John Anster Poems >>
Dirge

CHORUS.
Like the oak of the vale was thy strength and thy height,
Thy foot, like the erne of the mountain in flight:
Thy arm was the tempest of Loda's fierce breath,
Thy blade, like the blue mist of Lego, was death!--

Alas! how soon the thin cold cloud
The hero's bloody limbs must shroud!
And who shall tell his sire the tale!
And who shall soothe his widow's wail!
--I see thy father, full of days;
For thy return behold him gaze;
The hand, that rests upon the spear,
Trembles in feebleness and fear--
He shudders, and his bald grey brow
Is shaking like the aspen--bough,
He gazes, till his dim eyes fail
With gazing on the fancied sail;--
Anxious he looks--what sudden streak
Flits like a sunbeam o'er his cheek!
--``Joy, joy, my child, it is the bark
That bounds on yonder billow dark!''--
His child looks forth with straining eye,
And sees--the light cloud sailing by--
--His grey head shakes;--how sad, how weak
That sigh!--how sorrowful that cheek!--

His bride from her slumbers will waken and weep,
But when shall the hero arouse him from sleep?
The yell of the stag--hound--the clash of the spear,
May ring o'er his tomb,--but the dead will not hear;
Once he wielded the sword, once he cheered to the hound,
But his pleasures are past, and his slumber is sound;
--Await not his coming, ye sons of the chace,
Day dawns!--but it nerves not the dead for the race;
--Await not his coming, ye sons of the spear,
The war--song ye sing--but the dead will not hear!

Oh blessing be with him who sleeps in the grave,
The leader of Lochlin! the young and the brave!--
On earth didst thou scatter the strength of our foes,
--Then blessing be thine in thy cloud of repose!

CHORUS.
Like the oak of the vale was thy strength and thy height,
Thy foot, like the erne of the mountain in flight;
Thy arm was the tempest of Loda's fierce breath,
Thy blade, like the blue mist of Lego, was death!--