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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Sir Aubrey De Vere

566. Glengariff


GAZING from each low bulwark of this bridge,

How wonderful the contrast! Dark as night,

Here, amid cliffs and woods, with headlong might

The black stream whirls, through ferns and drooping sedge,

’Neath twisted roots moss-brown, and weedy ledge,

Gushing;—aloft, from yonder birch-clad height

Leaps into air a cataract, snow-white;

Falling to gulfs obscure. The mountain ridge,

Like a grey Warder, guardian of the scene,

Above the cloven gorge gloomily towers:

O’er the dim woods a gathering tempest lours;

Save where athwart the moist leaves’ lucid green

A sunbeam, glancing through disparted showers,

Sparkles along the rill with diamond sheen!


A sun-burst on the Bay! Turn and behold!

The restless waves, resplendent in their glory,

Sweep glittering past yon purpled promontory,

Bright as Apollo’s breastplate. Bathed in gold,

Yon bastioned islet gleams. Thin mists are rolled,

Translucent, through each glen. A mantle hoary

Veils those peaked hills shapely as e’er in story

Delphic, or Alpine, or Vesuvian old,

Minstrels have sung. From rock and headland proud

The wild wood spreads its arms around the bay:

The manifold mountain cones, now dark, now bright,

Now seen, now lost, alternate from rich light

To spectral shade; and each dissolving cloud

Reveals new mountains while it floats away.