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Crawford, Isabella Valancy (1850-1887)
DARK are the waters of sorrow, Mavourneen,
  Bleak the grey rocks that surround the cold wave;
Pale are the small silver daisies that borrow
  Life from the green sod that's laid on a grave.

Cheerless the songs of thrushes, Mavourneen,
  Scentless the blossom of each hawthorn tree;
Salt is the hot tear that bitterly rushes,
  Kneeling by green altar sacred to thee.

Blue is the low, misty mountain, Mavourneen,
  We lived on, loved on, and toiled on of yore;
Clear the bright torrent that runs from its fountain,
  Bursting in glee by our own lowly door.

Green stretch the dew-brightened meadows, Mavourneen,
  Bees haunt the lilac and white blooming hedge,
Swallows dart still thor' the sunshine and shadows,
  Sings the brook, fairy-like, under its sedge.

Still on the roof of our dwelling, Mavourneen,
  Wall flowers swing to the soft mountain breeze;
Still in the white cloud the lark's song is swelling;
  Still nod to hill-top the tall valley trees.

Green is the thatch still with mosses, Mavourneen,
  Golden the sunbeam that strikes the door;
Bright the great wing of the rainbow that crosses
  Hill-top to hill-top above the dark moor.

Golden the mists of the morning, Mavourneen,
  Silver the star-daisies bloom in the sky;
Red on the wild sea the storm lights its warning,
  Still wheel the eagles to greet it on high.

Still blooms the brier-rose brightly, Mavourneen,
  By the old settle that stands by the door;
Hollyhocks nod to the fresh wind as lightly
  As when amid them you knitted, asthore.

Cowslips are bright in the grasses, Mavourneen,
  As when our baby cried out for their gold;
Daisies are white as his pure cheek that presses
  To thy still breast its snow under the mold.

What ails the sunshine and blossoms, Mavourneen,
  Stars and the birds and the green waving tree?
Still God gives sunshine to eyes and to bosoms,--
  Thou wert the sunlight that God gave to me.

Brave was thy heart, and thy glances, Mavourneen,
  Gave their blue heaven to dwell in my breast,
Shone in their glory on Want's cold expanses,
  Clung to my soul as fond doves to their nest.

Strong was thy weak hand and tender, Mavourneen,
  Braced it my sinews afresh for my toil--
Toil, hopeless, drear as dark skies in November--
  Sweat of a freeborn, but serf of the soil.

Sunshine may flame with its brightness, Mavourneen,
  Rayless the dark heart when, under the sod,
Clasped in the lily of death's silent whiteness,
  Sunlight that smote on the bosom from God.

Sunlight! my sunlight! no weeping, Mavourneen,
  Melts the strong arrow that bites the heart's core;
Darker the shadows that on me are sweeping,
  Blood of my heart!  O my Moyna, asthore!

Waters of sorrow are soundless, Mavourneen,
  Black as the depths of the deeply hewn grave;
Heaven above me, so blue, bright and boundless,
  Smiles from the breast of the motionless wave.

And from its black, sullen bosom, Mavourneen,
  Slips up a lily, all snowy to see;
On sorrow's waters lies star-like the blossom
  Of hope and mem'ry, my Moyna, of thee.
Public Domain