Sir Aubrey De Vere (1788-1846)

Father of poet Aubrey De Vere. "Glengarriff" is in two sonnet stanzas.

Read Sonnets by Sir Aubrey De Vere (Google).

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What ruined shapes of feudal pomp are there,
In the cold moonlight fading silently?
The castle, with its stern, baronial air,
Still frowning, as accustomed to defy;
The Gothic street, where Desmond's chivalry
Dwelt in their pride; the cloistered house of prayer;
The gate-towers, mouldering where the stream moans by,
Now, but the owl's lone haunt, and fox's lair.
Here once the pride of princely Desmond flushed;
His courtiers knelt, his mailed squadrons rushed;
And saintly brethren poured the choral strain:
Here Beauty bowed her head, and smiled and blushed:--
Ah, of these glories what doth now remain?
The charnel of yon desecrated fane!


Broad, but not deep, along his rock-chafed bed,
In many a sparkling eddy winds the flood.
Clasped by a margin of green underwood:
A castled crag, with ivy garlanded,
Sheer, o'er the torrent frowns: above the mead
De Burgho's towers, crumbling o'er many a rood,
Stand gauntly out in airy solitude
Backed by yon furrowed mountain's tinted head.
Sounds of far people, mingling with the fall
Of waters, and the busy hum of bees,
And larks in air, and throstles in the trees,
Thrill the moist air with murmurs musical.
While cottage smoke goes drifting on the breeze,
And sunny clouds are floating over all.

The Rock of Cashel

Royal and saintly Cashel! I would gaze
Upon the wreck of thy departed powers,
Not in the dewy light of matin hours,
Nor the meridian pomp of summer's blaze,
But at the close of dim autumnal days,
When the sun's parting glance, through slanting showers,
Sheds o'er thy rock-throned battlements and towers
Such awful gleams as brighten o'er Decay's
Prophetic cheek. At such a time, methinks,
There breathes from thy lone courts and voiceless aisles
A melancholy moral, such as sinks
On the lone traveller's heart, amid the piles
Of vast Persepolis on her mountain stand,
Or Thebes half buried in the desert sand.


Gazing from each low bulwark of this bridge,
How wonderful the contrast! Dark as night,
Here, amid cliffs and woods, with headlong might,
The black stream whirls, through ferns and drooping sedge,
'Neath twisted roots moss-brown, and weedy ledge,
Gushing. Aloft, from yonder birch-clad height,
Leaps into air a cataract, snow-white
Falling to gulfs obscure. The mountain ridge,
Like a gray Warder, guardian of the scene,
Above the cloven gorge gloomily towers.
O'er the dim woods a gathering tempest lowers
Save where athwart the moist leaves' lucid green
A sunbeam, glancing through disparted showers,
Sparkles along the rill with diamond sheen.

A sun-burst on the bay! Turn and behold!
The restless waves, resplendent in their glory,
Sweep glittering past yon purpled promontory,
Bright as Apollo's breastplate. Bathed in gold,
Yon bastioned islet gleams. Thin mists are rolled,
Translucent, through each glen. A mantle hoary
Veils those peaked hills, shapely as e'er in story
Delphic, or Alpine, or Vesuvian old,
Minstrels have sung. From rock and headland proud
The wild wood spreads its arms around the bay:
The manifold mountain cones, now dark, now bright,
Now seen, now lost, alternate from rich light
To spectral shade; and each dissolving cloud
Reveals new mountains as it floats away.