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Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 200 pages of information about Poems.

The fire-flies fade on misty eves—­
  The inner fires alone endure;
Like rain that wets the leaves,
  Thy very sorrows keep thee pure—­
They temper a too ardent heat—­
And keep thee ever pure and sweet.

La Spezzia, 1862.

THE IRISH EMIGRANT’S MOTHER.

“Oh! come, my mother, come away, across the sea-green water;
Oh! come with me, and come with him, the husband of thy daughter;
Oh! come with us, and come with them, the sister and the brother,
Who, prattling climb thy ag’ed knees, and call thy daughter—­mother.

“Oh come, and leave this land of death—­this isle of desolation—­
This speck upon the sunbright face of God’s sublime creation,
Since now o’er all our fatal stars the most malign hath risen,
When Labour seeks the poorhouse, and Innocence the prison.

“’Tis true, o’er all the sun-brown fields the husky wheat is bending;
’Tis true, God’s blessed hand at last a better time is sending;
’Tis true the island’s aged face looks happier and younger,
But in the best of days we’ve known the sickness and the hunger.

“When health breathed out in every breeze, too oft we’ve known the
  fever—­
Too oft, my mother, have we felt the hand of the bereaver: 
Too well remember many a time the mournful task that brought him,
When freshness fanned the summer air, and cooled the glow of autumn.

“But then the trial, though severe, still testified our patience,
We bowed with mingled hope and fear to God’s wise dispensations;
We felt the gloomiest time was both a promise and a warning,
Just as the darkest hour of night is herald of the morning.

“But now through all the black expanse no hopeful morning breaketh—­
No bird of promise in our hearts the gladsome song awaketh;
No far-off gleams of good light up the hills of expectation—­
Nought but the gloom that might precede the world’s annihilation.

“So, mother, turn thy ag’ed feet, and let our children lead ’em
Down to the ship that wafts us soon to plenty and to freedom;
Forgetting nought of all the past, yet all the past forgiving;
Come, let us leave the dying land, and fly unto the living.

“They tell us, they who read and think of Ireland’s ancient story,
How once its emerald flag flung out a sunburst’s fleeting glory
Oh! if that sun will pierce no more the dark clouds that efface it,
Fly where the rising stars of heaven commingle to replace it.

“So come, my mother, come away, across the sea-green water;
Oh! come with us, and come with him, the husband of thy daughter;
Oh! come with us, and come with them, the sister and the brother,
Who, prattling, climb thy ag’ed knees, and call thy daughter—­mother.”

“Ah! go, my children, go away—­obey this inspiration;
Go, with the mantling hopes of health and youthful expectation;
Go, clear the forests, climb the hills, and plough the expectant
  prairies;
Go, in the sacred name of God, and the Blessed Virgin Mary’s.

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