To Isabel.

A poem by Nora Pembroke


Since ere I left my native isle,
My childhood's home, life's happy smile
And crossed the separating seas,
Nothing my lonely heart could please
Till now--and oh, I cannot tell
How I admire thee, Isabel!

There are, in my dear island green,
Most lovely faces to be seen,
Beautiful eyes, with kindly glee,
Beamed there in laughing love on me
Now I'm alone from day to day,
They're all three thousand miles away.

A stranger's face each face I see,
And every eye is cold to me,
No friendly voice, no kind caress,
No spell to break the loneliness,
Until I fell beneath the spell
Of thy rare beauty, Isabel

I watch thee from my window pane
In hopes a stolen glimpse to gain
I know that purely lovely face,
I know that form of stately grace,
The sweet blue eye, the silken hair
Whose tresses shade thy forehead fair

Thy beauty, like God's summer flowers
Blesses and cheers this world of ours.
Thy smile, the sunshine clear and true
Of a bright spirit looking through
But words of mine can never tell
All of thy praise fair Isabel

Fair Isabel fair Isabel
I learned to know thy beauty well
It rose upon my exiled sight
A very treasure of delight
My loneliness so comforting
That my caged heart began to sing

And if I sing thy beauty's fame
Thy loveliness is all to blame
I loved before I understood
That in thy veins flowed Erin's blood
And I could not help but tell
Of the fair maiden Isabel

On earth the fairest sweetest spot
I'll leave and shall regret it not
Since I have left my earthly home
What matter is it where I roam
Not to the hill I bid farewell
But to the gentle Isabel

Accept then from an Irish heart
This humble tribute ere we part
For thou to me art very dear
The lone star of my sojourn here
To thee I sadly bid farewell
God bless the maiden Isabel

V K HILL 1846

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