Elegy Written in Ravensdale Park

by John Corry

Written in Ravensdale Park.

Hail, native shades! where, in my youthful hours,
In guiltless gaiety, and health serene,
I found pure pleasure in your sheltering bow'rs,
When Summer's sunshine gilt the beauteous scene.

Oft have I climbed thy mountain's heathy height,
Eager the distant country to explore;
And viewed Dundalk, that, lovely to the sight,
Majestic, smiles, beside the pleasant shore.

There the blue waves, quick flashing on the day,
Innum'rous gleam along the level strand;
There, ships their pictoresque beauties oft display,
Impelled by gales, or by light breezes fanned.

When tender feelings filled my youthful breast,
Oft throu thy scented walks, dear Ravensdale,
I've rambled, with my Anna's converse blessed,
When Nature's sylvan music filled the gale.

How sweet, to her my love's impassioned voice
By echo gently whispered from the shade -
To view that form (which made my soul rejoice)
In the white robe of Innocence arrayed!

Now, low she lies in the oblivious grave,
Whilst, here, the lovely bowery scenes remain -
Thus, Time and Death our comforts oft bereave,
And render earthly expectations vain.

Hark! how the dove, with wild melodious tone,
Pours tender plaints in the responding grove;
Thus would my soul my darling's loss bemoan;
Whilst from my eyes descend the tears of love.

Ah! Fancy, bear me from this mournful state,
And lead me back, with retrospective light,
To where, with patriotic zeal elate,
Our independent soldiers met my sight.

Then, when the love of Freedom was no crime,
On yonder mead, along the river's side,
I've seen our Volunteers, with port sublime,
Wield their bright arms, with Valour's noble pride.

Lost is that martial spirit, now - no more
The mass of generous brethren guard our Isle:
Yet Providence may social love restore,
And over our land Fraternal Friendship smile.

Adieu! ye solitary shades, adieu!
Ireland's green laurel creeps along the ground,
In your dark maze - and where the moss-rose grew,
The night-shade and unpleasant fern abound.

Yet may your laurels, glistening in the light,
Crown Ireland's sons - your bowers may yet contain
True lovers, who shall here their hands unite;
Then shall my patriot-muse no more complain.

Last updated November 29, 2022