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.png


Sketch by Pennefather Esq.Engraved by S. Rawle

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 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.