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- Lays from the West - 1/24 -


LAYS FROM THE WEST

BY

"STELLA"--M.A. NICHOLL

Then the spirit reached her fingers, Taper things of rosy snow, Took my songs, and as she took them, "Tiny germs," she whispered "go! Root among the coming hours, Seeds are ye of many flowers, Which from out the winds will grow!"

* * * * *

Dedicated

WITH MUCH GRATITUDE AND AFFECTION

TO

_MRS. T. SPOTISWOOD ASH,_

THE MANOR HOUSE,

BELLAGHY, IRELAND.

* * * * *

IN THE NORTHWEST.

"I'll not forget Old Ireland, were it fifty times as fair."

In myriads o'er the prairie Bright flowers bloom strangely fair, There's beauty in the clear blue sky, There's sweetness in the air; And loveliness, with lavish hand, Decks dell and dingle gay; Yet still I love my native land-- The Green Isle, far away.

The poplar quivers in the breeze, And by the blue lake's side. The regal iris, tall and fair, Blooms in her native pride; But I dream of the broad beeches' shade In glens beside Lough Neagh And my longing thoughts go back to thee, O, Green Isle, far away!

Strange birds, in painted plumage gay, In hundreds haunt the grove; O'er marsh and moor, the loon and heron, The coot and plover rove; But I miss the lark's glad matin song, And the thrush and blackbird's lay, The summer songsters, sweet and wild, In the Green Isle, far away. Along the blue horizon line The "bluffs" rise 'gainst the sky, But in dreams I see Old Erin's coast-- Her mountains wild and high Slieve Gallon, with his hoary head Gold-crowned at close of day, When sunset lights the grand old hills In the Green Isle, far away.

There's beauty in the woodland wilds With their varied foliage fair, But, cowering from the light of day, The grim wolf shelters there. Ah! dear old woods, where I have roamed At eve of summer day, No hidden dangers haunt your glades, In the Green Isle, far away.

The clear Assiniboine winds free Through many a fertile vale; The antlered deer and graceful hind Bound o'er the wooded dale; But I miss the quiet rural scenes-- The farm-house, thatched and grey, That memory fondly pictures now Of the Green Isle, far away.

The Sabbath morn its holy calm Breathes o'er the prairie lands, And the answering heart hears Nature's psalm And the wild woods clap their hands. But I long to hear the church bell's sound Tell to these wilds that day, When thousands meet to praise and pray In the Green Isle far away.

Here life lays hold of brighter things For the fair years to be, But the deathless Past and all her dreams, Old land, belong to thee! The buried love, the buried hope Of youth's glad summer day, That blend with unforgotten scenes Of the Green Isle, far away.

And while we love this pleasant land And own it good and fair, Our hearts' first love goes backward And fondly lingers there-- Back to the dear home country, Then forward to that day When all shall meet together, From the Green Isle pass'd away.

SONG.

"In the gloaming Oh, my darling."

Oh! green-bosomed Isle, as the summer day's gloaming, Lies dreamy and dun on the prairie's wild breast There my worn, wayward heart o'er the wild waves is roaming Far, far to the scenes that are dearest and best.

As by bluff and by woodland, by swamp and by meadow, The gloom gathers round in its dim, mystic pall, Then my fancies come forth, spirit-children of shadow, Slow gliding from haunts where the lone night-birds call.

When the wind, ardent lover, in songful caressing, Speaks low to the grasses that bend to his breath, And the dew woos the rose with the balm of its blessing And steals it with love from the shadow of death.

Then I seek the wild glen, when the new moon is beaming All weirdly and wan, through a cloud's fleecy haze, 'Till I stand, young and free, in the land of my dreaming, Clasping hands with the phantoms of happier days.

And then, oh! mavourneen, in grey distance flying The present, the real, grows dimmer, and dies, See but the moonbeams, but hear the winds sighing, And bask, fancy bound, in the light of your eyes.

My own! though the years in the gloom of their sadness Stand, frowning, 'tween me and the light of my star, And memory can feel the wild might of loves madness, Or scoff as rude Time its first sweetness would mar.

Again, by the banks where Moyola is flowing We stray as the moonbeams smile sweet through the dell

Unheeded the moments, unmarked in their going, Nor dreamed we of woe in the sound of "farewell."

Is it lost--all the light of the fair morning vision? Is spirit to spirit unanswering, cold? No, it never shall die, while in memory's Elysian It lingers in beauty and brightness untold.

Love is love, and though Fate blasts our hope vines may sever From the stay which their tendrils in fondness entwine Yet the past of our joy we must cherish forever And spirit meet spirit at memory's shrine.

A MEMORY.

"Indulgent Memory wakes, and, lo! they live!" --RODGERS

Deathless, while the years are flying, And all lesser hopes are dying. To my widowed heart near lying By a life-time's love embalmed, Is a memory, dear and tender, And in dreams its bygone splendour Sweetest, holiest, balm can render To my grief, by Time uncalmed.

In life's morning, young and early Glistening fair through dew-drops pearly, Burst a bud that promised fairly Through the length of future days. Ah! it charmed my passion'd dreaming, Bathed in beauty's brightness, beaming Fadeless still, and deathless seeming In fond Hope's delusive haze.


Lays from the West - 1/24

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