'T Is Gone, and For Ever

'T IS gone, and for ever, the light we saw breaking,
Like Heaven's first dawn o'er the sleep of the dead —
When Man, from the slumber of ages awaking,
Looked upward, and blest the pure ray, ere it fled.
'T is gone, and the gleams it has left of its burning
But deepen the long night of bondage and mourning,
That dark o'er the kingdoms of earth is returning,
And darkest of all, hapless Erin, o'er thee.

For high was thy hope, when those glories were darting
Around thee, thro' all the gross clouds of the world;
When Truth, from her fetters indignantly starting,
At once, like a Sun-burst, her banner unfurled.
Oh! never shall earth see a moment so splendid!
Then, then — had one Hymn of Deliverance blended
The tongues of all nations — how sweet had ascended
The first note of Liberty, Erin, from thee!

But, shame on those tyrants, who envied the blessing!
And shame on the light race, unworthy its good,
Who, at Death's reeking altar, like furies, caressing
The young hope of Freedom, baptized it in blood.
Then vanished for ever that fair, sunny vision,
Which, spite of the slavish, the cold heart's derision,
Shall long be remembered, pure, bright, and elysian,
As first it arose, my lost Erin, on thee.
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