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Is Gerty loth?
Or, if she 's either, is she both?
She 's fancy free, but sweeter far
Than many plighted maidens are:
Will Gerty smile us all away,
And still be Gerty? Who can say?

But let her wear her Precious Toy,
And I 'll rejoice to see her joy:
Her bauble 's only one degree
Less frail, less fugitive than we,
For time, ere long, will snap the skein,
And scatter all her Pearls again.


[Illustration: Full-page Plate]





A baby was sleeping,
Its mother was weeping,
For the husband was far on the wild raging Sea;
And the tempest was swelling
Round the fisherman's dwelling;
And she cried, "Dermot darling, oh come back to me!"

Her beads while she numbered,
The baby still slumbered,
And smiled in her face as she bended her knee;
"O blest be that warning,
My child thy sleep adorning,
For I know that the angels are whispering with thee!

"And while they are keeping
Bright watch o'er thy sleeping,
Oh, pray to them softly, my baby, with me!
And say thou wouldst rather
They 'd watch o'er thy father;
For I know that the angels are whispering with thee!"

The dawn of the morning
Saw Dermot returning,
And the wife wept with joy her babe's father to see;
And closely caressing
Her child, with a blessing,
Said, "I knew that the angels were whispering with thee!"

[Footnote C: A superstition of great beauty prevails in Ireland
that when a child smiles in its sleep it is "talking with angels."]



"What will you do, love, when I am going
With white sail flowing,
The seas beyond--
What will you do, love, when waves divide us,
And friends may chide us
For being fond?"
"Tho' waves divide us--and friends be chiding,
In faith abiding,
I 'll still be true!
And I 'll pray for thee on the stormy ocean,
In deep devotion--
That 's what I 'll do!"


"What would you do, love, if distant tidings
Thy fond confidings
Should undermine?--
And I abiding 'neath sultry skies,
Should think other eyes
Were as bright as thine?"
"Oh, name it not:--tho' guilt and shame
Were on thy name
I 'd still be true:
But that heart of thine--should another share it--
I could not bear it!
What would I do?"


"What would you do, love, when home returning
With hopes high burning,
With wealth for you,
If my bark, which bounded o'er foreign foam,
Should be lost near home--
Ah! what would you do?"--
"So thou wert spared--I 'd bless the morrow,
In want and sorrow,
That left me you;
And I 'd welcome thee from the wasting billow,
This heart thy pillow--
That 's what I 'd do!"






What is the meaning of the song
That rings so clear and loud,
Thou nightingale amid the copse--
Thou lark above the cloud?
What says the song, thou joyous thrush,
Up in the walnut-tree?
"I love my Love, because I know
My Love loves me."


What is the meaning of thy thought,
O maiden fair and young?
There is such pleasure in thine eyes,
Such music on thy tongue;
There is such glory on thy face--
What can the meaning be?
"I love my Love, because I know
My Love loves me."


O happy words! at Beauty's feet
We sing them ere our prime;
And when the early summers pass,
And Care comes on with Time,
Still be it ours, in Care's despite,
To join the chorus free--
"I love my Love, because I know
My Love loves me."


O ye tears! O ye tears! that have long refused to flow,
Ye are welcome to my heart,--thawing, thawing, like the snow;
I feel the hard clod soften, and the early snow-drop spring,
And the healing fountains gush, and the wildernesses sing.

O ye tears! O ye tears! I am thankful that ye run;
Though ye trickle in the darkness, ye shall glitter in the sun.
The rainbow cannot shine if the rain refuse to fall,
And the eyes that cannot weep are the saddest eyes of all.

O ye tears! O ye tears! till I felt you on my cheek,
I was selfish in my sorrow, I was stubborn, I was weak.
Ye have given me strength to conquer, and I stand erect and free,
And know that I am human by the light of sympathy.

O ye tears! O ye tears! ye relieve me of my pain:
The barren rock of pride has been stricken once again;
Like the rock that Moses smote, amid Horeb's burning sand,
It yields the flowing water to make gladness in the land.

There is light upon my path, there is sunshine in my heart,
And the leaf and fruit of life shall not utterly depart.
Ye restore to me the freshness and the bloom of long ago--
O ye tears! happy tears! I am thankful that ye flow!





Sabbata pango;
Funera plango;
Solemnia clango.

--_Inscription on an old bell._

With deep affection
And recollection
I often think of
Those Shandon bells,
Whose sounds so wild would,
In the days of childhood,
Fling round my cradle
Their magic spells.

On this I ponder
Where'er I wander,
And thus grow fonder,
Sweet Cork, of thee,--
With thy bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

I 've heard bells chiming
Full many a clime in,
Tolling sublime in
Cathedral shrine,
While at a glibe rate
Brass tongues would vibrate;
But all their music
Spoke naught like thine.

For memory, dwelling
On each proud swelling
Of thy belfry, knelling
Its bold notes free,
Made the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

I 've heard bells tolling
Old Adrian's Mole in,
Their thunder rolling
From the Vatican,--
And cymbals glorious
Swinging uproarious
In the gorgeous turrets
Of Notre Dame;

But thy sounds were sweeter
Than the dome of Peter
Flings o'er the Tiber,
Pealing solemnly.
Oh! the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

There 's a bell in Moscow;
While on tower and kiosk O
In St. Sophia
The Turkman gets,
And loud in air
Calls men to prayer,
From the tapering summit
Of tall minarets.

