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Ireland Calling Me Home Sonnets, страница 1


Ireland Calling Me Home   Sonnets

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Ireland Calling Me Home   Sonnets
Ireland Is Calling Me Home

  Published By Susanna Catherine Mahoney

  Cpoyright by © Susanna Catherine Mahoney

  Sonnets of the earlier 1800’s of Ireland’s Poets and cultural history with links.*****

  A sonnet is fundamentally a dialectical construct which allows the poet to examine the nature and ramifications of two usually contrastive ideas, emotions, states ...A sonnet is one of several forms of poetry that originate in Europe, mainly Provence and Italy. A sonnet commonly has 14 lines

  Tis the part of Ireland my soul yeans for

  Sonnets from Ireland

  Eleanor Alexander


  For me, my friend, no grave-side vigil keep

  With tears that memory and remorse might fill;

  Give me your tenderest laughter earth-bound still,

  And when I die you shall not want to weep.

  No epitaph for me with virtues deep

  Punctured in marble pitiless and chill:

  But when play time is over, if you will,

  The songs that soothe beloved babes to sleep.

  No lenten lilies on my breast and brow

  Be laid when I am silent; roses red,

  And golden roses bring me here instead,

  That if you love or bear me I may know;

  I may not know, nor care, when I am dead:

  Give me your songs, and flowers, and laughter now.

  A Day-Dream's Reflection

  ("On the Sunny Shore.")

  Chequer'd with woven shadows as I lay

  Among the grass, blinking the watery gleam,

  I saw an Echo-Spirit in his bay

  Most idly floating in the noontide beam.

  Slow heaved his filmy skiff, and fell, with sway

  Of ocean's giant pulsing, and the Dream,

  Buoyed like the young moon on a level stream

  Of greenish vapour at decline of day,

  Swam airily, watching the distant flocks

  Of sea-gulls, whilst a foot in careless sweep

  Touched the clear-trembling cool with tiny shocks,

  Faint-circling; till at last he dropt asleep,

  Lull'd by the hush-song of the glittering deep,

  Lap-lapping drowsily the heated rocks.

  William Allingham (1824-1889)

  In a Spring Grove

  Here the white-ray'd anemone is born,

  Wood-sorrel, and the varnish'd buttercup;

  And primrose in its purfled green swathed up,

  Pallid and sweet round every budding thorn,

  Gray ash, and beech with rusty leaves outworn.

  Here, too the darting linnet hath her nest

  In the blue-lustred holly, never shorn,

  Whose partner cheers her little brooding breast,

  Piping from some near bough. O simple song!

  O cistern deep of that harmonious rillet,

  And these fair juicy stems that climb and throng

  The vernal world, and unexhausted seas

  Of flowing life, and soul that asks to fill it,

  Each and all of these,--and more, and more than these!

  In Snow

  O English mother, in the ruddy glow

  Hugging your baby closer when outside

  You see the silent, soft, and cruel snow

  Falling again, and think what ills betide

  Unshelter'd creatures,--your sad thoughts may go

  Where War and Winter now, two spectre-wolves,

  Hunt in the freezing vapour that involves

  Those Asian peaks of ice and gulfs below.

  Does this young Soldier heed the snow that fills

  His mouth and open eyes? or mind, in truth,

  To-night, his mother's parting syllables?

  Ha! is't a red coat?--Merely blood. Keep ruth

  For others; this is but an Afghan youth

  Shot by the stranger on his native hills.

  On a Forenoon of Spring

  I'm glad I am alive, to see and feel

  The full deliciousness of this bright day,

  That's like a heart with nothing to conceal;

  The young leaves scarcely trembling; the blue-grey

  Rimming the cloudless ether far away;

  Brairds, hedges, shadows; mountains that reveal

  Soft sapphire; this great floor of polished steel

  Spread out amidst the landmarks of the bay.

  I stoop in sunshine to our circling net

  From the black gunwale; tend these milky kine

  Up their rough path; sit by yon cottage-door

  Plying the diligent thread; take wings and soar--

  O hark how with the season's laureate

  Joy culminates in song! If such a song were mine!

  Places and Men

  In Sussex here, by shingle and by sand,

  Flat fields and farmsteads in their wind-blown trees,

  The shallow tide-wave courses to the land,

  And all along the down a fringe one sees

  Of ducal woods. That 'dim discovered spire'

  Is Chichester, where Collins felt a fire

  Touch his sad lips; thatched Felpham roofs are these,

  Where happy Blake found heaven more close at hand.

