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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Rock of Cashel

Sir Aubrey de Vere (1788–1846)

ROYAL and saintly Cashel! I would gaze

Upon the wreck of thy departed powers

Not in the dewy light of matin hours,

Nor the meridian pomp of summer’s blaze,

But at the close of dim autumnal days,

When the sun’s parting glance, through slanting showers,

Sheds o’er thy rock-throned battlements and towers

Such awful gleams as brighten o’er Decay’s

Prophetic cheek. At such a time, methinks,

There breathes from thy lone courts and voiceless aisles

A melancholy moral, such as sinks

On the lone traveller’s heart amid the piles

Of vast Persepolis on her mountain stand,

Or Thebes half buried in the desert sand.