John Boyle O'Reilly

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

An Old Picture - Poem by John Boyle O'Reilly

THERE are times when a dream delicious
Steals into a musing hour,
Like a face with love capricious
That peeps from a woodland bower;
And one dear scene comes changeless;
A wooded hill and a river;
A deep, cool bend, where the lilies end,
And the elm-tree shadows quiver.

And I lie on the brink there, dreaming
That the life I live is a dream;
That the real is but the seeming,
And the true is the sun-flecked stream.
Beneath me, the perch and the bream sail past
In the dim cool depths of the river;
The struggling fly breaks the mirrored sky
And the elm-tree shadows quiver.

There are voices of children away on the hill;
There are bees thro' the flag-flowers humming;
The lighter-man calls to the lock, and the mill
On the farther side is drumming.
And I sink to sleep in my dream of a dream,
In the grass by the brink of a river,
Where the voices blend and the lilies end
And the elm-tree shadows quiver.

Like a gift from the past is the kindly dream,
For the sorrow and passion and pain
Are adrift like the leaves on the breast of the stream,
And the child-life comes again.
O, the sweet sweet pain of a joy that died—
Of a pain that is joy forever!
O, the life that died in the stormy tide
That was once my sun-flecked river.


Comments about An Old Picture by John Boyle O'Reilly

  • Joshua Adeyemi (8/8/2017 5:34:00 PM)


    Bewitched with imagery, so lovely. Thanks for sharing this (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Savita Tyagi (8/8/2017 4:35:00 PM)


    Beautiful imagery with a sense of unhurried time spent with Nature dreaming and watching small happenings past by in slow motion. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (8/8/2017 2:08:00 PM)


    Gorgeous imagery! I'd paste my favorite lines here but then I'd be posting about 3/4 of the poem! (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (8/8/2017 11:10:00 AM)


    And I lie on the brink there, dreaming
    That the life I live is a dream;
    That the real is but the seeming,
    And the true is the sun-flecked stream.... is just beautiful.
    A beautiful poem with sweet flow and rhyming. Feeling good while reading. Congrats.
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/8/2017 10:56:00 AM)


    Memories! ! Of a pain that is joy forever! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/8/2017 10:56:00 AM)


    Memories! ! Oder a pain that is joy forever! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (8/8/2017 5:53:00 AM)


    Gorgeous poem with stunning expression..Thanks and congratulation to his soul. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (8/8/2017 3:29:00 AM)


    In the grass by the brink of a river,
    Where the voices blend and the lilies end
    And the elm-tree shadows quiver.

    Nice lines.....
    (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (8/8/2017 3:19:00 AM)


    That the life I live is a dream
    That the real is but the seeming,
    For the sorrow and passion and pain
    Are adrift like the leaves on the breast of the stream.... XXX.... Nostalgic images from the past. Thanks.
    (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 20, 2012



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