CANADIAN BALLADS,

AND

OCCASIONAL VERSES.

By Thomas D’Arcy McGee


 

LADY GORMLEY.

A GAELIC BALLAD.




I.
 


She wanders wildly thro’ the night,
                     Unhappy Lady Gormley!
And hides her head at morning light,
                     Unhappy Lady Gormley!
No home has she, no kindly kin,

5
 

But darkness reigneth all within,
For sorrow is the child of sin
                     With hapless Lady Gormley!


II.
 


What time she sate on Tara’s throne,
                     Unhappy Lady Gormley.

10
 

Bright jewels sparkled on her zone,
                     Unhappy Lady Gormley.
But her fair seeming could not hide
The wayward will, the heart of pride,
The wit still ready to deride,

15
 

                     Of scornful Lady Gormley. [Page 105]


III.
 


The daughter of a kingly race,
                     Was lovely Lady Gormley;
A monarch’s bride—the first in place,
                     Was noble Lady Gormley.

20
 

The fairest hand she had, the skill
The lute to touch, the harp to thrill,
Melting and moving men at will,
                     The peerless Lady Gormley.


IV.
 


Nor was it courtly art to call

25
 

                     The splendid Lady Gormley,
The first of Minstrels in the hall,
                     All-gifted Lady Gormley.
Song flowed from out her snowy throat
As from the thrush, and every note

30
 

Taught men to sigh, and bards to dote
                     On lovely Lady Gormley.


V.
 


But armed as is the honey bee
                     Was fickle Lady Gormley;
And hollow as the alder tree

35
 

                     Was smiling Lady Gormley.
And cold and haughty as the swan,
That glancing sideward saileth on,
That loves the moon and hates the dawn,
                     Was heartless Lady Gormley. [Page 106]

40

VI.
 


God’s poor had never known her care,
                     The lofty Lady Gormley;
She had no alms for Nun or Frère,
                     The worldly Lady Gormley.
She fed her heart on human praise,

45
 

Forgot her soul in prosp’rous days,
Was studious but how to amaze—
                     The haughty Lady Gormley.


VII.
 


At last she fell from her great height,
                     Unhappy Lady Gormley.

50
 

Her Lord had perish’d in the fight,
                     Unhappy Lady Gormley.
And now she has nor house nor home,
Destined from rath to rath to roam,
Too proud to make amend or moan,

55
 

                     Unhappy Lady Gormley.


VIII.
 


Behold her on her lonely way,
                     The wretched Lady Gormley.
And mark the moral of my lay,
                     The lay of Lady Gormley:

60
 

When fortune smiles make God your friend,
On His love more than man’s depend,
So may you ’scape until the end
                     The grief of Lady Gormley. [Page 107]