Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms.
“Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms” is a popular song written by Irish poet Thomas Moore using a traditional Irish air. Moore’s young wife had been stricken with an illness and worried that she would lose her looks. He wrote the words to reassure her.
The tune to which Moore set his words is a traditional Irish air, first printed in a London songbook in 1775. It was after his wife, Elizabeth, was badly scarred by smallpox, she refused to leave her room, believing herself ugly and unlovable. To convince her his love was unwavering, Moore composed the ‘Endearing’ poem which he set to an old Irish melody and sang outside her bedroom door. He later wrote that this restored her confidence and re-kindled their love.
BELIEVE me, if all those endearing young charms,
- Which I gaze on so fondly to-day,
Were to change by to-morrow, and flee from my arms
- Like fairy-gifts, fading away!
Thou wouldst still be ador’d 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 unprofan’d by a tear,
That the fervour and faith of a love can be known,
- To which time will but make thee more dear!
No! the heart that has truly lov’d, 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 turn’d when he rose!
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