Thomas Moore

May 28, 1780 - Feb 26, 1852


Desmond's Song

by Thomas Moore

By the Feal's wave benighted,
Not a star in the skies,
To thy door by Love lighted,
I first saw those eyes.
Some voice whispered o'er me,
As the threshold I crossed,
There was ruin before me:
If I loved, I was lost.

Love came, and brought sorrow
Too soon in his train;
Yet so sweet, that to-morrow
'Twould be welcome again.
Were misery's full measure
Poured out to me now,
I would drain it with pleasure,
So the Hebe were thou.

You who call it dishonour
To bow to this flame,
If you've eyes, look but on her,
And blush while you blame.
Hath the pearl less whiteness
Because of its birth?
Hath the violet less brightness
For growing near earth!

No -- Man, for his glory,
To history flies;
While Woman's bright story
Is told in her eyes.
While the monarch but traces
Through mortals his line,
Beauty, born of the Graces,
Ranks next to divine!

Notes to the poem:

Thomas, the heir of the Desmond family, had accidentally been so engaged in the chase, that he was benighted near Tralee, and obliged to take shelter at the Abbey of Feal, in the house of one of his dependants, called Mac Cormac. Catherine, a beautiful daughter of his host, instantly inspired the Earl with a violent passion, which he could not subdue. He married her, and by this inferior alliance alienated his followers, whose brutal pride regarded this indulgence of his love as an unpardonable degradation of his family. -- Leland, vol. ii.


The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Copyright undated, very old
The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd.