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The Ruined Chapel

William Allingham 1824 (Ballyshannon) – 1889 (Hampstead)

By the shore, a plot of ground
Clips a ruined chapel round,
Buttressed with a grassy mound;
Where Day and Night and Day go by
And bring no touch of human sound.

Washing of the lonely seas,
Shaking of the guardian trees,
Piping of the salted breeze;
Day and Night and Day go by
To the endless tune of these.

Or when, as winds and waters keep
A hush more dead than any sleep,
Still morns to stiller evenings creep,
And Day and Night and Day go by;
Here the silence is most deep.

The empty ruins, lapsed again
Into Nature's wide domain,
Sow themselves with seed and grain
As Day and Night and Day go by;
And hoard June's sun and April's rain.

Here fresh funeral tears were shed;
Now the graves are also dead;
And suckers from the ash-tree spread,
While Day and Night and Day go by;
And stars move calmly overhead.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Allingham

William Allingham March 19 1824 or 1828 - November 18 1889 was an Irish man of letters and poet He was born at Ballyshannon Donegal and was the son of the manager of a local bank who was of English descent He obtained a post in the custom-house of his native town and held several similar posts in Ireland and England until 1870 when he had retired from the service and became sub-editor of Frasers Magazine which he edited from 1874 to 1879 in succession to James Froude He had published a volume of Poems in 1850 followed by Day and Night Songs a volume containing many charming lyrics in 1855 Allingham was on terms of close friendship with DG Rossetti who contributed to the illustration of the Songs His Letters to Allingham 1854-1870 were edited by Dr Birkbeck Hill in 1897 Lawrence Bloomfield in Ireland his most ambitious though not his most successful work a narrative poem illustrative of Irish social questions appeared in 1864 He also edited The Ballad Book for the Golden Treasury series in 1864 In 1874 Allingham married Helen Paterson known under her married name as a water-colour painter He died at Hampstead in 1889 and his ashes are interred at St Annes in his native Ballyshannon Though working on an unostentatious scale Allingham produced much excellent lyrical and descriptive poetry and the best of his pieces are thoroughly national in spirit and local colouring His verse is clear fresh and graceful more…

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    "The Ruined Chapel" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 7 May 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/39031/the-ruined-chapel>.

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