  Goodwood and Arundel possess their lords,

  Successive in the towers and groves, which stay;

  These two poor men, by some right of their own,

  Possessed the earth and sea, the sun and moon,

  The inner sweet of life; and put in words

  A personal force that doth not pass away.

  A Singer

  That which he did not feel, he would not sing;

  What most he felt, religion it was to hide

  In a dumb darkling grotto, where the spring

  Of tremulous tears, arising unespied,

  Became a holy well that durst not glide

  Into the day with moil or murmuring;

  Whereto, as if to some unlawful thing,

  He sto]e, musing or praying at its side.

  But in the sun he sang with cheerful heart,

  Of coloured season and the whirling sphere,

  Warm household habitude and human mirth,

  The whole faith-blooded mystery of earth;

  And I, who had his secret, still could hear

  The grotto's whisper low through every part.

  Autumnal Sonnet

  Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods,

  And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt,

  And night by night the monitory blast

  Wails in the key-hold, telling how it pass'd

  O'er empty fields, or upland solitudes,

  Or grim wide wave; and now the power is felt

  Of melancholy, tenderer in its moods

  Than any joy indulgent summer dealt.

  Dear friends, together in the glimmering eve,

  Pensive and glad, with tones that recognise

  The soft invisible dew in each one's eyes,

  It may be, somewhat thus we shall have leave

  To walk with memory,--when distant lies

  Poor Earth, where we were wont to live and grieve.

  After Sunset

  The vast and solemn company of clouds

  Around the Sun's death, lit, incarnadined,

  Cool into ashy wan; as Night enshrouds

  The level pasture, creeping up behind

  Through voiceless vales, o'er lawn and purpled hill

  And hazéd mead, her mystery to fulfil.

  Cows low from far-off farms; the loitering wind

  Sighs in the hedge, you hear it if you will,--

  Tho' all the wood, alive atop with wings

  Lifting and sinking through the leafy nooks,

  Seethes with the clamour of a thousand rooks.

  Now every sound at length is hush'd away.

  These few are sacred moments. One more Day

  Drops in the shadowy gulf of bygone things.

  (Text of last three poems from Sonnets of This Century.)

  Aubrey De Vere (1814-1902)


  Forgive me that I love you as I do,

  Friend patient long; too patient to reprove

  The inconvenience of superfluous love.

  You feel that it molests you, and 'tis true.

  In a light bark you sit, with a full crew.

  Your life full orbed, compelled strange love to meet,

  Becomes, by such addition, incomplete:--

  Because I love I leave you. O adieu!

  Perhaps when I am gone the thought of me

  May sometimes be your acceptable guest.

  Indeed you love me: but my company

  Old time makes tedious; and to part is best.

  Not without Nature's will are natures wed:-

  O gentle Death, how dear thou makest the dead!

  Troilus and Cressida

  Had I been worthy of the love you gave,

  That love withdrawn had left me sad but strong;

  My heart had been as silent as my tongue,

  My bed had been unfevered as my grave;

  I had not striven for what I could not save;

  Back, back to heaven my great hopes I had flung;

  To have much suffered, having done no wrong,

  Had seemed to me that noble part the brave

  Account it ever. What this hour I am

  Affirms the unworthiness that in me lurked:

  Some sapping poison through my substance worked,

  Some sin not trivial, though it lacked a name,

  Which ratifies the deed that you have done

  With plain approval. Other plea seek none.

  Flowers I Would Bring

  Flowers I would bring if flowers could make thee fairer,

  And music if the Muse were dear to thee,

  (For loving these would make thee love the bearer);

  But sweetest songs forget their melody,

  And loveliest flowers would but conceal the wearer:

  A rose I marked, and might have plucked; but she

  Blushed as she bent, imploring me to spare her,

  Nor spoil her beauty by such rivalry.

  Alas! and with what gifts shall I pursue thee,

  What offerings bring, what treasures lay before thee,

  When earth with all her floral train doth woo thee,

  And all old poets and old songs adore thee,

  And love to thee is naught; from passionate mood

  Secured by joy's complacent plenitude.

  The Mighty Mountain Plains

  The mighty mountain plains have we two trod

  Both in the glow of sunset and sunrise;

  And lighted by the moon of southern skies

  The snow-white torrent of the thundering flood

  We two have watched together: In the wood

  We two have felt the warm tears dim our eyes

  While zephyrs softer than an infant's sighs

  Ruffled the light air of our solitude.

