James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

June 28

To John Boyle O’Reilly

By James Berry Bensel (1856–1886)

(Born June 28, 1844)

AS when a man along piano keys

Trails a slow hand, and then with touch grown bold

Strikes pealing chords, by some great master old

Woven into a gem of melodies,

All full of summer and the shout of seas,—

So do thy rhythmic songs my soul enfold.

First some sweet love-note, full as it can hold

Of daintiness, comes like the hum of bees;

Then, rising grandly, thou dost sound a chord

That rings and clamors in the heart of hearts,

And dying as receding waves, departs

Leaving us richer by a lusty hoard

Of noble thoughts.

O poet! would that we

Might strike one note like thine,—but just for thee!