Julia Crawford: Irish Woman Poet

Julia, also Louisa Matilda Jane, Crawford was born sometime around 1790 to 1800 in Cavan and may have died in 1855. The facts of her life are difficult to establish, but she was a prolific poet and composer and her father was a soldier and naturalist. Her more than 100 poems and songs include Kathleen Mavourneen and Dermot Astore.

 

We Parted In Silence
 
We parted in silence, we parted by night,
On the banks of that lonely river;
Where the fragrant limes their boughs unite,
We met–and we parted forever!
The night-bird sung, and the stars above
Told many a touching story,
Of friends long passed to the kingdom of love,
Where the soul wears its mantle of glory.
 
We parted in silence,–our cheeks were wet
With the tears that were past controlling;
We vowed we would never, no, never forget,
And those vows at the time were consoling;
But those lips that echoed the sounds of mine
Are as cold as that lonely river;
And that eye, that beautiful spirit’s shrine,
Has shrouded its fires forever.
 
And now on the midnight sky I look,
And my heart grows full of weeping;
Each star is to me a sealèd book,
Some tale of that loved one keeping.
We parted in silence,–we parted in tears,
On the banks of that lonely river:
But the odor and bloom of those bygone years
Shall hang o’er its waters forever.

 

Kathleen Mavourneen
 
Kathleen Mavourneen! the grey dawn is breaking,
The horn of the hunter is heard on the hill.
The lark from her light wing the bright dew is shaking–
Kathleen Mavourneen! what, slumb’ring still?
 
Oh, hast thou forgotten how soon we must sever?
Oh, hast thou forgotten this day we must part?
It may be for years, and it may be forever,
Oh, why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?
 
Kathleen Mavourneen! awake from thy slumbers,
The blue mountains glow in the sun’s golden light;
Ah, where is the spell that once hung on my numbers,
Arise in thy beauty, thou star of my night!
 
Mavourneen, Mavourneen, my sad tears are falling
To think that from Erin and thee I must part.
It may be for years, and it may be forever,
Then why art thou silent, thou voice of my heart?

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