Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Ireland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V.  1876–79.
 
Brosna, the River
Brosna’s Banks
John Frazer (1809–1849)
 
YES, yes, I idled many an hour,
  (O, would that I could idle now,
In wooing back the withered flower
  Of health into my wasted brow!)
But from my life’s o’ershadowing close,        5
  My unimpassioned spirit ranks
Among its happiest moments those
  I idled on the Brosna’s banks.
 
For there upon my boyhood broke
  The dreamy voice of nature first;        10
And every word the vision spoke
  How deeply has my spirit nursed!
A woman’s love, a lyre, or pen,
  A rescued land, a nation’s thanks,
A friendship with the world, and then        15
  A grave upon the Brosna’s banks.
 
For these I sued and sought and strove,
  But now my youthful days are gone,
In vain, in vain,—for woman’s love
  Is still a blessing to be won;        20
And still my country’s cheek is wet,
  The still unbroken fetter clanks,
And I may not forsake her yet
  To die upon the Brosna’s banks.
 
Yet idle as those visions seem,        25
  They were a strange and faithful guide,
When Heaven itself had scarce a gleam
  To light my darkened life beside;
And if from grosser guilt escaped
  I feel no dying dread, the thanks        30
Are due unto the Power that shaped
  My visions on the Brosna’s banks.
 
And love, I feel, will come at last,
  Albeit too late to comfort me;
And fetters from the land be cast,        35
  Though I may not survive to see.
If then the gifted, good, and brave
  Admit me to their glorious ranks,
My memory may, though not my grave,
  Be green upon the Brosna’s banks.        40
 
 
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