  O Earth, maternal Earth, and thou O Heaven,

  And Night first born, who now, e'en now, dost waken

  The host of stars, thy constellated train,

  Tell me if those can ever be forgiven,

  Those abject, who together have partaken

  These Sacraments of Nature--and in vain?

  The Sun God

  I saw the Master of the Sun. He stood

  High in his luminous car, himself more bright;

  An Archer of immeasurable might

  On his left shoulder hung his quivered load

  Spurned by his Steeds the eastern mountain glowed

  Forward his eager eye, and brow of light

  He bent; and, while both hands that arch embowed,

  Shaft after shaft pursued the flying Night.

  No wings profaned that godlike form: around

  His neck high held an ever-moving crowd

  Of locks hung glistening: while such perfect sound

  Fell from his bowstring, that th'ethereal dome

  Thrilled as a dewdrop; and each passing cloud

  Expanded, whitening like the ocean foam.


  Count each affliction, whether light or grave,

  God's messenger sent down to thee; do thou

  With courtesy receive him; rise and bow

  And ere his shadow pass thy threshold, crave

  Permission first his heavenly feet to lave

  Then lay before him all thou hast : Allow

  No cloud of passion to usurp thy brow,

  Or mar thy hospitality; no wave

  Of mortal tumult to obliterate

  The soul's marmoreal calmness: Grief should be,

  Like joy, majestic, equable, sedate;

  Confirming, cleansing, raising, making free;

  Strong to consume small troubles; to commend

  Great thoughts, grave thoughts, thoughts lasting to the end. _

  Sir Aubrey De Vere (1788-1846)


  What ruined shapes of feudal pomp are there,

  In the cold moonlight fading silently?

  The castle, with its stern, baronial air,

  Still frowning, as accustomed to defy;

  The Gothic street, where Desmond's chivalry

  Dwelt in their pride; the cloistered house of prayer;

  The gate-towers, mouldering where the stream moans by,

  Now, but the owl's lone haunt, and fox's lair.

  Here once the pride of princely Desmond flushed;

  His courtiers knelt, his mailed squadrons rushed;

  And saintly brethren poured the choral strain:

  Here Beauty bowed her head, and smiled and blushed:--

  Ah, of these glories what doth now remain?

  The charnel of yon desecrated fane!


  Broad, but not deep, along his rock-chafed bed,

  In many a sparkling eddy winds the flood.

  Clasped by a margin of green underwood:

  A castled crag, with ivy garlanded,

  Sheer, o'er the torrent frowns: above the mead

  De Burgho's towers, crumbling o'er many a rood,

  Stand gauntly out in airy solitude

  Backed by yon furrowed mountain's tinted head.

  Sounds of far people, mingling with the fall

  Of waters, and the busy hum of bees,

  And larks in air, and throstles in the trees,

  Thrill the moist air with murmurs musical.

  While cottage smoke goes drifting on the breeze,

  And sunny clouds are floating over all.

  The Rock of Cashel

  Royal and saintly Cashel! I would gaze

  Upon the wreck of thy departed powers,

  Not in the dewy light of matin hours,

  Nor the meridian pomp of summer's blaze,

  But at the close of dim autumnal days,

  When the sun's parting glance, through slanting showers,

  Sheds o'er thy rock-throned battlements and towers

  Such awful gleams as brighten o'er Decay's

  Prophetic cheek. At such a time, methinks,

  There breathes from thy lone courts and voiceless aisles

  A melancholy moral, such as sinks

  On the lone traveller's heart, amid the piles

  Of vast Persepolis on her mountain stand,

  Or Thebes half buried in the desert sand.


  Gazing from each low bulwark of this bridge,

  How wonderful the contrast! Dark as night,

  Here, amid cliffs and woods, with headlong might,

  The black strea
m whirls, through ferns and drooping sedge,

  'Neath twisted roots moss-brown, and weedy ledge,

  Gushing. Aloft, from yonder birch-clad height,

  Leaps into air a cataract, snow-white

  Falling to gulfs obscure. The mountain ridge,

  Like a gray Warder, guardian of the scene,

  Above the cloven gorge gloomily towers.

  O'er the dim woods a gathering tempest lowers

  Save where athwart the moist leaves' lucid green

  A sunbeam, glancing through disparted showers,

  Sparkles along the rill with diamond sheen.

