Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Glen of Glangoole

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

Appendix: Glangoole

The Glen of Glangoole

By Sir Aubrey de Vere (1788–1846)

THE HILLS are all around me,—in a dell

Worn by a stream, a deep and winding glen,

On a bare rock, beside a waterfall,

I sit; and, musing, lean upon my hand.

The song of birds, and the low, piping wind,

The distant low of cattle, and the hum

Of laboring men, as the breeze dies away,

Make music with the stream’s deep under-song,—

A mountain music, that revives old thoughts,

And fills the eye of memory with tears.

These shadowy steeps that lift on either hand

Their brows into the sun, naked of trees,

Yet wear a gorgeous mantle! the green grass,

The golden gorse, the heath of purple bloom

With its brown foliage, group amid the rocks

In tufts, or spreading banks; the lady-fern

Spreads out her delicate fingers; ’neath the stone

Dewed by the torrent’s spray, on marshy spots,

The bright green flag shoots up: a thousand weeds

Of curious form, and wild-flowers of all hues,

Hang pendent from the fissures of the cliffs.

Far ’neath my eye, even at the valley’s gorge,

A ruined chapel with its ivied walls,

Mid the rude gravestones of the villagers,

Lies sheltered; thence gray orchards, and green fields

Spotted with cattle; and the furrowed glebe

Where yet the tender wheaten shoot lies hid,

Waiting the warm breath of the tardy spring

(Life anchored nigh the haven of the dead),

Bask in the day; beyond, the heathy moor

Spreads out its dusky level,—a wide plain,

Prone as the ocean’s breast when the winds sleep,

For the cloud shadows to disport upon.

Lo! how along the depths of heaven, like ships

With all their white sails crowding into light,

The vapors float magnificent!—beneath

In beautiful contention with the light,

Shadows are chasing shadows; like wild hounds,

That sweep the dewy mountain’s side at morn.

And now thine eastern boundaries, dark plain!

Like youthful memories in life’s eve revived,

Flash out to greet the sunset; the blue hills

Rise with their bright crests in serener skies,

And turrets start from groves between, and spires

Mid clustering walls ascend; green hills swell out

Their bosoms, and the valleys sink in shade.

O, how I love to watch yon mountain heights!

For there are eyes beyond, now fixed on them,

Thinking of eyes that gaze upon them here;

And there ’s a constant heart beyond, that beats

With a fond expectation, and doth count

Days, hours, nay, minutes, as they creep away,

Pensively chiding the slow-footed time.

With a long sigh from my sweet dream I start.

Beneath me, from the hospitable cot

The blue smoke rises. In their rose-clasped porch

Even now my kinsman and his gentle wife

Wait me with welcome kind and friendly smiles.