Seasonal Music

Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms

Lesson 3 Chapter 2 Module 1

This famous Irish air is most famous as set by Irish poet Thomas Moore.  As the story goes, Moore was absent for a time and during his leave, his wife came down with smallpox.  It scarred and disfigured her face, and when Moore returned, she was too embarrassed to let him see her.  Can you imagine the grief this must have caused both of them?  For her to be so insecure, and for him, deeply missing his wife, longing to come home, and now to be only yards away and not being able to be with her.  Then, in one of the most romantic gestures in history, Moore wooed her back and ultimately restored their relationship through this beautiful poem:

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow, and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy-gifts, fading away!
Thou wouldst still be adored as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And, around the dear ruin, each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still!

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervour and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear!
Oh! the heart, that has truly loved, never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close;
As the sun-flower turns on her god, when he sets,
The same look which she turned when he rose!