I know a lake where the cool waves break,
And softly fall on the silver sand –
And no steps intrude on that solitude,
And no voice, save mine, disturbs the strand.
And a mountain bold, like a giant of old
Turned to stone by some magic spell,
Uprears in might his misty height,
And his craggy sides are wooded well.
In the midst doth smile a little Isle,
And its verdure shames the emerald’s green –
On its grassy side, in ruined pride,
A castle of old is darkling seen.
On its lofty crest the wild crane’s nest,
In its halls the sheep good shelter find;
And the ivy shades where a hundred blades
Were hung, when the owner in sleep reclined.
That chieftain of old could he now behold
His lordly tower a shepherd’s pen,
His corpse, long dead, from its narrow bed
Would rise, with anger and shame again.
‘Tis sweet to gaze when the sun‘s bright rays
Are cooling themselves in the trembling wave –
But ‘tis sweeter far when the evening star
Shines like a tear at Friendships grave.
There the hollow shells through their wreathed cells,
Make music on the lonely shore,
As the summer breeze, through the distant trees,
Murmurs in fragrant breathings o’er.
And the sea weed shines, like the hidden mines,
Or the fairy cities beneath the sea;
And the wave-washed stones are bright as the thrones
Of the ancient Kings of Araby.
If it were my lot in that fairy spot
To live for ever, and dream ’twere mine,
Courts might woo, and kings pursue,
Ere I would leave thee – loved Lough-Ine.