O Beauty! some spell from kind Nature thou bearest,
Some magic of tone or enchantment of eye,
That hearts that are hardest, from forms that are fairest,
Receive such impressions as never can die!
The foot of the fairy, though lightsome and airy,
Can stamp on the hard rock the shapes it doth wear;
Art cannot trace it, nor ages efface it:
And such are thy glances, sweet Kate of Kenmare!
To him who far travels how sad is the feeling,
How the light of his mind is o’ershadowed and dim,
When the scenes he most loves, like a river’s soft stealing,
All fade as a vision and vanish from him!
Yet he bears from each far land a flower for that garland
That memory weaves of the bright and the fair;
While this sigh I am breathing my garland is wreathing,
And the rose of that garland is Kate of Kenmare!
In lonely Lough Quinlan in summer’s soft hours,
Fair islands are floating that move with the tide,
Which, sterile at first, are soon covered with flowers,
And thus o’er the bright waters fairy-like glide.
Thus the mind the most vacant is quickly awakened,
And the heart bears a harvest that late was so bare,
Of him who in roving finds objects of loving,
Like the fawn of the valley, sweet Kate of Kenmare!
Sweet Kate of Kenmare! though I ne’er may behold
Though the pride and the joy of another thou be,
Though strange lips may praise thee, and strange arms enfold thee,
A blessing, dear Kate, be on them and on thee!
One feeling I cherish that never can perish—
One talisman proof to the dark wizard care—
The fervent and dutiful love of the Beautiful,
Of which thou art a type, gentle Kate of Kenmare!
12. The river of Kenmare.
13. Near the town is the “Fairy Rock,” on which the marks of several feet are deeply impressed. It derives its name from the popular belief that these are the work of fairies.
The dream is over,
The vision has flown;
Dead leaves are lying
Where roses have blown;
Wither’d and strown
Are the hopes I cherished,—
All hath perished
But grief alone.
My heart was a garden
Where fresh leaves grew
Flowers there were many,
And weeds a few;
Cold winds blew,
And the frosts came thither,
For flowers will wither,
And weeds renew!
Youth’s bright palace
With its diamond sceptre
And golden throne;
As a time-worn stone
Its turrets are humbled,—
All hath crumbled
But grief alone!
Wither, oh, whither,
Have fled away
The dreams and hopes
Of my early day?
Ruined and gray
Are the towers I builded;
And the beams that gilded—
Ah! where are they?
Once this world
Was fresh and bright,
With its golden noon
And its starry night;
Glad and light,
By mountain and river,
Have I bless’d the Giver
With hushed delight.