CANADIAN BALLADS,

AND

OCCASIONAL VERSES.

By Thomas D’Arcy McGee


 

LINES WRITTEN ON THE FIRST OF FEBRUARY.*



I.
 


How flew on this once famous festival day
     Remember the Virgin of Erin, whose fame
Oft bowed down the Nations devoutly to pray,
     Of Kildare’s holy Abbess invoking the name.


II.
 


On the Alps of the Swiss, on the friths of the Dane,

5
 

     When the Cross had supplanted Idolatry’s sign,
How the sons of the Gentiles surrounded thy fane,
     What homage, oh Virgin! what conquests were thine!


III.
 


To reign in one heart through the changes of time
     Is the fond expectation of maiden most fair,

10
 

But what myriads have felt an affection sublime
     For thy beauty of goodness, sweet Bride of Kildare.      [Page 103]


IV.
 


Even now may be found in the bosoms of men
     Some hearts like the lamp at thy altar of old,
Whose faith burns as bright and as steadfast as then,

15
 

     As warm as its flame and as pure as its gold.


V.
 


Let them roam where they may they can never forget,
     And never forego let what fate may betide,
To remember the day and to render the debt
     They owe to Kildare’s holy Abbess—Saint Bride.

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       [Page 104]  




* February 1st—St. Bridget’s day. [back]