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“They made her a grave too cold and damp
For a soul so warm and true ; And she's gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp, Where, all night long, by a fire-Ay lamp,
She paddles her white canoe.
“ And her fire-fly lamp I soon shall see,
And her paddle I soon shall hear ;
When the footstep of Death is near.”
Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds—
His path was rugged and sore,
And man never trod before.
And when on the earth he sank to sleep,
If slumber his eye-lids knew,
The Aesh with blistering dew!
And near him the she-wolf stirred the brake,
And the copper-snake breathed in his ear, Till he starting cried, from his dream awake, “Oh! when shall I see the dusky Lake,
And the white canoe of my dear ?”
He saw the Lake, and a meteor bright
Quick over its surface played, — “Welcome !” he said, “my dear one's light !” And the dim shore echoed, for many a night,
The name of the death-cold maid.
Till he hollowed a boat of the birchen bark,
Which carried him off from shore ;
And the boat returned no more.
“Anacreon Moore,” as the author of the Irish Melodies has been called, like Byron, was a poet of passion, rather than of profound thought. His imagery, dazzling and gorgeous with Oriental splendour, as well as the rich melody of his verse, combine to render the Lalla Rookh and Loves of the Angels works of rare fascination. They may be said to be fragrant with Oriental odours. Moore wrote the former in his cottage, near Dove-dale ; here he also composed many of his lyrics.
He received for his Lalla Rookh three thousand guineas; the copyright of his several poems produced to him over thirty thousand pounds. Here is a passage from the work last named :
False Aew the shaft, though pointed well :
And when the rush of war was past,
Of morning light, she caught the last-
Though foul are the drops that oft distil
On the field of warfare, blood like this,
For Liberty shed, so holy is,
That sparkles among the bowers of bliss !
Moore wrote those undying lines, the Canadian Boat-Song, during his passage of the St. Lawrence, from Kingston. He pencilled the lines, nearly as they stand in his works, in the blank page of a book which happened to be in his canoe. Some thirty years afterwards, a friend showed this original draught to Moore, when he recalled his youthful days, and alluded in a touching manner to his passage down the rapids of life.
His prelude to The Loves of the Angels is very beautiful :
'Twas when the world was in its prime,
When the fresh stars had just begun
Told his first birth-days by the sun :
Rejoicing men and angels met
"Twixt man and heaven her curtain yet!
Than in these days of crime and woe,
Gazing upon this world below.