell to you,
No more we meet by Avondu.

No more — but thou, O glorious hill!
Lift to the moon thy forehead still,
Flow on, flow on, thou dark swift river
Upon thy free wild course for ever,
Exult young hearts in lifetime’s spring
And taste the joys pure love can bring,
But wanderer go — they’re not for you!
Farewell, farewell, sweet Avondu.

To-morrow’s breeze shall swell the sail
That bears me far from Inisfail;
But, lady, when some happier youth
Shall see thy worth and know thy truth,
Some lover of thy native land
Shall woo thy heart and win thy hand,
Oh, think of him who loved thee too,
And loved in vain by Avondu.

One hour, my bark and I shall be
All friendless on th’ unbounded sea,
No voice to cheer me but the wave
And winds that thro’ the cordage rave,
No star of hope to light me home,
No track but ocean’s trackless foam—
‘Tis sad — no matter, all is gone—
Ho, there, my lads! weigh quick and on!

Stranger, thy lay is sad. I too have felt
That which for worlds I would not feel again,
At beauty’s shrine devoutly have I knelt,
And sigh’d my prayer of love but sigh’d in vain;
Yet ’twas not coldness, falsehood, or disdain
That crush’d my hopes and cast me far away,
Like shatter’d bark upon a stormy main;
‘Twas pride, the heritage of sin and clay
Which darkens all that’s bright, in young Love’s sunny day.

‘Tis past — I’ve conquered, and my bonds are broke,
Tho’ in the conflict well-nigh broke my heart;
Man cannot tear him from so sweet a yoke
Without deep wounds that long will bleed and smart.
Lov’d one, but lost one! — yes, to me thou art
As some fair vision of a dream now flown,
A wayward fate hath made us meet and part,
Yet have we parted nobly: be mine own
The grief that e’er we met — that e’er I live alone!

But man was born for suffering, and to bear
Even pain is better than a dull repose;
‘Tis noble to subdue the rising tear,
‘Tis glorious to outlive the heart’s sick throes;
Man is most man amidst the heaviest woes,
And strongest when least human aid is given:
The stout bark flounders when the tempest blows,
The mountain oak is by the lightning riven,
But what can crush the mind that lives alone with heaven?

Deep in the solitude of his own heart
With his own thoughts he’ll hold communion high,
Tho’ with his fortune’s ebb false friends depart
And leave him on life’s desert shore to lie,
Tho’ all forsake him and the world belie—
The world, that fiend of scandal, strife, and crime—
Yet has he that which cannot change or die,
His spirit still thro’ fortune, fate, and time,
Lives like an Alpine peak, lone, stainless, and sublime.

Well spoke the moralist who said, “The more
I mixed with men the less a man I grew;”
Who can behold their follies nor deplore
The many days he prodigally threw
Upon their sickening vanities? Ye few
In whom I sought for men, nor sought in vain,
Proud without pride, in friendship firm and true,
Oh! that some far-off island of the main
Held you and him you love — the wish is but a pain.

My wishes are all such — no joy is mine
Save thus to stray my native wilds among,
On some lone hill an idle verse to twine
Whene’er my spirit feels the gusts of song:
They come but fitfully nor linger long;
And this sad harp ne’er yields a tone of pride,
Its voice ne’er pour’d the battle-tide along
Since freedom sunk beneath the Saxon’s stride,
And by the assassin’s steel the grey-hair’d Desmond died.

Ye deathless stories and immortal songs,
That live triumphant o’er the waste of time,
To whose inspiring breath alone belongs
To bid man’s spirit walk on earth sublime,
Know his own worth, and nerve his heart to climb
The mountain steeps of glory and of fame:
How vainly would my cold and feeble rhyme
Burst the deep slumber, or light up the shame
Of men who still are slaves amid your voice of flame!

Yet outcast of the nations, lost one yet,
How can I look on thee nor try to save,
Or in thy degradation all forget,
That ’twas thy breast that nurs’d me tho’ a slave?
Still do I love thee for the life you gave,
Still shall this harp be heard above thy sleep,
Free as the wind and fearless as the wave;
Perhaps in after days thou yet may’st leap,
As strains unheeded now when I lie cold and deep.

Sad one of Desmond, could this feeble hand
But teach thee tones of freedom and of fire,
Such as were heard o’er Hellas’ glorious land,
From the high Lesbian harp or Chian lyre,
Thou should’st not wake to sorrow, but aspire
To themes like their’s; but yonder see where hurl’d
The crescent prostrate lies — the clouds retire
From freedom’s heaven — the cross is wide unfurl’d,
There breaks again that light — the beacon of the World.

