(Thomas Moore)

From Irish Melodies. 28. Oh! Blame Not the Bard

          OH! blame not the bard, if he fly to the bowers
                Where Pleasure lies, carelessly smiling at Fame;
          He was born for much more, and in happier hours
                His soul might have burnd with a holier flame.
          The string, that now languishes loose oer the lyre,
                Might have bent a proud bow to the warriors dart;
          And the lip, which now breathes but the song of desire
                Might have pourd the full tide of a patriots heart.

          But alas for his country!  her pride is gone by,
                And that spirit is broken which never would bend;
          Oer the ruin her children in secret must sigh,
                For tis treason to love her, and death to defend.
          Unprized are her sons, till theyve learnd to betray;
                Undistinguishd they live, if they shame not their sires;
          And the torch, that would light them through dignitys way,
                Must be caught from the pile where their country expires.

          Then blame not the bard, if in pleasures soft dream
                He should try to forget what he never can heal:
          Oh! give but a hope  let a vista but gleam
                Through the gloom of his country, and mark how hell feel!
          That instant, his heart at her shrine would lay down
                Every passion it nursed, every bliss it adored;
          While the myrtle, now idly entwined with his crown,
                Like the wreath of Harmodius, should cover his sword.

          But though glory be gone, and though hope fade away,
                Thy name, loved Erin, shall live in his songs;
          Not even in the hour when his heart is most gay
                Will he lose the remembrance of thee and thy wrongs.
          The stranger shall hear thy lament on his plains;
                The sign of thy harp shall be sent oer the deep,
          Till thy masters themselves, as they rivet thy chains,
                Shall pause at the song of their captive, and weep!

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