Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms

Words & Music : Thomas Moore

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
Though would'st 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
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets
But as truly loves on to the close
As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets
The same look which she'd turned when he rose.


Song Notes

I have never been able to verify the story but when I was young, the received wisdom within my family was that Moore wrote this for his sister who had been disfigured through smallpox. I like to believe it as it gives the song concrete meaning, purpose and a deeper beauty, rather than being simply some pretty statements of devotion.

For my thoughts about Moore, see the notes to The Minstrel Boy.

You'll find several MIDI files, lyrics etc of many of Moore's songs in the Thomas Moore section of Lesley Nelson's Contemplator site.

celtic knotwork


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