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

Lough Foyle

The Gorsy Glen

By Robert Leighton (1822–1869)

BETWEEN Loch-Foyle and Greenan’s ancient fort,

From Derry’s famous walls a little way,

There dreams a gorsy glen, in whose lone heart

I mused a Sabbath day.

A nameless glen, one mass of yellow gorse,

That hides the sparkle of a trotting burn,

Save where in dimpling pools it stays its force,

Or takes a rocky turn.

The sandy linnet sang, the tiny wren

Poured in the burn its tiny melodies.

The air was honey-laden, and the glen

All murmurous with bees.

A straggling crow, upon its woodward way,

Might start an echo with its rusty croak;

But all around the quiet Sabbath lay,

Hushed from the week-day yoke.

Near, yet all hidden from, the ways of men,

No foot into my sanctuary stole;

I wandered with my shadow in the glen,—

The only living soul.

Yet many more were in the glen, ’t would seem:

I heard, or thought I heard, their whispered words,

And knew ’t was not the bees, the babbling stream,

Or carol of the birds.

And sometimes through the sunniest gleams of day

There passed a light intenser than the gleam,—

A living soul without its grosser clay?

Or but my waking dream?

Who knows? who knows? The dream to-day is found

A verity to-morrow. Things have been

Forever with us in our daily round,

Though now but newly seen.

Ah! could we by a purer life refine

The veil that keeps the inward from our ken,

No lonely fellowship had then been mine

Within the gorsy glen.