Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
By That Lake, Whose Gloomy Shore
By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
 
BY 1 that Lake, whose gloomy shore
Sky-lark never warbles o’er,
Where the cliff hangs high and steep,
Young Saint Kevin stole to sleep.
‘Here, at least,’ he calmly said,        5
‘Woman ne’er shall find my bed.’
Ah! the good Saint little knew,
What that wily sex can do.
 
’Twas from Kathleen’s eyes he flew,—
Eyes of most unholy blue!        10
She had lov’d him well and long,
Wish’d him hers, nor thought it wrong.
Wheresoe’er the Saint would fly,
Still he heard her light foot nigh;
East or west, where’er he turn’d,        15
Still her eyes before him burn’d.
 
On the bold cliff’s bosom cast,
Tranquil now he sleeps at last;
Dreams of heav’n, nor thinks that e’er
Woman’s smile can haunt him there.        20
But nor earth nor heaven is free
From her power, if fond she be:
Even now, while calm he sleeps,
Kathleen o’er him leans and weeps.
 
Fearless she had tracked his feet        25
To this rocky, wild retreat;
And when morning met his view,
Her mild glances met it too.
Ah, your Saints have cruel hearts!
Sternly from his bed he starts,        30
And with rude, repulsive shock,
Hurls her from the beetling rock.
 
Glendalough, thy gloomy wave
Soon was gentle Kathleen’s grave!
Soon the saint (yet ah! too late,)        35
Felt her love, and mourn’d her fate.
When he said, ‘Heav’n rest her soul!’
Round the Lake light music stole;
And her ghost was seen to glide,
Smiling o’er the fatal tide.        40
 
Note 1. This ballad is founded upon one of the many stories related of St. Kevin, whose bed in the rock is to be seen at Glendalough, a most gloomy and romantic spot in the county of Wicklow. [back]
 
 
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