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Two hundred years ago

Irish Examiner 6th August, 1904 p.9

Meeting

Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs Frederick William Burton (1816-1900) National Gallery of Ireland

I stand in the gallery quaint and old,
And there on the tapestried wall,
I read the names of the knights and dames
Who have passed beyond recall:
And a faint dream-perfume comes to me
That carries me, ere I know,
Back to the world that used to be,
Two hundred years ago.

Out of her ruffle of costly lace,
And out of his armour old,
Look down a maid with a smiling face
And a cavalier brave and bold.
And I know that she was his lady fair.
And he her courtly beau;
They were lovers true in the days that were,
Two hundred years ago.

I recall the legend that links her name
To his in a wreath of gold –
How he died to save his love’s fair fame
In the chivalrous days of old,
And her eyes still gleam with love’s deep trust,
And his with courage glow,
Though her spirit and his were laid to dust
Two hundred years ago.

As they gaze at me from their place on high,
“Believe” they seem to say,
“Though centuries pass and customs die,
Love passeth not away!”
And as long as men are true and bold,
And women that high trust know,
Shall Love be the gift that it was of old
Two hundred years ago.

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About The Burren and Beyond

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