John Boyle O'Reilly

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

Under The Surface - Poem by John Boyle O'Reilly

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—
And the devil is never far to seek,
And a rotten peach has a lovely cheek.

As they come in the stream, I say to you:
The lives we jostle are none of them true.
Who seeks with a lamp and glass may find
A nature of honor from core to rind;
But woe to the heart that is formed so true:
It may not reck, and it still must rue
The perjured lip and the bleeding vow.
God keep it blind to the things we know—
To the ghastly scars for the leech's eyes
And the occult lore of the worldly wise.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 20, 2012

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