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.
 
Galway
O’Connor’s Child; Or, the Flower of Love Lies Bleeding
Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)
 
O, ONCE the harp of Innisfail
Was strung full high to notes of gladness;
But yet it often told a tale
Of more prevailing sadness.
Sad was the note, and wild its fall,        5
As winds that moan at night forlorn
Along the isles of Fion-Gael,
When for O’Connor’s child to mourn,
The harper told, how lone, how far
From any mansion’s twinkling star,        10
From any path of social men,
Or voice, but from the fox’s den,
The lady in the desert dwelt,
And yet no wrongs, no fear she felt:
Say, why should dwell in place so wild        15
The lovely pale O’Connor’s child?
Sweet lady! she no more inspires
Green Erin’s heart with beauty’s power,
As in the palace of her sires
She bloomed a peerless flower.        20
Gone from her hand and bosom, gone,
The regal broche, the jewelled ring,
That o’er her dazzling whiteness shone
Like dews on lilies of the spring.
Yet why, though fallen her brother’s kerne,        25
Beneath De Bourgo’s battle stern,
While yet in Leinster unexplored,
Her friends survive the English sword,
Why lingers she from Erin’s host,
So far on Galway’s shipwrecked coast;        30
Why wanders she a huntress wild,—
The lovely pale O’Connor’s child?
 
And fixed on empty space, why burn
Her eyes with momentary wildness;
And wherefore do they then return        35
To more than woman’s mildness?
Dishevelled are her raven locks,
On Connocht Moran’s name she calls,
And oft amidst the lonely rocks
She sings sweet madrigals.        40
Placed in the foxglove and the moss,
Behold a parted warrior’s cross!
That is the spot where, evermore,
The lady, at her shieling door,
Enjoys that in communion sweet        45
The living and the dead can meet:
For lo! to lovelorn fantasy
The hero of her heart is nigh.
 
Bright as the bow that spans the storm,
In Erin’s yellow vesture clad,        50
A son of light, a lovely form,
He comes and makes her glad:
Now on the grass-green turf he sits,
His tasselled horn beside him laid;
Now o’er the hills in chase he flits,        55
The hunter and the deer a shade!
Sweet mourner! those are shadows vain,
That cross the twilight of her brain;
Yet she will tell you she is blest,
Of Connocht Moran’s tomb possessed,        60
More richly than in Aghrim’s bower,
When bards high praised her beauty’s power,
And kneeling pages offered up
The morat in a golden cup.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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