  A sun-burst on the bay! Turn and behold!

  The restless waves, resplendent in their glory,

  Sweep glittering past yon purpled promontory,

  Bright as Apollo's breastplate. Bathed in gold,

  Yon bastioned islet gleams. Thin mists are rolled,

  Translucent, through each glen. A mantle hoary

  Veils those peaked hills, shapely as e'er in story

  Delphic, or Alpine, or Vesuvian old,

  Minstrels have sung. From rock and headland proud

  The wild wood spreads its arms around the bay:

  The manifold mountain cones, now dark, now bright,

  Now seen, now lost, alternate from rich light

  To spectral shade; and each dissolving cloud

  Reveals new mountains as it floats away. _

  Edward Dowden (1843-1913)

  The Singer

  "That was the thrush's last good-night," I thought,

  And heard the soft descent of summer rain

  In the drooped garden leaves; but hush! again

  The perfect iterence,--freer than unsought

  Odours of violets dim in woodland ways,

  Deeper than coiled waters laid a-dream

  Below mossed ledges of a shadowy stream,

  And faultless as blown roses in June days.

  Full-throated singer! art thou thus anew

  Voiceful to hear how round thyself alone

  The enriched silence drops for thy delight

  More soft than snow, more sweet than honey-dew?

  Now cease: the last faint western streak is gone,

  Stir not the blissful quiet of the night.


  I have wept tears, and learnt, I fear, sad ways

  Of searching for a smile, and I can guess

  The secret of a wan mouth's droopingness,

  And know which eyes are they that waste their gaze

  On the hid grave of hop--yet ne'er the less

  My heart leaps up to utter thanks, and bless

  Our earth which bears sweet flowers, and the glad face

  Of these unwearied waters--thanks to them

  For brief, intense, bright moments when we see

  Our life stand clear in joy, we kiss the hem

  Of God's robe in a rapture, and are whole--

  On wind-swept hill-tops, by the mystery

  Of ocean on still morns, or when the soul

  Springs to the lark in a fine ecstasy.

  Brother Death

  When thou would'st have me go with thee, O Death,

  Over the utmost verge, to the dim place,

  Practise upon me with no amorous grace

  Of fawning lips, and words of delicate breath,

  And curious music thy lute uttereth;

  Nor think for me there must be sought-out ways

  Of cloud and terror; have we many days

  Sojourned together, and is this thy faith?

  Nay, be there plainness 'twixt us; come to me

  Even as thou art, O brother of my soul;

  Hold thy hand out and I will place mine there;

  I trust thy mouth's inscrutable irony,

  And dare to lay my forehead where the whole

  Shadow lies deep of thy purpureal hair.

  A Peach

  If any sense in mortal dust remains

  When mine has been refined from flower to flower,

  Won from the sun all colours, drunk the shower

  And delicate winy dews, and gained the gains

  Which elves who sleep in airy bells, a-swing

  Through half a summer day, for love bestow,

  Then in some warm old garden let me grow

  To such a perfect, lush, ambrosian thing

  As this. Upon a southward-facing wall

  I bask, and feel my juices dimly fed

  And mellowing, while my bloom comes golden grey:

  Keep the wasps from me! but before I fall

  Pluck me, white fingers, and o'er two ripe-red

  Girl lips O let me richly swoon away!

  In the Cathedral

  The altar-lights burn low, the incense-fume

  Sickens: O listen, how the priestly prayer

  Runs as a fenland stream; a dim despair

  Hails through their chaunt of praise, who here inhume

  A clay-cold Faith within its carven tomb.

  But come thou forth into the vital air

  Keen, dark, and pure! grave Night is no betrayer,

  And if perchance some faint cold star illume

  Her brow of mystery, shall we walk forlorn?

  An altar of the natural rock may rise

  Somewhere for men who seek; there may be borne

  On the night-wind authentic prophecies:

  If not, let this--to breathe sane breath--suffice,

  Till in yon East, mayhap, the dark be worn.

  Durer's "Melencholia"

  The bow of promise, this last flaring star,

  Terror and hope are in mid-heaven; but She,

  The mighty-wing'd crown'd Lady Melancholy,

  Heeds not. O to what vision'd goal afar

  Does her thought bear those steadfast eyes which are

  A torch in darkness? There nor shore nor sea,

  Nor ebbing Time vexes Eternity,

  Where that lone thought outsoars the mortal bar.

