To The Poet-Priest Ryan. In Acknowledgment Of A Copy Of His Poems.

A poem by James Barron Hope

Himself I read beneath the words he writes ...
I may come back and sing again. - RYAN.


I.

This Bard's to me a whole-souled man
In honesty and might,
For when he sees Wrong in the van
He leaps like any Knight
To horse, and charging on the wrong
Smites it with the great sword of Song.


II.

Beneath the cassock of the Priest
There throbs another heart -
Another - but 'tis not the least -
Which in his Lays takes part,
So that 'mid clash of Swords and Spears
There is no lack of Pity's tears.


III.

This other heart is brave and soft,
As such hearts always are,
And plumes itself, a bird aloft,
When Morning's gates unbar -
Till high it soars above the sod
Bathed in the very light of God.


IV.

Woman and Soldier, Priest and Man,
I find within these Lays,
And the closer still th' Verse I scan
The more I see to praise:
Some of these Lyrics shower down
The glories of the Cross and Crown.


V.

To thee, oh Bard! my head I bow,
As I'd not to a King,
And my last word, writ here and now,
Is not a little thing;
Recall the promise of thy strain -
Thou art to "come and sing again!"

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