Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
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Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
 
146. Eileen Aroon
 
By Gerald Griffin
 
 
WHEN, like the early rose,
  Eileen aroon!
Beauty in childhood blows,
  Eileen aroon!
When, like a diadem,        5
Buds blush around the stem,
Which is the fairest gem?
  Eileen aroon!
 
Is it the laughing eye,
  Eileen aroon!        10
Is it the timid sigh,
  Eileen aroon!
Is it the tender tone,
Soft as the stringed harp’s moan?
Oh! it is Truth alone.        15
  Eileen aroon!
 
When, like the rising day,
  Eileen aroon!
Love sends his early ray,
  Eileen aroon!        20
What makes his dawning glow
Changeless through joy or woe?
Only the constant know—
  Eileen aroon!
 
I know a valley fair,        25
  Eileen aroon!
I knew a cottage there,
  Eileen aroon!
Far in that valley shade
I knew a gentle maid,        30
Flower of a hazel glade,
  Eileen aroon!
 
Who in the song so sweet?
  Eileen aroon!
Who in the dance so fleet?        35
  Eileen aroon!
Dear were her charms to me,
Dearer her laughter free,
Dearest her constancy,
  Eileen aroon!        40
 
Were she no longer true,
  Eileen aroon!
What should her lover do?
  Eileen aroon!
Fly with his broken chain        45
Far o’er the sounding main,
Never to love again,
  Eileen aroon!
 
Youth must with time decay,
  Eileen aroon!        50
Beauty must fade away,
  Eileen aroon!
Castles are sacked in war,
Chieftains are scattered far,
Truth is a fixed star,        55
  Eileen aroon!
 

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