Life of John Boyle O'Reilly/The Wonderful Country
John Boyle O'Reilly.
And how did he live, that dead man there,
In the country churchyard laid?
O, he? He came for the sweet field air;
He was tired of the town, and he took no pride
In its fashion or fame. He returned and died
In the place he loved, where a child he played
With those who have knelt by his grave and prayed.
He ruled no serfs, and he knew no pride;
He was one with the workers, side by side;
He hated a mill, and a mine, and a town,
With their fever of misery, struggle, renown;
He could never believe but a man was made
For a nobler end than the glory of trade.
For the youth he mourned with an endless pity
Who were cast like snow on the streets of the city.
He was weak, maybe; but he lost no friend;
Who loved him once, loved on to the end.
He mourned all selfish and shrewd endeavor;
But he never injured a weak one—never.
When censure was passed, he was kindly dumb;
He was never so wise but a fault would come;
He was never so old that he failed to enjoy
The games and the dreams he had loved when a boy.
He erred and was sorry; but never drew
A trusting heart from the pure and true.
When friends look back from the years to be,
God grant they may say such things of me.