BETA

Song of a Returned Exile.

1.

Sweet Corrin ! * how softly the evening light goes,1
Fading far o’er thy summit from ruby to rose,2
As if loth to deprive the deep woodlands below3
Of the love and the glory they drink in its glow :4
Oh, home-looking Hill ! how beloved dost thou rise5
Once more to my sight through the shadowy skies ;6
Shielding still, in thy sheltering grandeur unfurl’d,7
The landscape to me that so long was the world.8
Fair evening—blest evening ! one moment delay9
Till the tears of the pilgrim are dried in thy ray10
Till he feels that through years of long absence not one11
Of his friends—the lone rock and grey ruin—is gone.12

2.

Not one : —as I wind the sheer fastnesses through,13
The valley of boyhood is bright in my view !14
Once again my glad spirit its fetterless flight15
May wing through a sphere of unclouded delight,16
O’er one maze of broad orchard, green meadow, and slope17
From whose tints I once pictured the pinions of hope ;18
Still the hamlet gleams white—still the church yews are weeping,19
Where the sleep of the peaceful my fathers are sleeping ;20
The vane tells, as usual, its fib from the mill,21
But the wheel tumbles loudly and merrily still,22
And the tower of the Roches stands lonely as ever,23
With its grim shadow rusting the gold of the river.24

3.

My own pleasant River, bloom-skirted, behold,25
Now sleeping in shade, now refulgently roll’d,26
Where long through the landscape it tranquilly flows,27
Scarcely breaking, Glen-coorah, thy glorious repose !28
By the Park’s lovely pathways it lingers and shines,29
Where the cushat’s low call, and the murmur of pines,30
And the lips of the lily seem wooing its stay31
Mid their odorous dells ; —but ’ tis off and away,32
Rushing out through the clustering oaks, in whose shade,33
Like a bird in the branches, an arbour I made,34
Where the blue eye of Eve often closed o’er the book,35
While I read of stout Sinbad, or voyaged with Cook.36

4.

Wild haunt of the Harper ! † I stand by thy spring,37
Whose waters of silver still sparkle and fling38
Their wealth at my feet,—and I catch the deep glow,39
As in long-vanish’d hours, of the lilacs that blow40

* The picturesque mountain of Corrin, (properly Cairn-thierna, i. e. the Thane or Lord’s
cairn,) is the termination of a long range of hills which encloses the valley of the Black-
water and Funcheon, (the Avonduff and Fanshin of Spenser,) in the county of Cork, and
forms a striking feature of scenery, remarkable for pastoral beauty and romance.
† One of the most beautiful bends of the-Funcheon is taken through the demesne of
Moorepark, near Kilworth, close to a natural grotto or cavern, called from time immemorial
the cave of Thiag-na-fibah—(Tim or Teague the Bard.)
By the low cottage-porch—and the same crescent moon41
That then plough’d, like a pinnace, the purple of June,42
Is white on Glen-duff, and all blooms as unchanged43
As if years had not pass’d since thy greenwood I ranged44
As if one were not fled, who imparted a soul45
Of divinest enchantment and grace to the whole,46
Whose being was bright as that fair moon above47
And all deep and all pure as thy waters her love.48

5.

Thou long-vanish’d Angel ! whose faithfulness threw49
O’er my gloomy existence one glorified hue !50
Dost thou still, as of yore, when the evening grows dim,51
And the blackbird by Douglass is hushing its hymn,52
Remember the bower by the Funcheon’s blue side53
Where the whispers were soft as the kiss of the tide ?54
Dost thou still think, with pity and peace on thy brow,55
Of him who, toil-harass’d and time-shaken now,56
While the last light of day, like his hopes, has departed,57
On the turf thou hast hallow’d sinks down weary-hearted,58
And calls on thy name, and the night-breeze that sighs59
Through the boughs that once blest thee is all that replies ?60

6.

But thy summit, far Corrin, is fading in grey,61
And the moonlight grows mellow on lonely Cloughlea ;62
And the laugh of the young, as they loiter about,63
Through the elm-shaded alleys rings joyously out :64
Happy souls ! they have yet the dark chalice to taste,65
And like others to wander life’s desolate waste66
To hold wassail with sin, or keep vigil with woe ;67
But the same fount of yearning wherever they go,68
Welling up in their heart-depths to turn at the last69
(As the stag when the barb in his bosom is fast)70
To their lair in the hills on their childhood that rose,71
And find the sole blessing I seek for—repose ! *72

* “ Some of the epitaphs at Ferrara pleased me more than the more splendid monuments
at Bologna. For instance, ‘ Martini Luighi implora pace.’ Can any thing be more
full of pathos ?  Those few words say all that can be said or sought ; the dead had had
enough of life—all they wanted was rest, and this they implore.”—Lord Byron.