Is it a dream that mocks thy cheerless doom?
Or host thou heard, fair Greece, her voice at last,
And brightly bursting from thy mouldering tomb,
Hast thou thy shroud of ages from thee cast?
High swelling in Cantabria’s mountains blast,
And Lusitanian hills that summons rung
Like the Archangel’s voice; and as it past,
Quick from their death-sleep many a nation sprung,
With hearts by freedom fir’d and hands for freedom strung.

Heavens! ’tis a lovely soul-entrancing sight
To see thy sons careering o’er that wave,
Which erst in Salamis’ immortal fight,
Bore their proud galleys ‘gainst the Persian slave:
Each billow then that was a tyrant’s grave
Now bounds exulting round their gallant way,
Joyous to feel once more the free — the brave
High lifted on their breast — as on that day
When Hellas’ shout peal’d high along her conquering bay.

Nursling of freedom! from her mountain nest
She early taught thine eagle wing to soar,
With eye undazzled and with fearless breast,
To heights of glory never reached before.
Far on the cliff of time, all grand and hoar,
Proud of her charge thy lofty deeds she rears
With her own deathless trophies blazon’d o’er,
As mind-marks for the gaze of after years—
Vainly they journey on — no match for thee appears.

But be not thine, fair land, the dastard strife
Of yon degenerate race. Along their plains
They heard that call — they started into life—
They felt their limbs a moment free from chains
The foe came on: — but shall the minstrel’s strains
Be sullied by the story? — hush, my lyre;
Leave them amidst the desolate waste that reigns
Round tyranny’s dark march of lava fire—
Leave them amid their shame, their bondage, to expire.

Oh, be not thine such strife! — there heaves no sod
Along thy fields but hides a hero’s head;
And when you charge for freedom and for God,
Then — then be mindful of the mighty dead!
Think that your field of battle is the bed
Where slumber hearts that never fear’d a foe,
And while you feel at each electric tread
Their spirit thro’ your veins indignant glow,
Strong be your sabres sway for Freedom’s vengeful blow.

Oh, sprung from those who by Eurotas dwelt,
Have we forgot their deeds on yonder plain,
When pouring through the pass, the Persian felt
The band of Sparta was not there in vain?
Have ye forgot how o’er the glorious slain
Greece bade her bard the immortal story write?
Oh, if your bosoms one proud thought retain
Of those who perished in that deathless fight,
Awake, like them be free, or sleep with names as bright.

Relics of heroes, from your glorious bed
Amid your broken slumbers, do you feel
The rush of war loud thundering o’er your head?
Hear ye the sound of Hellas’ charging steel?
Hear ye the victor cry — the Moslem reel?
On Greeks, for freedom on — they fly! they fly!
Heav’ns! how the aged mountains know that peal,
Thro’ all their echoing tops while grand and high
Thermopylae’s deep voice gives back the proud reply.

Oh, for the pen of him whose bursting tear
Of childhood told his fame in after days,
Oh, for that Bard to Greece and freedom dear,
The Bard of Lesbos with his kindling lays,
To hymn, regenerate land, thy lofty praise,
Thy brave unaided strife — to tell the shame
Of Europe’s freest sons who, ‘mid the rays
Thro’ time’s far vista blazing from thy name,
Caught no ennobling glow from that immortal flame.

Not even the deeds of him who late afar
Shook the astonished nations with his might,
Not even the deeds of her whose wings of war
Wide o’er the ocean stretch their victor flight,—
Not they shall rise with half the unbroken light
Above the waves of time fair Greece as thine;
Earth never yet produced in Heaven’s high sight,
Thro’ all her climates offerings so divine
As thy proud sons have paid at Freedom’s sacred shrine.

Ye isles of beauty, from your dwelling blue
Lift up to Heaven that shout unheard too long;
Ye mountains steep’d in glory’s distant hue,
If with you lives the memory of that song
Which freedom taught you, the proud strain prolong,
Echo each name that in her cause had died,
‘Till grateful Greece enrol them with the throng
Of her illustrious sons, who on the tide
Of her immortal verse eternally shall glide.

And be not his forgot, the ocean bard
Whose heart and harp in Freedom’s cause were strong,
For Greece self-exiled, seeking no reward,
Tyrtaeus of his time for Greece he sung:
For her on Moslem spears his breast he flung.
Many bright names in Hellas met renown;
But brighter ne’er in song or story rung
Than his, who late for freedom laid him down,
And with the Minstrel’s wreath entwined her martyr’s crown.

