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The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle ; No torch is kindled at its blaze
A funeral pile.
The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.
But 'tis not thus-and 'tis not here
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now Where glory decks the hero's bier,
Or binds his brow.
The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around me see ! The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.
Awake! (not Greece--she is awake !)
Awake, my spirit! Think through whom Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!
Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood !--unto thee Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.
If thou regret'st thy youth, why live ?
The land of honourable death
Away thy breath!
Seek out-less often sought than found
A soldier's grave, for thee the best ;
And take thy rest.
Born 1779. Died 1852.
MY BIRTHDAY. “My birthday !"—what a different sound
That word had in my youthful ears ! And now, each time the day comes round,
Less and less white its mark appears !
When first our seanty years are told,
That Time around him binds so fast,
How hard that chain will press at last !
Who said—“ Were he ordained to run
He would do all that he had done."
In sober birthdays speaks to me ;
Lavished unwisely, carelessly-
Haply for high and pure designs,
Upon unholy, earthly shrines !
Of wandering after Love too far,
That crossed my pathway, for his star.-
The imperfect picture o'er again,
The lights and shades, the joy and pain,
Which hath been more than wealth to me,
And kept till now unchangingly ;
Where Love's true light at last I found,
And comfortless, and stormy round !
DEAR HARP OF MY COUNTRY.
DEAR Harp of my Country ! in darkness I found thee,
The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long, When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee,
And gave all thy chords to light ! freedom, and song!
Have wakened thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill ;
That even in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.
This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine !
* Fontenelle : “Si je recomençais ma carrière, je ferai tout ce que j'ai fait.” Go, sleep with the sunshine of Fame on thy slumbers,
Till touched by some hand less unworthy than mine. If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover,
Have throbb'd at our lay, 'tis thy glory alone ; I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over,
And all the wild sweetness ak'd was thy own.
THIS WORLD IS ALL A FLEETING SHOW.
This world is all a fleeting show,
For man's illusion given ;
There's nothing true but heaven !
As fading hues of Even ;
There's nothing bright but Heaven !
From wave to wave we're driven,
There's nothing calm but Heaven !
THE HARP THAT ONCE THROUGH TARA'S HALLS.
THE harp that once through Tara's halls
The soul of music shed,
As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory's thrill is o'er,
Now feel that pulse no more.
The harp of Tara swells ;
Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives,
The Minstrel-boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him ;
His father's sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.-“ Land of song!” said the warrior bard,
• Though all the world betrays thee,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"
Could not bring his proud soul under :
For he tore its chords asunder ;
Thou soul of love and bravery !
They shall never sound in slavery !"
THE MEETING OF THE WATERS.
THERE's not in the wide world a valley so sweet,
Sweet vale of Avoca ! how calm could I rest
Born 1775. Died 1834.
LINES WRITTEN IN MY OWN ALBUM.
FRESH clad from heaven in robes of white,
And Time with heaviest hand of all,
And error, gilding worst designs-
And vice hath left his ugly blot ;
And fruitless late remorse doth trace-
Disjointed numbers ; sense unknit;
OLD FAMILIAR FACES.
I HAVE had playmates, I have had companions,
I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
I loved a love once, fairest among women ;
I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man ;
Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood ; Earth seemed a desert I was bound to traverse, Seeking to find the old familiar faces.
Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
How some they have died, and some they have left me,