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Song

by Thomas Moore
the greatest Irish lyrist
born Dublin, 1779 - died 1852
Have you not seen the timid tear
Steal trembling from mine eye?
Have you not mark'd the flush of fear,
Or caught the murmur'd sigh?
And can you think my love is chill,
Nor fix'd on you alone?
And can you rend, by doubting still,
A heart so much your own?

To you my soul's affections move
Devoutly, warmly, true:
My life has been a task of love,
One long, long thought of you.
If all your tender faith is o'er,
If still my truth you'll try;
Alas! I know but one proof more -
I'll bless your name, and die!

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Lisa

Yes. This is such a beautiful piece. Do you like Yeats? So many of his poems grew into the lyrics of Irish traditional music. Sally Garden, for one.

A favorite Yeats poem of mine is The Host of the Air -- so mystical and very meloncholy.

in fact, Yeats has done so much as tribute to the Irish spirit. one of the most descriptive Yeats' lines says:

When God made the Irish
He must have been mad.
All their wars are merry,
All their music sad.

Thanks for starting a discussion on Irish poetry.
I used to teach it in high school.

Slan.
I haven't the time (wish I did have the time) to look at all the entries especially in regard to Yeats. I hope someone mentioned my favorite Inisfree. Thought I'd comment - I will arise and go now.
I mentioned The Host of the Air by Yeats. Thought I'd just place it here for the pure pleasure of reading a beautiful but very meloncholy poem of love. Enjoy, LI family.

The Host of the Air

O’DRISCOLL drove with a song,
The wild duck and the drake,
From the tall and the tufted reeds
Of the drear Hart Lake.

And he saw how the reeds grew dark 5
At the coming of night tide,
And dreamed of the long dim hair
Of Bridget his bride.

He heard while he sang and dreamed
A piper piping away, 10
And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.

And he saw young men and young girls
Who danced on a level place
And Bridget his bride among them, 15
With a sad and a gay face.

The dancers crowded about him,
And many a sweet thing said,
And a young man brought him red wine
And a young girl white bread. 20

But Bridget drew him by the sleeve,
Away from the merry bands,
To old men playing at cards
With a twinkling of ancient hands.

The bread and the wine had a doom, 25
For these were the host of the air;
He sat and played in a dream
Of her long dim hair.

He played with the merry old men
And thought not of evil chance, 30
Until one bore Bridget his bride
Away from the merry dance.

He bore her away in his arms,
The handsomest young man there,
And his neck and his breast and his arms 35
Were drowned in her long dim hair.

O’Driscoll scattered the cards
And out of his dream awoke:
Old men and young men and young girls
Were gone like a drifting smoke; 40

But he heard high up in the air
A piper piping away,
And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.
Rebecca,

After teaching my students a variety of poetry, I would then read this poem as dramatically as I could. The boys would be silent, the girls would sometimes cry.

A student asked me, after a reading of The Host of the Air, why poetry like this wasn't written anymore. I said, gently and seriuosly, "Because Willy Yeats is dead. Now someone needs to take his place."
For the lovers of Yeats, those who love the Irish fiddle, and all of us with LI who simply love Irish music, here is a Valentine Day poem about Irish music, song and dance that I hope was more a vision of Heaven by Yeats than just a poem.

Frank Daub


THE FIDDLER OF DOONEY

WHEN I play on my fiddle in Dooney.
Folk dance like a wave of the sea;
My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet,
My brother in Mocharabuiee.

I passed my brother and cousin:
They read in their books of prayer;
I read in my book of songs
I bought at the Sligo fair.

When we come at the end of time
To Peter sitting in state,
He will smile on the three old spirits,
But call me first through the gate;

For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle,
And the merry love to dance:

And when the folk there spy me,
They will all come up to me,
With 'Here is the fiddler of Dooney!'
And dance like a wave of the sea.
My contribution to the Yeat’s discussion . . .

William Butler Yeats died in France in1939. His wish was to be buried in Co. Sligo ‘under the shadow’ of his beloved ‘Ben Bulben’ . In 1948, he was finally laid to rest in the tiny graveyard of Drumcliff church shadowed by the table mountain of Ben Bulben. On a simple headstone, penned by his own hand, his epitaph reads: "Cast a cold Eye On life, on Death. Horseman, pass by!" This, along with his name, and his dates are all that is on the gravestone. On a visit to his gravesite, a long time ago, I was struck by the simplicity of the location and paucity of comment given the enormity of Yeat’s contribution to Irish literature. I was moved to write the following poem, a humble offering in the face of such greatness.

Horseman Stop!
(A poem by Walter Magill © Copyright 1973)

This child of Ben Bulben
Beneath Sligo lies
In Drumcliff churchyard
In common demise
No statue, no altar
No mark of the great
Just a few chosen words
On a gray, granite slate
And a name to remember
For eternity
Of a man who was born
For posterity
This child of Ben Bulben
Beneath Sligo lies.
A very strong piece, Walt. Today's poets are too cautious to use a rhyme scheme. I thoroughly enjoy rhyme and see it as an essential part of poetry. And a powerful tribute to one of the world's best poets -- who seldom shied away from working hard at the discipline of poetry.

You -- sir -- are a man of many talents!

Frank (PS: Let's keep this poetry forum going.)
Walter, that's great!
Ronnie,

Thanks for the comment. Given that this poem was posted some time ago it's nice to know that there are those, like yourself, that take the time to revisit earlier postings in this forum. I do so myself - every now and then.

Walter. .
Hi

I have visited his grave at Drumcliff and have wondered as did you that it be so humble a rememberance. I enjoyed your poem. A tribute to Yeats who brings us all together in his words. Good job! Take courage and write more....you write well! Cuchulain
I love the poetry but I am also captivated by your post at Christmas i beleive you are a born again Christian So am I Blessings to you Wayne
Now here is a little Yeats poem dedicated to the studio Ladies of LI.


THE LIVING BEAUTY

I BADE, because the wick and oil are spent
And frozen are the channels of the blood,
My discontented heart to draw content
From beauty that is cast out of a mould
In bronze, or that in dazzling marble appears,
Appears, but when we have gone is gone again,
Being more indifferent to our solitude
Than 'twere an apparition. O heart, we are old;
The living beauty is for younger men:
We cannot pay its tribute of wild tears.

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