That Minstrel sings no more! From yon sad isles
A voice of wail was heard along the deep,
Britannia caught the sound amid her smiles,
Forgot her triumph songs and turned to weep.
Vainly her grief is pour’d above his sleep,
He feels it, hears it not! — the pealing roar
Of the deep thunder and the tempest’s sweep,
That called his spirit up so oft before,
May shout to him in vain — their Minstrel wakes no more!

That moment heard ye the despairing shriek
Of Missolonghi’s daughters? did ye hear
That cry from all the Islands of the Greek,
And the wild yell of Suli’s mountaineer?
Th’ Illyrian starting, dropp’d his forward spear,
The fierce Chimariot lent upon his gun,
From his stern eye of battle dropp’d the tear
For him who died that Freedom might be won
For Greece and all her race. ‘Tis gain’d, but he is gone.

Too short he dwelt amongst us and too long.
Where is the bard of earth will now aspire
To soar so high upon the wing of song?
Who shall inherit now his soul of fire—
His spirit’s dazzling light? — vain man retire
‘Mid the wild heath of Albyn’s loneliest glen,
Leave to the winds that now forsaken lyre,
Until some angel-bard come down again
And wake once more those strains, too high, too sweet for men.

The sun still sets along Morea’s hill,
The moon still rises o’er Cithaeron’s height;
But where is he, the bard whose matchless skill
Gave fresher beauty to their march of light?
The blue Aegean, o’er whose waters bright
Was pour’d so oft the enchantment of his strain,
Seeks him; and thro’ the wet and starless night
The Peaks-of-thunder flash and shout in vain
For him who sung their strength: he ne’er shall sing again.

What tho’ descended from a lofty line
Earths highest honours waited his command,
And bright his father’s coronet did shine
Around his brow, he scorn’d to take his stand
With those whose names must die — a nobler band,
A deathless fame his ardent bosom fired,
From Glory’s mount he saw the promised land
To which his anxious spirit long aspired,
And then, in Freedom’s arms exulting, he expired.

You who delight to censure feeble man,
Wrapt in self-love to your own failings blind,
Presume not with your narrow view to scan
The aberrations of a mighty mind;
His course was not the path of human-kind,
His destinies below were not the same,
With passions headlong as the tempest-wind
His spirit wasted in its own strong flame,
A wandering star of Heaven, he’s gone from whence he came.

But while the sun looks down upon those Isles
That laugh in beauty o’er the Aegean deep,
Long as the moon shall shed her placid smiles
Upon the fields where Freedom’s children sleep—
Long as the bolt of Heaven — the tempest’s sweep
‘With Rhodope or Athos war shall wage,
And its triumphant sway the cross shall keep
Above the crescent, even from age to age
Shall Byron’s name shine bright on Hellas’ deathless page.

Bard of my boyhood’s love, farewell to thee!
I little deem’d that e’er my feeble lay
Should wait thy doom — those eyes so soon should see
The clouding of thy spirit’s glorious ray;
Fountain of beauty, on life’s desert way
Too soon thy voice is hush’d, thy waters dried:
Eagle of song, too short thy pinion’s sway
Career’d in its high element of pride,
Weep, blue-eyed Albyn, weep! with him thy glory died!

Oh, could my lyre this inexperienced hand,
Like that high master-bard, thy spirit sway,
Not such weak tributes should its touch command—
Immortal as the theme should be thy lay;
But meeter honours loftier harps shall pay,
The harps of freeborn men — enough for me
If as I journey on life’s weary way,
Mourner, I rest awhile to weep with thee
O’er him who loved our land, whose voice would make her free.

My country, must I still behold thy tears
And watch the sorrows of thy long dark night?
No sound of joy thy desolation cheers,
Thine eyes have look’d in vain for freedom’s light;
Then set thy sun and withered all thy might
When first you stooped beneath the Saxon yoke;
And thy high harp, that called to freedom’s fight,
Since then forgot the strains that once it woke,
And like the Banshee’s cry of death, alone hath spoke.

Is this the Atlantic that before me rolls
In its eternal freedom round thy shore?
Hath its grand march no moral yet for souls?
Is there no sound of glory in its roar?
Must man alone be abject evermore?
Slave! hast thou ever gaz’d upon that sea
When the strong wind its wrathful billows bore
‘Gainst earth? did not their mission seem to be
To lash thee into life, and teach thee to be free?

