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.
 
Funcheon Woods
Funcheon Woods
Bartholomew Simmons (1804–1850)
 
DARK woods of Funcheon! treading far
  The rugged paths of duty,
Though lost to me the vesper star
  Now trembling o’er your beauty,
Still vividly I see your glades,        5
  The deep and emerald-hearted,
As when from their luxuriant shades
  My lingering steps departed.
 
That wild autumnal morning!—well
  Can haunted thought remember        10
How came in gusts o’er Corrin-fell
  The roar of dark September,
When I through that same woodland path
  To endless exile hasted,
Where many an hour my lavish youth        15
  The gold of evening wasted.
 
O for one day of that glad time!
  —Say, reckless heart, how is it
There ’s still so many a cliff to climb,
  And well-known nook to visit?        20
The Filea’s spring is gurgling near,
  And may I not, delaying,
One moment watch the glittering sand
  Beneath its crystal playing?
 
No!—“Onward!” cried the mighty breeze,        25
  “From all thy heart rejoices!”
And loud my childhood’s ancient trees
  Then lifted up their voices,
As though they felt and mourned the loss
  (With heads bowed down and hoary)        30
Of him who, seated at their feet,
  First sang their summer glory.
 
Too like the fair beloved group
  From whose embrace I wended,
In vain the pine-trees’ shapely troop        35
  Their graceful arms extended;
And vainly fast as sisters’ tears
  The pallid birch was weeping,
While woke, like cousins’ sad blue eyes,
  The winkle’s flower from sleeping.        40
 
Farewell,—I thought,—ye only friends
  The heart can trust in leaving,
Untroubled by the primal curse,
  The dread of your deceiving.
I shall not see at least your fall,        45
  And so, when wronged and wounded,
Still feel secure of peace at last,
  By you, old friends! surrounded.
 
And since in nature’s scenes, the grand
  Or beautiful or tender,        50
He who invests them with a light
  That sanctifies their splendor,
Finding no one abiding-place;
  Be his the deep reliance
That he for holier worlds received        55
  The bard’s immortal science.
 
Green Funcheon-side! your sounding woods
  Heaved wide as tossing ocean
When my last glance that autumn morn
  Turned from their billowy motion,—        60
Turned where the willow’s tresses streamed
  Above the river stooping,
Dark as your own bright lady’s-hair
  Magnificently drooping.
 
Ah, in that wild tumultuous hour        65
  When heaven with earth seemed warring,
And swept the tempest’s demon-power,
  The landscape’s lustre marring,
One gentle spirit (haply then
  Of Funcheon’s beauty thinking),        70
A fading girl, like a tired child,
  On Death’s calm breast was sinking.
 
They ’ve made her grave far, far from all
  The haunts she prized so dearly;
O, place no marble o’er its turf,        75
  For there shall flourish yearly
Such flowers as in her Bible’s leaves
  She loved to fold and cherish,—
Pansies and early primroses,
  That, as they blossom, perish.        80
 
Rave on, loud winds, from tranquil rest
  Ye nevermore shall stir her;
And ye, fair woods, now vanishing
  From memory’s darkened mirror,
Farewell; what meeter time for thought,        85
  The lost and loved recalling,
Than in this solemn evening hour
  When autumn-leaves are falling!
 
 
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