John Boyle O'Reilly Poems

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Love Was True To Me

LOVE was true to me,
True and tender;
I who ought to be
Love's defender,

Under The Surface

AY, smile as you will, with your saintly face!
But I know the line
Of your guard is as weak as a maze of lace:
You may give no sign—

The Real Good

'What is the real good?'
I ask in a musing mood.

'Order,' said the law court;
'Knowledge,' said the school;


To toil all day and lie worn-out at night;
To rise for all the years to slave and sleep,
And breed new broods to do no other thing
In toiling, bearing, breeding — life is this


THUNDER our thanks to her—guns, hearts and lips!
Cheer from the ranks to her,
Shout from the banks to her—
Mayflower! Foremost and best of our ships

In Bohemia

I'D rather live in Bohemia than in any other land;
For only there are the values true,
And the laurels gathered in all men's view.
The prizes of traffic and state are won

Love's Secret

LOVE found them sitting in a woodland place,
His amorous hand amid her golden tresses;
And Love looked smiling on her glowing face
And moistened eyes upturned to his caresses.

The Shadow

THERE is a shadow on the sunny wall,
Dark and forbidding, like a bode of ill;
Go, drive it thence. Alas, such shadows fall
From real things, nor may be moved at will.

The Amber Whale

WE were down in the Indian Ocean, after sperm, and three years out;
The last six months in the tropics, and looking in vain for a spout,—
Five men up on the royal yards, weary of straining their sight;
And every day like its brother,—just morning and noon and night—

The Ride Of Collin Graves

NO song of a soldier riding down
To the raging fight from Winchester town;
No song of a time that shook the earth
With the nations' throe at a nation's birth;