Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Ireland
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V.  1876–79.
Mitchelstown Caverns
Gerald Griffin (1803–1840)
GRIMLY it frowned when first with shuddering mind
We saw the far-famed Cavern’s darkling womb,
And for that vault of silence and of gloom
Left the fair day and smiling world behind.
But what bright wonder hailed our eyes erelong!        5
The crystal well, the sparry curtained dome,
The sparkling shafts that propped that caverned home,
And vaults that turned the homeliest sounds to song.
O, this, I thought, is sure a symbol plain
Of that undreaded death the holy die,        10
Stern at the first and withering to the view;
But past that gate of darkness and of pain,
What scenes of unimagined rapture lie,
Rich with elysian wealth and splendor ever new.
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