Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Dream of John Mac Donnell (Author: James Clarence Mangan)
- I lay in unrestold thoughts of pain,
That I struggled in vain to smother,
Like midnight spectres haunted my brain
Dark fantasies chased each other;
When, lo! a Figurewho might it be
A tall fair figure stood near me!
Who might it be? An unreal Banshee?
Or an angel sent to cheer me?
- Though years have rolled since then, yet now
My memory thrillingly lingers
On her awful charms, her waxen brow,
Her pale, translucent fingers,
Her eyes that mirrored a wonder world,
Her mien of unearthly mildness,
And her waving raven tresses that curled
To the ground in beautiful wildness.
- 'Whence comest thou, Spirit?' I asked, methought;
'Thou art not one of the Banished!'
Alas, for me! she answered nought,
But rose aloft and evanished;
And a radiance, like to a glory, beamed
In the light she left behind her.
Long time I wept, and at last medreamed
I left my shieling to find her.
- And first I turned to the thunderous North,
To Gruagach's mansion kingly;
Untouching the earth I then sped forth
To Inver-lough, and the shingly
And shining strand of the fishful Erne,
And thence to Cruachan the golden,
Of whose resplendent palace ye learn
So many a marvel olden
- I saw the Mourna's billows flow
I passed the walls of Shenady,
And stood in the hero-thronged Ardroe,
Embosked amid greenwoods shady;
And visited that proud pile that stands
Above the Boyne's broad waters,
Where Aengus dwells, with his warrior-bands
And the fairest of Ulster's daughters.
- To the halls of Mac Lir, to Creevroe's height,
To Tara, the glory of Erin,
To the fairy palace that glances bright
On the peak of the blue Cnocfeerin,
I vainly hied. I went west and east
I travelled seaward and shoreward
But thus was I greeted at field and at feast
'Thy way lies onward and forward!'
- At last I reached, I wist not how,
The royal towers of Ival,
Which under the cliff's gigantic brow,
Still rise without a rival;
And here were Thomond's chieftains all,
With amour, and swords, and lances,
And here sweet music filled the hall
And damsels charmed with dances.
- And here, at length, on a silvery throne,
Half seated, half reclining,
With forehead white as the marble stone,
And garments so starrily shining
And features beyond the poet's pen
The sweetest, saddest features
Appeared before me once again,
The fairest of Living Creatures!
- 'Draw near, O mortal!' she said, with a sigh.
'And hear my mournful story!
The Guardian-Spirit of Erin am I,
But dimmed is mine ancient glory;
My priests are banished, my warriors wear
No longer victory's garland;
And my Child2, my Son, my beloved Heir,
Is an exile in a far land!'
- I heard no moreI saw no more
The bands of slumber were broken;
And palace and hero, and river and shore,
Had vanished, and left no token.
Dissolved was the spell that had bound my will
And my fancy thus for a season;
But a sorrow therefore hangs over me still,
Despite of the teachings of Reason!