Treasure Island

George Borrow

(1803-1881 / England)

Ode (From The Gaelic)


“Is luaimnach mo chodal an nochd.”

Oh restless, to night, are my slumbers;
Life yet I retain, but not gladness;
My heart in my bosom is wither’d,
And sorrow sits heavy upon me.
For cold, in her grave-hill, is lying
The maid whom I gaz’d on, so fondly,
Whose teeth were like chalk from the quarry,
Whose voice was more sweet than harp music.
Like foam that subsides on the water,
Just where the wild swan has been playing;
Like snow, by the sunny beam melted,
My love, thou wert gone on a sudden.
Salt tears I let fall in abundance,
When memory bringeth before me
That eye, like the placid blue heaven;
That cheek, like the rose in its glory.
Sweet object of warmest affection,
Why could not thy beauty protect thee?
Why, sparing so many a thistle,
Did Death cut so lovely a blossom?
Here pine I, forlorn and abandon’d,
Where once I was cheerful and merry:
No joy shall e’er shine on my visage,
Until my last hour’s arrival.
O, like the top grain on the corn-ear,
Or, like the young pine, ‘mong the bushes;
Or, like the moon, ‘mong the stars shining,
Wert thou, O my love, amongst women!

Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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