Such empty phantom
I freely grant them;
But there 's an anthem
More dear to me,--
'T is the bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.






All glorious as the Rainbow's birth,
She came in Spring-tide's golden hours;
When Heaven went hand-in-hand with Earth,
And May was crowned with buds and flowers!
The mounting devil at my heart
Clomb faintlier as my life did win
The charmèd heaven, she wrought apart,
To wake its slumbering Angel in!
With radiant mien she trod serene,
And passed me smiling by!
O! who that looked could chance but love?
Not I, sweet soul, not I.

The dewy eyelids of the Dawn
Ne'er oped such heaven as hers can show:
It seemed her dear eyes might have shone
As jewels in some starry brow.
Her face flashed glory like a shrine,
Or lily-bell with sunburst bright;
Where came and went love-thoughts divine,
As low winds walk the leaves in light:
She wore her beauty with the grace
Of Summer's star-clad sky;
O! who that looked could help but love?
Not I, sweet soul, not I.

Her budding breasts like fragrant fruit
Of love were ripening to be pressed:
Her voice, that shook my heart's red root,
Yet might not break a babe's soft rest!
More liquid than the running brooks,
More vernal than the voice of Spring,
When Nightingales are in their nooks,
And all the leafy thickets ring.
The love she coyly hid at heart
Was shyly conscious in her eye;
O! who that looked could help but love?
Not I, sweet soul, not I.






Along the garden ways just now
I heard the flowers speak;
The white rose told me of your brow,
The red rose of your cheek;
The lily of your bended head,
The bindweed of your hair:
Each looked its loveliest and said
You were more fair.

I went into the wood anon,
And heard the wild birds sing,
How sweet you were; they warbled on,
Piped, trilled the self-same thing.
Thrush, blackbird, linnet, without pause,
The burden did repeat,
And still began again because
You were more sweet.

And then I went down to the sea,
And heard it murmuring too,
Part of an ancient mystery,
All made of me and you.
How many a thousand years ago
I loved, and you were sweet--
Longer I could not stay, and so
I fled back to your feet.


I made another garden, yea,
For my new love;
I left the dead rose where it lay,
And set the new above.
Why did the summer not begin?
Why did my heart not haste?
My old love came and walked therein,
And laid the garden waste.

She entered with her weary smile,
Just as of old;
She looked around a little while,
And shivered at the cold.
Her passing touch was death to all,
Her passing look a blight;
She made the white rose-petals fall,
And turned the red rose white.

Her pale robe, clinging to the grass,
Seemed like a snake
That bit the grass and ground, alas!
And a sad trail did make.

[Illustration: Full-page Plate]

She went up slowly to the gate;
And there, just as of yore,
She turned back at the last to wait,
And say farewell once more.






Seated one day at the Organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys.

I do not know what I was playing,
Or what I was dreaming then;
But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen.

It flooded the crimson twilight
Like the close of an Angel's Psalm,
And it lay on my fevered spirit
With a touch of infinite calm.

It quieted pain and sorrow,
Like love overcoming strife;
It seemed the harmonious echo
From our discordant Life.

It linked all perplexèd meanings
Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence
As if it were loth to cease.

I have sought, but I seek it vainly,
That one lost chord divine,
Which came from the soul of the Organ,
And entered into mine.

It may be that Death's bright angel
Will speak in that chord again,--
It may be that only in Heaven
I shall hear that grand Amen.


I had a Message to send her,
To her whom my soul loved best;
But I had my task to finish,
And she was gone home to rest.

To rest in the far bright heaven;
Oh, so far away from here,
It was vain to speak to my darling,
For I knew she could not hear!

I had a message to send her,
So tender, and true, and sweet,
I longed for an Angel to bear it,
And lay it down at her feet.

I placed it, one summer evening,
On a Cloudlet's fleecy breast;
But it faded in golden splendour,
And died in the crimson west.

I gave it the Lark next morning,
And I watched it soar and soar;
But its pinions grew faint and weary,
And it fluttered to earth once more.

To the heart of a Rose I told it;
And the perfume, sweet and rare,
Growing faint on the blue bright ether,
Was lost in the balmy air.

I laid it upon a Censer,
And I saw the incense rise;
But its clouds of rolling silver
Could not reach the far blue skies.

I cried, in my passionate longing:--
"Has the earth no Angel-friend
Who will carry my love the message
That my heart desires to send?"

Then I heard a strain of music,
So mighty, so pure, so clear,
That my very sorrow was silent,
And my heart stood still to hear.

And I felt, in my soul's deep yearning,
At last the sure answer stir:--
"The music will go up to Heaven,
And carry my thought to her."

It rose in harmonious rushing
Of mingled voices and strings,
And I tenderly laid my message
On the Music's outspread wings.

I heard it float farther and farther,
In sound more perfect than speech;
Farther than sight can follow,
Farther than soul can reach.

And I know that at last my message
Has passed through the golden gate:
So my heart is no longer restless,
And I am content to wait.



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