The Gorsy Glen

Robert Leighton

Between Loch-Foyle and Greenan's ancient fort,
From Derry's famous walls a little way,
There dreams a gorsy glen, in whose lone heart
I mused a Sabbath day.

A nameless glen, one mass of yellow gorse,
That hides the sparkle of a trotting burn,
Save where in dimpling pools it stays its force,
Or takes a rocky turn.

The sandy linnet sang, the tiny wren
Poured in the burn its tiny melodies.
The air was honey-laden, and the glen
All murmurous with bees.

A straggling crow, upon its woodward way.
Might start an echo with its rusty croak;
But all around the quiet Sabbath lay.
Hushed from the week-day yoke.

Near, yet all hidden from, the ways of men,
No foot into my sanctuary stole;
I wandered with my shadow in the glen, —
The only living soul.

Yet many more were in the glen, 't would seem:
I heard, or thought I heard, their whispered words,
And knew 't was not the bees, the babbling stream,
Or carol of the birds.

And sometimes through the sunniest gleams of day
There passed a light intenser than the gleam, —
A living soul without its grosser clay?
Or but my waking dream?

Who knows? who knows? The dream to-day is found
A verity to-morrow. Things have been
Forever with us in our daily round,
Though now but newly seen.

Ah! could we by a purer life refine
The veil that keeps the inward from our ken,
No lonely fellowship had then been mine
Within the gorsy glen.

Main Location:

Lough Foyle