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Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga (Author: James Clarence Mangan)
- I wandered forth at night alone
Along the dreary, shingly, billow-beaten shore;
Sadness that night was in my bosom's core,
My soul and strength lay prone.
- The thin wan moon, half overveiled
By clouds, shed her funereal beams upon the scene;
While in low tones, with many a pause between,
The mournful night-wind wailed.
- Musing of Life, and Death, and Fate,
I slowly paced along, heedless of aught around,
Till on the hill, now, alas! ruin-crowned,
Lo! the old Abbey-gate!
- Dim in the pallid moonlight stood,
Crumbling to slow decay, the remnant of that pile
Within which dwelt so many saints erewhile
In loving brotherhood!
- The memory of the men who slept
Under those desolate wallsthe solitudethe hour
Mine own lorn mood of mindall joined to o'erpower
My spiritand I wept!
- In yonder Goshen onceI thought
Reigned Piety and Peace: Virtue and Truth were there;
With Charity and the blessed spirit of Prayer
Was each fleet moment fraught!
- There, unity of Work and Will
Blent hundreds into one: no jealousies or jars
Troubled their placid lives: their fortunate stars
Had triumphed o'er all Ill!
- There, kneeled each morn and even
The Bell for MatinVesper: Mass was said or sung
From the bright silver censer as it swung
Rose balsamy clouds to Heaven.
- Through the round cloistered corridors
A many a midnight hour, bareheaded and unshod,
Walked the Grey Friars, beseeching from their God
Peace for these western shores.
- The weary pilgrim bowed by Age
Oft found asylum therefound welcome, and found wine.
Oft rested in its halls the Paladine,
The Poet and the Sage!
- Alas! alas! how dark the change!
Now round its mouldering walls, over its pillars low,
The grass grows rank, the yellow gowans blow,
Looking so sad and strange!
- Unsightly stones choke up its wells;
The owl hoots all night long under the altar-stairs;
The fox and badger make their darksome lairs
In its deserted cells!
- Tempest and Timethe drifting sands
The lightning and the rainsthe seas that sweep around
These hills in winter-nights, have awfully crowned
The work of impious hands!
- The sheltering, smooth-stoned massive wall
The noble figured roofthe glossy marble piers
The monumental shapes of elder years
Where are they? Vanished all!
- Rite, incense, chant, prayer, mass, have ceased
All, all have ceased! Only the whitening bones half sunk
In the earth now tell that ever here dwelt monk,
Friar, acolyte, or priest.
- Oh! woe, that Wrong should triumph thus!
Woe that the olden right, the rule and the renown
Of the Pure-souled and Meek should thus go down
Before the Tyrannous!
- Where wert thou, Justice, in that hour?
Where was thy smiting sword? What had those good men done,
That thou shouldst tamely see them trampled on
By brutal England's Power?
- Alas! I rave! . . . If Change is here,
Is it not o'er the land? Is it not too in me?
Yes! I am changed even more than what I see.
Now is my last goal near!
- My worn limbs failmy blood moves cold
Dimness is on mine eyesI have seen my children die;
They lie where I too in brief space shall lie
Under the grassy mould!
- I turned away, as toward my grave,
And, all my dark way homeward by the Atlantic's verge,
Resounded in mine ears like to a dirge
The roaring of the wave.