Holy Wells of Ireland

From the Rev. Mr. Stephens’s “Handbook of South-Western Donegal.”

“Oh thou pretty holy well,

Wreathed about with roses,

Where, beguiled with soothing spell,

Weary foot reposes.

Clear as childhood in thy looks,

Nature seems to pet thee;

Fierce July, that drains the brooks,

Hath no power to fret thee.”

· · · · · · · · · ·

“The holy wells, the holy wells, the cool, the fresh, the pure,

A thousand years has rolled away and still these founts endure.

And while their stainless chastity, and lasting life has birth,

Amid the cosy cells and caves of gross material earth,

The scripture of creation holds no fairer type than they;

The city sent pale sufferers there the faded brow to dip,

And woo the water to depose some bloom upon the lip,

The wounded warrior dragged him towards the unforgotten tide,

And deemeth draught a heavenlier gift than triumphs at his side.”