26 February 1916
“Thoughts on Maugherow.”
Far from cherished scenes I live
In pensive mood asthore,
My thoughts revert to days I spent
Nigh Rockley’s rugged shore;
When nature all seems hushed to sleep
And twilight softly weaves its spell,
On fancy’s mystic airy wings
I float to Lissadell.
I see once more the schoolhouse grey,
And mingle with that happy throng
Whose sounds of mirth I e’er regret,
Those kindly smiles—that happy song
Which waked an echo in my breast,
And made me feel a child once more
To wander happy, gay and free
On the Atlantic’s shore
’Tis evening and the crescent barque
Beams softly down on feathery foam
Whose spray a myriad tints reflect
Soft lights that glow in mermaid’s home.
I pause, the deep toned Angelus
Its sound vibrates o’er wood and lea,
And sends its message echoing far
To friends across the sea.
A calm, sweet peace steals o’er me
As Knocklane castle comes in view,
What history to my mind it calls,
Of days when Ireland brave and true
From Connaught hills and valleys green
Sent hosts prepared at war’s dim cry,
For God, for Erin, Justice, Truth,
To conquer or to die.
A scene more beauteous, wildly grand,
Enchanting in the waning light,
Was Lissadell—the haunt of nymphs—
When first it graced my sight;
The world recedes, a scene appears
Of magic softness. Poets may tell
Its charms divine, but justice nee’r
Can pen sweet Lissadell.
Choice perfumes wafted from the flowers
A thousand odours sweetly grand
To charm the senses; please the heart
By zephyrs lightly fanned;
The cadence of a dying song
Whose notes replete with sweetness fell
From nigh the vault of heavenly dome
To dwell in Lissadell.
The stars their dewy radiance shed
On golden strand as on I stray,
What happiness, content was mine;
What dreams of love, oh nought can say
What vision snow its mem’ries bring,
What bitter loss! What keen regret
That I should leave sweet Maugherow,
Leave thee as I met.
Ah! well I mind that happy day
When from the Cartroon strand I strayed
With friends courteous by my side
To view the “Punch Bowls” nature made;
The glorious sunshine filled the air
With harmony, serene, divine,
I thought no place could equal thee,
No sun more brightly shine.
Though fortune’s star beams brighter far,
Since homeward I returned again,
Yet e’er I sigh, but sigh in vain
For one fond glimpse of that dear glen,
Where oft in boyhood’s changeful moods
It cast o’er me its magic spells,
And makes me long with dear delight
For lovely Lissadell.