“But though I feel how sharp the pang from thee
and thine to sever,
To look upon these darling ones the last time and for ever;
Yet in this sad and dark old land, by desolation haunted,
My heart has struck its roots too deep ever to be transplanted.
“A thousand fibres still have life, although
the trunk is dying,
They twine around the yet green grave where thy father’s bones are
Ah! from that sad and sweet embrace no soil on earth can loose ’em,
Though golden harvests gleam on its breast, and golden sands its bosom.
“Others are twined around the stone, where ivy-blossoms
The crumbling lines that trace your names, my father and my mother;
God’s blessing be upon their souls—God grant, my old heart prayeth,
Their names be written in the Book whose writing ne’er decayeth.
“Alas! my prayers would never warm within those
great cold buildings,
Those grand cathedral churches with their marbles and their gildings;
Far fitter than the proudest dome that would hang in splendour o’er me,
Is the simple chapel’s white-washed wall, where my people knelt before
“No doubt it is a glorious land to which you
now are going,
Like that which God bestowed of old, with milk and honey flowing;
But where are the blessed saints of God, whose lives of his law remind
Like Patrick, Brigid, and Columkille, in the land I’d leave behind me?
“So leave me here, my children, with my old
ways and old notions;
Leave me here in peace, with my memories and devotions;
Leave me in sight of your father’s grave, and as the heavens allied us,
Let not, since we were joined in life, even the grave divide us.
“There’s not a week but I can hear how
you prosper better and better,
For the mighty fire-ships o’er the sea will bring the expected letter;
And if I need aught for my simple wants, my food or my winter firing,
You will gladly spare from your growing store a little for my requiring.
“Remember with a pitying love the hapless land
that bore you;
At every festal season be its gentle form before you;
When the Christmas candle is lighted, and the holly and ivy glisten,
Let your eye look back for a vanished face—for a voice that is silent,
“So go, my children, go away—obey
Go, with the mantling hopes of health and youthful expectation;
Go, clear the forests, climb the hills, and plough the expectant
Go, in the sacred name of God, and the Blessed Virgin Mary’s.”
THE RAIN: A SONG OF PEACE.
The Rain, the Rain, the beautiful Rain—
Welcome, welcome, it cometh again;
It cometh with green to gladden the plain,
And to wake the sweets in the winding lane.
The Rain, the Rain, the beautiful Rain,
It fills the flowers to their tiniest vein,
Till they rise from the sod whereon they had lain—
Ah, me! ah, me! like an army slain.