Thomas Moore ( )


From Irish Melodies. 96. Shall the Harp Then Be Silent


SHALL the Harp then be silent, when he who first gave
      To our country a name, is withdrawn from all eyes?
Shall a Minstrel of Erin stand mute by the grave
      Where the first  where the last of her Patriots lies?

No  faint though the death-song may fall from his lips,
      Though his Harp, like his soul, may with shadows be crost,
Yet, yet shall it sound, mid a nations eclipse,
      And proclaim to the world what a star hath been lost; 

What a union of all the affections and powers
      By which life is exalted, embellishd, refined,
Was embraced in that spirit  whose centre was ours,
      While its mighty circumference circled mankind.

Oh, who that loves Erin, or who that can see,
      Through the waste of her annals, that epoch sublime 
Like a pyramid raised in the desert  where he
      And his glory stand out to the eyes of all time;

That one lucid interval, snatchd from the gloom
      And the madness of ages, when filld with his soul,
A Nation oerleapd the dark bounds of her doom,
      And for one sacred instant, touchd Libertys goal?

Who, that ever hath heard him  hath drunk at the source
      Of that wonderful eloquence, all Erins own,
In whose high-thoughted daring, the fire, and the force,
      And the yet untamed spring of her spirit are shown?

An eloquence rich, wheresoever its wave
      Wanderd free and triumphant, with thoughts that shone through
As clear as the brooks "stone of lustre," and gave,
      With the flash of the gem, its solidity too.

Who, what ever approachd him, when free from the crowd,
      In a home full of love, he delighted to read
Mong the trees which a nation had given, and which bowd,
      As if each brought a new civic crown for his head 

Is there one, who hath thus, through his orbit of life
      But at distance observed him  through glory, through blame,
In the calm of retreat, in the grandeur of strife,
      Whether shining or clouded, still high and the same? 

Oh no, not a heart that eer knew him but mourns
      Deep, deep, oer the grave where such glory is shrined 
Oer a monument Fame will preserve mong the urns
      Of the wisest, the bravest, the best of mankind!



Thomas Moore's other poems:
  1. From Irish Melodies. 61. Id Mourn the Hopes
  2. From The Odes of Anacreon. Ode 3
  3. From Irish Melodies. 10. Rich and Rare Were the Gems She Wore
  4. From Irish Melodies. 92. ODonohues Mistress
  5. From The Odes of Anacreon. Ode 68


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