Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 165
Context: Moore's Irish Melodies were written to be sung, not read as poetry. In fact, Moore was very reluctant to have them printed without the music, and consented only because a pirated edition, replete with errors, was already on the market. Like most songs, the Irish Melodies are more notable for the sweetness of the language and the harmony of the rhythm than for any depth of thought. Moore said of them: "I am better able to vouch for the sound than for the sense." The line quoted is from a lament for the time when the poet was young and could give his whole life to love. The tone is nostalgic rather than sad. The song begins:
Oh! the days are gone, when Beauty bright
My heart's chain wove;
When my dream of life, from morn till night,
Was love, still love.
New hope may bloom,
And days may come,
Of milder, calmer beam,
But there's nothing half so sweet in life
As love's young dream.