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


The Oaks of Gleneigh

By Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830–1883)

O, THINK of the days when the crag’s hoary masses

Bent o’er one green forest in Houra’s wild passes,

When the gray wolf was king of the forest and mountain,

And the red deer ran free by the blue torrent’s shore,

When the prey scarcely rested at eve by the fountain,

Swept on by the spear of the wild creachadore!

’T was a brave time, a wild time,—the hills seem to mourn

Till the splendor of glade and of forest return;

Yet is there not splendor as wild and as shaggy,

Where the huge blasted roots of that forest remain,

Wide spread o’er each deep cave and precipice craggy,

Sending scions of strength to the blue sky again?

Afar where Molama in thunder is flowing,

Afar in Gleneigh are these strong scions growing,—

They spring from the stream and they tower from the ledges

Of the huge rocks which frown o’er that wild fairy dell;

Like young guardian giants encircling the edges

Of the deep, silent pool and the moss-wreathéd well.

How thick in the summer their green leaves were shining!

How sear and how scattered at autumn’s declining!

But the wild hills shall see them far greener than ever,

When winter hath fled from the bright smiles of May;

Ah! thus should Adversity’s children endeavor

To breast the rude blasts, like the oaks of Gleneigh!