  Tools of the brain--the globe, the cube--no more

  She deals with; in her hand the compass stays;

  Nor those, industrious genius, of her lore

  Student and scribe, thou gravest of the fays,

  Expect this secret to enlarge thy store;

  She moves through incommunicable ways.

  Leonardo's "Monna Lisa"

  Make thyself known, Sibyl, or let despair

  Of knowing thee be absolute; I wait

  Hour-long and waste a soul. What word of fate

  Hides 'twixt the lips which smile and still forbear?

  Secret perfection! Mystery too fair!

  Tangle the sense no more lest I should hate

  Thy delicate tyranny, the inviolate

  Poise of thy folded hands, thy fallen hair.

  Nay, nay,--I wrong thee with rough words; still be

  Serene, victorious, inaccessible;

  Still smile but speak not; lightest irony

  Lurk ever 'neath thine eyelids' shadow; still

  O'ertop our knowledge; Sphinx of Italy

  Allure us and reject us at thy will!

  Darwinism in Morals

  High instincts, dim perversions, sacred fears,

  --Whence issuing? Are they but the brain's amassed

  Tradition, shapings of a barbarous past,

  Remoulded ever by the younger years,

  Mixed with fresh clay, and kneaded with new tears?

  No more? The dead chief's ghost a shadow cast

  Across the roving clan, and thence at last

  Comes God, who in the soul His law uprears?

  Is this the whole? Has not the Future powers

  To match the Past,--attractions, pulsings, tides,

  And voices for purged ears? Is all our light

  The glow of ancient sunsets and lost hours?

  Advance no banners up heaven's eastern sides?

  Trembles the margin with no portent bright?

  An Interior

  The gra
ss around my limbs is deep and sweet;

  Yonder the house has lost its shadow wholly,

  The blinds are dropped, and softly now and slowly

  The day flows in and floats; a calm retreat

  Of tempered light where fair things fair things meet;

  White busts and marble Dian make it holy,

  Within a niche hangs Durer's Melancholy

  Brooding; and, should you enter, there will greet

  Your sense with vague allurement effluence faint

  Of one magnolia bloom; fair fingers draw

  From the piano Chopin's heart-complaint;

  Alone, white-robed she sits; a fierce macaw

  On the verandah, proud of plume and paint,

  Screams, insolent despot, showing beak and claw.

  Evening, Near the Sea

  Light ebbs from off the Earth; the fields are strange,

  Dark, trackless, tenantless; now the mute sky

  Resigns itself to Night and Memory,

  And no wind will yon sunken clouds derange,

  No glory enrapture them; from cot or grange

  The rare voice ceases; one long-breathed sigh,

  And steeped in summer sleep the world must lie;

  All things are acquiescing in the change.

  Hush! while the vaulted hollow of the night

  Deepens, what voice is this the sea sends forth,

  Disconsolate iterance, a passionless moan?

  Ah! now the Day is gone, and tyrannous Light

  And the calm presence of fruit-bearing Earth:

  Cry, Sea! it is thy hour; thou art alone.


  With brain o'erworn, with heart a summer clod,

  With eye so practised in each form around,--

  And all forms mean,--to glance above the ground

  Irks it, each day of many days we plod,

  Tongue-tied and deaf, along life's common road;

  But suddenly, we know not how, a sound

  Of living streams, an odour, a flower crowned

  With dew, a lark upspringing from the sod,

  And we awake. O joy of deep amaze!

  Beneath the everlasting hills we stand,

  We hear the voices of the morning seas,

  And earnest prophesyings in the land,

  While from the open heaven leans forth at gaze

  The encompassing great cloud of witnesses.

  Two Infinities

  A lonely way, and as I went my eyes

  Could not unfasten from the Spring's sweet things,

  Lush-sprouted grass, and all that climbs and clings

  In loose, deep hedges, where the primrose lies

  In her own fairness, buried blooms surprise

  The plunderer bee and stop his murmurings,

  And the glad flutter of a finch's wings

  Outstartle small blue-speckled butterflies.

  Blissfully did one speedwell plot beguile

  My whole heart long; I loved each separate flower,

  Kneeling. I looked up suddenly--Dear God!

  There stretched the shining plain for many a mile,

  The mountains rose with what invincible power!

  And how the sky was fathomless and broad!

  John Swanwick Drennan (1809-1893)

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