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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V. 1876–79.


By That Lake Whose Gloomy Shore

By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

BY that lake whose gloomy shore

Skylark never warbles o’er,

Where the cliff hangs high and steep,

Young Saint Kevin stole to sleep.

“Here, at least,” he calmly said,

“Woman ne’er shall find my bed.”

Ah! the good saint little knew

What that wily sex can do.

’T was from Kathleen’s eyes he flew,—

Eyes of most unholy blue!

She had loved him well and long,

Wished him hers, nor thought it wrong.

Wheresoe’er the saint would fly,

Still he heard her light foot nigh;

East or west, where’er he turned,

Still her eyes before him burned.

On the bold cliff’s bosom cast,

Tranquil now he sleeps at last;

Dreams of heaven, nor thinks that e’er

Woman’s smile can haunt him there.

But nor earth nor heaven is free

From her power, if fond she be:

Even now, while calm he sleeps,

Kathleen o’er him leans and weeps.

Fearless she had tracked his feet

To this rocky, wild retreat;

And when morning met his view,

Her mild glances met it too.

Ah, your saints have cruel hearts!

Sternly from his bed he starts,

And with rude, repulsive shock,

Hurls her from the beetling rock.

Glendalough, thy gloomy wave

Soon was gentle Kathleen’s grave!

Soon the saint (yet ah! too late)

Felt her love, and mourned her fate.

When he said, “Heaven rest her soul!”

Round the lake light music stole;

And her ghost was seen to glide,

Smiling o’er the fatal tide.