- ‘Twas years since I had had heard the name.
When, seen in print, before my eyes
The old round tower seemed to rise,
With silent scorn of noisy fame.
- Our little boat, like water-bird,
Touches the still lake, breast to breast;
No sound disturbs the solemn rest
Save kiss of oar and whisper’d word.
- All Nature wears a placid smile
Of gold and blue and tender green;
And in the setting of the scene
Lies, like a gem, the Holy Isle.
- Hushed is the music of the oar;
A little hand is placed in mine;
My blood runs wildly as with wine –
We stand together on the shore.
- O boyish days! O boyish heart!
In vain I wish you back again!
O boyish fancy’s first sweet pain,
How glorious, after all, thou art!
- The old Round Tower, the ruined walls,
Where mould’ring bones once knelt in prayer,
The Latin legend, winding stair,–
These any ‘tourist’s book’ recalls.
- But O! the love, the wild delight,
The sweet romance of long ago,
All these have vanished, as the glow
Of eventide fades out at night.
From “The Prophecy of Merlin and other poems.” 1870 by John Reade.