To Charlotte S———. Six years old.

(In an Albums—St Patrick’s Day. 1839.)

Thou fairy child from Innisfail,1
With eyes so dark and forehead pale,2
Laughing and glancing in thy play,3
Like a stray sunbeam sent to mind us,4
Far from our Western Land away,5
Of hearts and hills long left behind us !6
Oh, ever thus be life to thee,7
As now, a path of dancing glee !8
Still may the laughter at thy heart9
From those glad eyes in gushes start ;10
And when Spring woos the bud to blow11
When ripening years shall round thee throw12
A power to feel the strain that here13
I pour unheeded on thine ear14
Then, as thou bendest o’er this book15
With girlhood’s bright but serious look,16
Take with a mountain-minstrel’s blessing17
The wish, where’er thy life may roam18
Whether caress’d—or uncaressing,19
That thou’lt be true to early home.20
Though from thy land thou’rt far apart,21
Still wear her shamrock in thy heart22
Thy thoughts as stainless as its dew23
Thy faith unchanging, like its hue24
And ever as this day comes round,25
With all its hallow’d memories crown’d26
Remember still the scene where we27
Now keep our Saint’s solemnity.28
And should’st thou hope to walk in youth29
—Free from deceit—with God and truth30
With no ambition but to be31
An Irish maiden blithe and free,32
With that best beauty on thy cheek,33
That springs from feelings pure and meek,34
Tread in the steps of Her, for whom35
To-night at least we’ve banish’d gloom.36
Be not a thought of her forgot37
Practise the precepts she has taught38
Prefer, like her, green Erin’s song39
Keep Erin’s accents on thy tongue,40
And later bards shall wake for thee41
The strain now faintly closed by me.42