Denis Florence MacCarthy

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

Italian Myrtles - Poem by Denis Florence MacCarthy

By many a soft Ligurian bay
The myrtles glisten green and bright,
Gleam with their flowers of snow by day,
And glow with fire-flies through the night,
And yet, despite the cold and heat,
Are ever fresh, and pure, and sweet.

There is an island in the West,
Where living myrtles bloom and blow,
Hearts where the fire-fly Love my rest
Within a paradise of snow-
Which yet, despite the cold and heat,
Are ever fresh, and pure, and sweet.

Deep in that gentle breast of thine-
Like fire and snow within the pearl-
Let purity and love combine,
O warm, pure-hearted Irish girl!
And in the cold and in the heat
Be ever fresh, and pure, and sweet.

Thy bosom bears as pure a snow
As e'er Italia's bowers can boast,
And though no fire-fly lends its glow-
As on the soft Ligurian coast-
'Tis warmed by an internal heat
Which ever keeps it pure and sweet.

The fire-flies fade on misty eves-
The inner fires alone endure;
Like rain that wets the leaves,
Thy very sorrows keep thee pure-
They temper a too ardent heat-
And keep thee ever pure and sweet.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 27, 2010



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