A Poem by Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Landscape Illustrations Of Moore’s Irish Melodies, 1835/The Golden Grave
THE WICKLOW GOLD MINES
The song itself, which refers to the golden age of Ireland, cannot, at this era of refinement, be rendered by any one more fair or more accomplished than her to whom we are indebted for the following version;—but we name her not,—
Bound by the magic in the spell
Of three sweet letters, L. E. L.
THE WICKLOW GOLD MINES.
The Golden Grave.
He sleeps within his lonely grave
Upon the lonely hill,
There sweeps the wind—there swells the wave—
All other sounds are still.
And strange and mournfully sound they;
Each seems a funeral cry,
O'er life that long has past away,
O'er ages long gone by.
One winged minstrel's left to sing
O'er him who lies beneath—
The humming bee, that seeks in spring
Its honey from the heath.
It is the sole familiar sound
That ever rises there;
For silent is the haunted ground,
And silent is the air.
There never comes the merry bird—
There never bounds the deer;
But during night strange sounds are heard,
The day may never hear:
For there the shrouded Banshee stands,
Scarce seen amid the gloom,
And wrings her dim and shadowy hands,
And chants her song of doom.
Seven pillars, grey with time and moss,
On dark Sleive Monard meet;
They stand to tell a nation's loss—
A king is at their feet.
A lofty moat denotes the place
Where sleeps in slumber cold
The mighty of a mighty race—
The giant kings of old.
There Gollah sleeps—the golden band
About his head is bound;
His javelin in his red right hand,
His feet upon his hound.
And twice three golden rings are placed
Upon that hand of fear;
The smallest would go round the waist
Of any maiden here.
And plates of gold are on his breast,
And gold doth bind him round;
A king, he taketh kingly rest
Beneath that royal mound.
But wealth no more the mountain fills,
As in the days of yore:
Gone are those days; the wave distils
Its liquid gold no more.
The days of yore—still let my harp
Their memories repeat—
The days when every sword was sharp,
And every song was sweet.
The warrior slumbers on the hill,
The stranger rules the plain:
Glory and gold are gone; but still
They live in song again.