Denis Florence MacCarthy

(26 May 1817 - 7 April 1882 / Dublin / Ireland)

Devotion - Poem by Denis Florence MacCarthy

When I wander by the ocean,
When I view its wild commotion,
Then the spirit of devotion
Cometh near;
And it fills my brain and bosom,
Like a fear!

I fear its booming thunder,
Its terror and its wonder,
Its icy waves, that sunder
Heart from heart;
And the white host that lies under
Makes me start.

Its clashing and its clangour
Proclaim the Godhead's anger-
I shudder, and with langour
Turn away;
No joyance fills my bosom
For that day.

When I wander through the valleys,
When the evening zephyr dallies,
And the light expiring rallies
In the stream,
That spirit comes and glads me,
Like a dream.

The blue smoke upward curling,
The silver streamlet purling,
The meadow wildflowers furling
Their leaflets to repose:
All woo me from the world
And its woes.

The evening bell that bringeth
A truce to toil outringeth,
No sweetest bird that singeth
Half so sweet,
Not even the lark that springeth
From my feet.

Then see I God beside me,
The sheltering trees that hide me,
The mountains that divide me
From the sea:
All prove how kind a Father
He can be.

Beneath the sweet moon shining
The cattle are reclining,
No murmur of repining
Soundeth sad:
All feel the present Godhead,
And are glad.

With mute, unvoiced confessings,
To the Giver of all blessings
I kneel, and with caressings
Press the sod,
And thank my Lord and Father,
And my God.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 27, 2010



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