But no! thine heart is broke, thine arm is weak,
Who thus could see God’s image not to sigh;
Famine hath ploughed his journeys on thy cheek,
Despair hath made her dwelling in thine eye;
The lordly Churchman rides unheeding by,
He fattens on the sweat that dries thy brain,
The very dogs that in their kennels lie
Hold revels to thy fare! but don’t complain
He has the cure of souls — the law doth so ordain.

But you’re not all abandoned: there are some
Whose tender bowels groan to see your case.
Rejoice, rejoice, the men of Bibles come—
There’s pity beaming in their meek mild face!
Come, starve no longer now, poor famished race,
A bellyful from heaven shall now be thine,
Open your mouths and chew the words of grace—
There — is not that rent, clothes, and meat and wine?
Thanks to the Lord’s beloved — I wonder do they dine.

Oh ye who loved them faithfully and long,
Even when the fagot blazed, the sword did rave,
In sorrow’s night who bid their hearts be strong,
And died defending the high truths ye gave—
Ye dwellers of the mountain and the cave,
If lay of mine survive the waste of time,
Your praises shall be hymned on land and wave,
Till Christ’s young soldiers in each distant clime
Shall guard the cross like you, and tread your march sublime.

Ye watchers on the eternal city’s walls,
Ye warders of Jerusalem’s high towers,
When have your nights been spent in luxury’s halls
Or your youth’s strength consumed in pleasure’s bowers?
Earth’s gardens have for you no fruits, no flowers—
Your path is one of thorns. The world may frown
And hate you, but whene’er its war-cloud lowers,
Stand to your arms again, nor lay them down
Till the High Chief you serve shall call you to your crown.

Could England’s sons but see what I have seen—
Your wretched fare when home at night you go,
Your cot of mud where never sound has been
But groans of famine, of disease, and woe,
Your naked children shivering in the snow,
The wet cold straw on which your limbs recline—
Saw they but these their wealth they would forego,
To know you still retain’d one spark divine,
To hear your mountain shout and see your charging line.

England, thou freest, noblest of the world!
O may the minstrel never live to see
Against thy sons the flag of green unfurl’d,
Or his own land thus aim at liberty;
May their sole rivalry for ever be
Such as the Gallic despot dearly knew,
When English hearts and Irish chivalry
Strove who should first be where the eagle flew,
And high their conquering shout arose o’er Waterloo.

But prison’d winds will round their caverns sweep
Until they burst them, then the hills will quake
The lava-rivers will for ages sleep,
But nations tremble when in wrath they wake.
Erin has hearts by mountain, glen, and lake,
That wrongs or favours never can forget:
If lov’d they’ll die for you, but trampled, break
At last their long dark silence — you have met
Their steel in foreign fields, they’ve hands can wield it yet!

Too long on such dark themes my song hath run;
Eugenio, ’tis meet it now should end.
It was no lay of gladness, but ’tis done,
I bid farewell to it and thee my friend:
I do not hope that the cold world will lend
To sad and selfish rhymes a patient ear,
Enough for me if, while I darkly bend
O’er my own troubled thoughts, one heart is near
That feels my joy or grief with sympathy sincere.

I have not suffer’d more than worthier men,
Nor of my share of ill do I complain;
But other hearth will find some refuge when
Above them lower the gathering clouds of pain.
The world has vanities, and man is vain;
The world has pleasures, and to these they fly.
I too have tried them, but they left a stain
Upon my heart; and as their tide roll’d by,
The cares I sought to drown emerged with sterner eye.

Thou hast not often seen my clouded brow;
The tear I strove with, thou hast never seen,
The load of life that did my spirit bow
Was hid beneath a calm or mirthful mien;
The wild flowers’ blossom and the dew-drops’ sheen
Will fling their light and beauty o’er the spot,
Where in its cold dark chamber, all unseen,
The water trickles through the lonely grot,
And weeps itself to stone — such long hath been my lot.

It matters not what was or is the cause,
I wish not even thy faithful breast to know
The grief which magnet-like my spirit draws
True to itself above life’s waves of woe,
The gleams of happiness I feel below,
Awhile may play around me and depart
Like sunlight on the eternal hills of snow,
It gilds their brow but never warms their heart,
Such cold and cheerless beam doth joy to me impart.

The night is spent, our task is ended now,
See yonder steals the green and yellow light,
The lady of the morning lifts her brow
Gleaming thro’ dews of heaven, all pure and bright,
The calm waves heave with tremulous delight,
The far Seven-Heads thro’ mists of purple smile,
The lark ascends from Inchidony’s height,
‘Tis morning — sweet one of my native Isle,
Wild voice of Desmond hush — go rest thee for awhile.

[Gems of the Cork Poets (1883) 1-16]