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

Killarney, the Lakes

O’Donohue’s Mistress

By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

OF all the fair months that round the sun

In light-linked dance their circles run,

Sweet May, shine thou for me;

For still, when thy earliest beams arise,

That youth who beneath the blue lake lies,

Sweet May, returns to me.

Of all the bright haunts where daylight leaves

Its lingering smile on golden eves,

Fair lake, thou ’rt dearest to me;

For when the last April sun grows dim,

Thy Naiads prepare his steed for him

Who dwells, bright lake, in thee.

Of all the proud steeds that ever bore

Young plumed chiefs on sea or shore,

White steed, most joy to thee;

Who still, with the first young glance of spring,

From under that glorious lake dost bring

My love, my chief, to me.

While, white as the sail some bark unfurls

When newly launched, thy long mane curls,

Fair steed, as white and free;

And spirits, from all the lake’s deep bowers,

Glide o’er the blue wave scattering flowers

Around my love and thee.

Of all the sweet deaths that maidens die,

Whose lovers beneath the cold wave lie,

Most sweet that death will be

Which, under the next May evening’s light,

When thou and thy steed are lost to sight,

Dear love, I ’ll die for thee.