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Bright as the bow that spans the storm,
In Erin's yellow vesture clad,
A son of light, a lovely form,
He comes and makes her glad :
Now on the grass-green turf he sits,
His tassell'd horn beside him laid ;
Now o'er the hills in chase he flits,
The hunter and the deer a shade!
Sweet mourner! those are shadows vain,
That cross the twilight of her brain :
Yet she will tell you, she is blest,
Of Connocht Moran's tomb possess'd,
More richly than in Aghrim's bow'r,
When bards high prais’d her beauty's pow'r,
And kneeling pages offer'd up
The morat* in a golden cup.
A hero's bride! this desert bow'r,
It ill befits thy gentle breeding :
"And wherefore dost thou love this flow'r
"To call-My love lies bleeding?'
“ This purple flow'r my tears have nurs'd;
A hero's blood supply'd its bloom :
I love it, for it was the first
That grew on Connocht Moran's tomb.
Oh! hearken, stranger, to my voice!
This desert mansion is my choice ;
And blest, tho’ fatal, be the star
That led me to its wilds afar :
* A drink made of the juice of mulberry mixed with honey.
For here these pathless mountains free
Gave shelter to my love and me;
And every rock and every stone
Bare witness that he was my own.
« O'Connor's child, I was the bud
Of Erin's royal tree of glory ;
But wo to them that wrapt in blood
The tissue of my story !
Still as I clasp my burning brain,
A death-scene rushes on my sight;
It rises o'er and o'er again,
The bloody feud, -the fatal night,
When chafing Connocht Moran's scorn,
They call’d my hero basely born ;
And bade him choose a meaner bride
Than from O'Connor's house of pride.
Their tribe, they said, their high degree,
Was sung in Tara's psaltery* ;
Witness their Earth's vietorious brandt,
And Cathal of the bloody hand,
Glory (they said) and power and honour
Were in the mansion of O'Connor ;
But he, my lov'd one, bore in field
A meaner crest upon his shield.
“ Ah, brothers ! what did it avail,
That fiercely and triumphantly
* The psalter of Tara was the great national register of the ancient Irish.
+ Vide the note upon the victories of the house of O'Connor.
Ye fought the English of the pale,
And stemm'd De Bourgo's chivalry?
And what was it to love and me,
That barons by your standard rode ;
Or beal-fires* for your jubilee,
Upon an hundred mountains glow'd.
What tho' the lords of tower and dome
From Shannon to the North-Sea foam,
Thought ye your iron hands of pride
Could break the knot that love had tied ?
No:-let the eagle change his plume,
The leaf its hue, the flow'r its bloom;
But ties around this heart were spun,
That could not, would not, be undone !
“At bleating of the wild-watch fold
Thus sang my love-'0 come with me :
"Our bark is on the lake : behold,
Our steeds are fasten'd to the tree.
Come far from Castle Connor's clans
Come with thy belted forestere,
And I beside the lake of swans,
"Shall hunt for thee the fallow deer,
And build thy hut and bring thee home
“The wild fowl, and the honey-comb;
“And berries from the wood provide,
And play my clarshecht by thy side.
* Fires lighted on May-day on the hill tops by the Irish.
" Then come, my love !-How could I stay!
Our nimble stag-hounds track'd the way,
And I pursu'd by moonless skies,
The light of Connocht Moran's eyes.
« And fast and far, before the star
Of day-spring rush'd we thro' the glade,
And saw at dawn the lofty bawn*
Of Castle-Connor fade.
Sweet was to us the hermitage
Of this unplough’d, untrodden shore :
Like birds all joyous from the cage,
For man's neglect we lov'd it more.
And well he knew, my huntsman dear,
To search the game with hawk and spear;
While I, his evening food to dress,
Would sing to him in happiness.
But oh, that midnight of despair!
When I was doom'd to rend my hair :
The night, to me of shrieking sorrow!
The night, to him that had no morrow!
“When all was hush'd at eventide,
I heard the baying of their beagle :
Be hush'd ! my Connocht Moran cried,
'Tis but the screaming of the eagle.
Alas! 'twas not the eyrie's sound,
Their bloody bands had track'd us out:
Up-list’ning starts our couchant hound. And hark ! again, that nearer shout
Brings faster on the murderers.
Spare-spare him—Bazil-Desmond fierce!
In vain-no voice the adder charms;
Their weapons cross'd my sheltering arms;
Another's sword has laid him low-
Another's and another's;
And every hand that dealt the blow
Ah me! it was a brother's!
Yes, when his moanings died away,
Their iron hands had dug the clay,
And o'er his burial turf they trod,
And I beheld-Oh God! Oh God!
His life-blood oozing from the sod!
“Warm in his death-wounds sepulchred,
Alas! my warrior's spirit brave,
Nor mass nor ulla-lulla* heard,
Lamenting sooth his grave.
Dragg’d to their hated mansion back,
How long in thraldom's grasp I lay,
I know not, for my soul was black,
And knew no change of night or day.
One night of horror round me grew;
Or if I saw, or felt, or knew,
'Twas but when those grim visages,
The angry brothers of my race,
Glar'd on each eye-ball's aching throb,
And check'd my bosom's pow'r to sob ;
Or when my heart with pulses drear,
Beat like a death-watch to my ear.
* The Irish lamentation for the dead