John Boyle O'Reilly

(28 June 1844 - 10 August 1890 / Dowth Castle, County Meath)

A Tragedy - Poem by John Boyle O'Reilly

A SOFT-BREASTED bird from the sea
Fell in love with the light-house flame;
And it wheeled round the tower on its airiest wing,
And floated and cried like a lovelorn thing;
It brooded all day and it fluttered all night,
But could win no look from the steadfast light.

For the flame had its heart afar,—
Afar with the ships at sea;
It was thinking of children and waiting wives,
And darkness and danger to sailors' lives;
But the bird had its tender bosom pressed
On the glass where at last it dashed its breast.
The light only flickered, the brighter to glow;
But the bird lay dead on the rocks below.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 20, 2012

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