The Irish Cabin Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Should poverty modest and cleanA
E'er please when presented to viewB
Should cabin on brown heath or greenA
Disclose aught engaging to youB
Should Erin's wild harp soothe the earC
When touched by such fingers as mineD
Then kindly attentive draw nearE
And candidly ponder each lineD
One day when December's keen breathF
Arrested the sweet running rillG
And Nature seemed frozen in deathF
I thoughtfully strolled o'er the hillG
The mustering clouds wore a frownH
The mountains were covered with snowI
And Winter his mantle of brownH
Had spread o'er the landscape belowI
Thick rattling the footsteps were heardJ
Of peasants far down in the valeK
From lakes bogs and marshes debarredJ
The wild fowl aloft on the galeK
Loud gabbling and screaming were borneL
Whilst thundering guns hailed the dayJ
And hares sought the thicket forlornL
Or wounded ran over the wayJ
No music was heard in the groveM
The blackbird and linnet and thrushN
And goldfinch and sweet cooing doveO
Sat pensively mute in the bushP
The leaves that once wove a green shadeJ
Lay withered in heaps on the groundJ
Chill Winter through grove wood and gladeJ
Spread sad desolation aroundJ
But now the keen north wind 'gan whistleQ
And gusty swept over the skyR
Each hair frozen stood like a bristleQ
And night thickened fast on the eyeR
In swift wheeling eddies the snowI
Fell mingling and drifting amainI
And soon all distinction laid lowI
As whitening it covered the plainI
A light its pale ray faintly shotJ
The snow flakes its splendour had shornI
It came from a neighbouring cotJ
Some called it the Cabin of MourneI
A neat Irish Cabin snow proofS
Well thatched had a good earthen floorT
One chimney in midst of the roofS
One window and one latched doorT
Escaped from the pitiless stormU
I entered the humble retreatJ
Compact was the building and warmU
Its furniture simple and neatJ
And now gentle reader approveV
The ardour that glowed in each breastJ
As kindly our cottagers stroveM
To cherish and welcome their guestJ
The dame nimbly rose from her wheelW
And brushed off the powdery snowI
Her daughter forsaking the reelW
Ran briskly the cinders to blowI
The children who sat on the hearthX
Leaped up without murmur or frownI
An oaken stool quickly brought forthY
And smilingly bade me sit downI
Whilst grateful sensations of joyZ
O'er all my fond bosom were pouredJ
Resumed was each former employZ
And gay thrifty order restoredJ
The blaze flickered up to the crookA2
The reel clicked again by the doorT
The dame turned her wheel in the nookA2
And frisked the sweet babes round the floorT
Released from the toils of the barnI
His thrifty blithe wife hailed the sireB2
And hanging his flail by her yarnI
He drew up his stool to the fireB2
Then smoothing his brow with his handJ
As if he would sweep away sorrowI
He says Let us keep God's commandJ
And never take thought for the morrowI
Brisk turning him round with a smileC2
And freedom unblended by artJ
And affable manners and styleC2
Though simple that reached to my heartJ
He said whilst with ardour he glowedJ
Kind sir we are poor yet we're blestJ
We're all in the steep narrow roadJ
That leads to the city of restJ
'Tis true I must toil all the dayJ
And oft suffer cold through the nightJ
Though silvered all over with greyJ
And dimly declining my sightJ
And sometimes our raiment and foodJ
Are scanty ah scanty indeedJ
But all work together for goodJ
So in my blest Bible I readJ
I also have seen in that BookA2
Perhaps you can tell me the placeD2
How God on poor sinners does lookA2
In pity and gives them His graceD2
Yea gives them His grace in vast storeT
Sufficient to help them quite throughB
Though troubles should whelm them all o'erB2
And sure this sweet promise is trueB
Yes true as the snow blows withoutJ
And winds whistle keen through the airE2
His grace can remove every doubtJ
And chase the black gloom of despairE2
It often supports my weak mindJ
And wipes the salt tear from my eyeR
It tells me that Jesus is kindJ
And died for such sinners as IR
I once rolled in wealth without graceD2
But happiness ne'er was my lotJ
Till Christ freely pitied my caseD2
And now I am blest in a cotJ
Well knowing things earthly are vainI
Their troubles ne'er puzzle my headJ
Convinced that to die will be gainI
I look on the grave as my bedJ
I look on the grave as my bedJ
Where I'll sleep the swift hours awayJ
Till waked from their slumbers the deadJ
Shall rise never more to decayJ
Then I with my children and wifeF2
Shall get a bright palace aboveO
And endlessly clothed with lifeF2
Shall dwell in the Eden of loveO
Then know gentle stranger though poorG2
We're cheerful contented and blestJ
Though princes should pass by our doorT
King Jesus is ever our guestJ
We feel and we taste and we seeH2
The pleasures which flow from our LordJ
And fearless and wealthy and freeH2
We live on the joys of His wordJ
He ceased and a big tear of joyZ
Rolled glittering down to the groundJ
Whilst all having dropped their employZ
Were buried in silence profoundJ
A sweet solemn pause long ensuedJ
Each bosom o'erflowed with delightJ
Then heavenly converse renewedJ
Beguiled the dull season of nightJ
We talked of the rough narrow wayJ
That leads to the kingdom of restJ
On Pisgah we stood to surveyJ
The King in His holiness dressedJ
Even Jesus the crucified KingI2
Whose blood in rich crimson does flowI
Clean washing the crimson of sinI
And rinsing it whiter that snowI
But later and later it's wearingI2
And supper they cheerfully bringI2
The mealy potato and herringI2
And water just fresh from the springI2
They press and they smile we sit downI
First praying the Father of LoveO
Our table with blessings to crownI
And feed us with bread from aboveO
The wealthy and bloated may sneerE
And sicken o'er luxury's dishesJ2
And loathe the poor cottager's cheerE
And melt in the heat of their wishesK2
But luxury's sons are unblestJ
A prey to each giddy desireB2
And hence where they never know restJ
They sink in unquenchable fireB2
Not so the poor cottager's lotJ
Who travels the Zion ward roadJ
He's blest in his neat little cotJ
He's rich in the favour of GodJ
By faith he surmounts every waveL2
That rolls on this sea of distressM2
Triumphant he dives in the graveL2
To rise on the ocean of blissN2
Now supper is o'er and we raiseO2
Our prayers to the Father of lightJ
And joyfully hymning His praiseO2
We lovingly bid a good nightJ
The ground's white the sky's cloudless blueB
The breeze flutters keen through the airE2
The stars twinkle bright on my viewB
As I to my mansion repairE2
All peace my dear cottage be thineI
Nor think that I'll treat you with scornI
Whoever reads verses of mineI
Shall hear of the Cabin of MourneI
And had I but musical strainsP2
Though humble and mean in your stationI
You should smile whilst the world remainsP2
The pride of the fair Irish NationI
In friendship fair Erin you glowI
Offended you quickly forgiveQ2
Your courage is known to each foeI
Yet foes on your bounty might liveR2
Some faults you however must ownI
Dissensions impetuous zealW
And wild prodigality grownI
Too big for your income and wealW
Ah Erin if you would be greatJ
And happy and wealthy and wiseS2
And trample your sorrows elateJ
Contend for our cottager's prizeS2
So error and vice shall decayJ
And concord add bliss to renownI
And you shall gleam brighter than dayJ
The gem of the fair British CrownI

Patrick Bronte


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