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.
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, — it was something more exquisite still.
‘Twas that friends, the beloved of my bosom, were near,
Who made every dear 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.
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.
The Meeting of the Waters, by Irish Poet, Thomas Moore
What do you do when you keep flubbing over a few words and the hour is growing late? You tape the poem to your tripod, call it a reading/recitation, and call it a day. 😂 And I still said, “would” instead of “should.” 😒 I should have started memorizing this one before Saint Patrick’s Day! 🍀 woulda, shoulda, coulda…
Poet Thomas Moore was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 28, 1779. He was the oldest child and only son to John Moore, a successful grocer, and Anastasia Codd Moore. His parents, being Catholic, could not vote, hold office, serve on juries, or bear arms, and their children could not attend the finest schools, but his mom instilled in him an “artistic taste and the ambition that gave him the means and the courage to fight against what he called ‘the slave’s yoke’ of his Catholicism” (poetryfoundation).
In 1793 Moore earned recognition after submitting his verses to a Dublin periodical, the Anthologia Hibernica. One year later, he was one of the first Catholics admitted to Trinity College, Dublin. His religion made him ineligible for a scholarship, but his father was able to pay his tuition. He gained a reputation for wit, literature, song, and patriotic fervor. Five years later he earned his B.A. then began studying law at Middle Temple in London. Moore was called “Anacreon Moore” after translating and publishing the poems of Greek lyric poet, Anacreon. He also gained a reputation as a talented singer and songwriter, as well as being a ladies’ man. In 1803 Moore sailed for Norfolk, Virginia, on the British warship Phaeton, eventually touring the eastern U.S. and Canada. He returned to England in 1806 and published Epistles, Odes, and Other Poems.
In 1822, he married Elizabeth “Bessy” Dyke; they had five children who did not survive them. Considered one of the great humanists of the Romantic period, Moore was a prolific writer who authored poetry, satire, and biographies, but it his Irish Melodies that he is best known for. Moore died on February 25, 1852. He is buried in Bromham churchyard within view of his cottage home, in Wiltshire.
I wrote about my Irish heritage in an audio poem titled, “Blood Builds a Bond” – a poem I wrote when I taught British Literature, specifically, Beowulf. It is a boastful poem. I invite you to listen and encourage you to write your own! Thank you for visiting. Be well. 💚 Michele
Photos: my images, Lake Pleasant, AZ (blooming saguaro) and my Converse (shared on IG 3/17)
Find more of my photos, reels, and micropoetry on IG ~ @mlsefton
© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton