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Thomas Moore
(b. May 28, 1779 - d. Feb. 25, 1852)

Irish poet and lyricist. Here's a good example of the blurry line between poem and song. Moore is best known for his sweet lyrical songs. The best example being Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms. He was most popular for his Irish Melodies which appeared in ten parts between 1807 and 1835 (...Endearing Young Charms was 1808). Moore was a skillful writer and a musician. He took the easy path and set many of them to Irish tunes.

Thomas Moore was born in Dublin; the son of a grocer. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and London.
In 1813 Moore wrote The Two Penney Post Bag, a collection of satires against the prince regent. He was paid the huge sum of £3000 for his poem Lalla Rookh, published in 1817.

Few of those familiar with his songs and poems realize he was a brilliant satirist. His biting poems on such subjects as the public debt and the corn laws, were of interest to politicians and businessmen. Although dripping wry humour, these poems were not likely to evoke sighs from young lovers.
We have included one here (All in the Family Way, on the public debt), for those scant few who will enjoy it.


The Meeting Of The Waters
by Thomas Moore

There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet
Oh the last rays of feeling and life must depart
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart

Yet it was not that nature had shed o'er the scene
Her purest of crystal and brightest of green
'Twas not her soft magic of streamlet or hill
Oh No 'twas something more exquisite still
Oh No 'twas something more exquisite still

'Twas that friends, the belov'd of my bosom were near
Who made every scene of enchantment more dear
And who felt how the best charms of nature improve
When we see them reflected from looks that we love
When we see them reflected from looks that we love

Sweet vale of Avoca! How calm could I rest
In thy bosom of shade, with the friends I love best
Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace

Tis the Last Rose of Summer
by Thomas Moore

'Tis the last rose of Summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh!

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one,
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o'er the bed
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love's shining circle
The gems drop away!
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?


All in the Family Way
by Thomas Moore

A New Pastoral Ballad

(Sung in the character of "Britannia")

["The Public Debt is owed from ourselves to ourselves and resolves itself into a Family Account" - Sir Robert Peel's Letter]

(Tune -- My banks are all furnish'd with bees)

My banks are all furnished with rags,
So thick, even Freddy can't thin 'em;
I've torn up my old money-bags,
Having little or nought to put in 'em.
My tradesman are smashing by dozens,
But this is all nothing, they say;
For bankrupts, since Adam, are cousins,
So, it's all in the family way.

My Debt not a penny takes from me,
As sages the matter explain;
Bob owes it to Tom and then Tommy
Just owes it to Bob back again.
Since all have thus taken to owing,
There's nobody left that can pay;
And this is the way to keep going,
All quite in the family way.

My senators vote away millions,
To put in Prosperity's budget;
And though it were billions or trillions,
The generous rogues wouldn't grudge it.
'Tis all but a family hop,
'Twas Pitt began dancing the hay;
Hands round! -- why the deuce should we stop?
'Tis all in the family way.

My labourers used to eat mutton,
As any great man of the State does;
And now the poor devils are put on
Small rations of tea and potatoes.
But cheer up John, Sawney and Paddy,
The King is your father, they say;
So ev'n if you starve for your Daddy,
'Tis all in the family way.

My rich manufacturers tumble,
My poor ones have nothing to chew;
And, even if themselves do not grumble,
Their stomachs undoubtedly do.
But coolly to fast en famille,
Is as good for the soul as to pray;
And famine itself is genteel,
When one starves in a family way.

I have found out a secret for Freddy,
A secret for next Budget day;
Though, perhaps he may know it already,
As he, too, 's a sage in his way.
When next for the Treasury scene he
Announces "the Devil to pay",
Let him write on the bills, "Nota bene,
'Tis all in the family way."


The Young May Moon
by Thomas Moore

The young May moon is beaming, love.
The glow-worm's lamp is gleaming, love.
How sweet to rove,
Through Morna's grove,
When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!
Then awake! -- the heavens look bright, my dear,
'Tis never too late for delight, my dear,
And the best of all ways
To lengthen our days
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear!

...and, of course, this IS an Irish Site.

THE MINSTREL BOY
by Thomas Moore

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
"Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never sound in slavery!"

For more Poetry Click the Poetry Index.

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Wed, Feb 27, 2013
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Selected Poems
Derek Mahon

"There is a copiousness and excitement about these poems found only in work of the highest order."
Seamus Heaney
"Verse of astonishing versatility and singing power"
Hugh Haughton, Times Literary Supplement
Yes, A Disused Shed... is in this book.
Click here for Selected Poems


1000 Years of Irish Poetry: The Gaelic and Anglo Irish Poets from Pagan Times to the Present
by Kathleen Hoagland

Interested in Irish Poetry?Here's the easy way to collect them all (well, almost all, anyway).
Malachy McCourt says in his introduction, "With the republication of this book, the Irish recover under their roof of stars all the great poets and writers who have been falsely claimed by the saxon crown and its minions - even our reprobates."
Amazon states this is out of stock. They still have used copies for almost nothing (except shipping - chuckle). If you would like a new edition, it was available at Powell's. We can't promise it's still there. Click here for Powell's 1000 Years.
Click here for used at Amazon.


 

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