Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Death was the penalty of inabilty to give a proper answer; and for many years the blood thirsty fiend bestrode the sacred ruin, dealing death on such ill-fated wretches as were forced to pass that way, as nobody had yet been found of sufficient hardihood and wit, to give a suitable response ;—the country rung with tales of the frequent murders committed on the passengers, so that in time, nobody would venture out for miles around after night fall,—when at length, a village bard inspired by whiskey, the genuine hyppocrine, undertook the perilous adventure of exoreising her by the witchery of song. The powerful verse which dislodged this dæmon, shews that she was neither very captious, or very fastidious, and that she required but

very moderate poetic stainina in an opponent, to suffender her fatal dominion; the village Edipus, when he approached the ruin, beheld the Haming eyes at a distance, shooting a red light across the scene, which was believed by the peasanty to be the tinne geolane, or ignus fatuus, which had lured many to their destruction, he heard issuing from the surrounding gloom, the fearful sounds of its voice pouring forth the baleful verse, aud replied firmly to the command given in it,--

Do chirta yotsa veh a Pharahis an aum so,
Na veh mar sault en shin

i. e.

"Twere fitter for you be in Paradise far,

Than riding up there, like a ghost as you are. The spell was broken, the spright was vanquished, but unlike the beforementioned Sphinx, instead of dashing her head against a rock, she, in the immemorial manner of ghosts, uttered something resembling a growl, and disappeared in a huge puff of the smoke of her own beloved tobaceo pipe, never more to return, and urge the country people to make delectable verses.--.“ Why then by my soul,” said Doctor Mullany, the physical character before-mentioned, “if my friend Doctor Brady here, was near As“ keaton, when that same poetic ghost was fishing on the ould wall for verses,

she would not have been suffered to mount her ould garrane sa long, and wink so purtily at the boys, for he would have given her sum" thing to carry with her, that would smack more of genius and learning,

' than that humdrum verse about Paradise.”—“ More sbame Doctor," " said Brady, for the ghost to let herself be taken in by such rumayshe,

besides, 'twasn't in the bargain, don't you see, that she wanted him to • make a verse on tobacco, but the spalpeen knew nothing about it, I'll be “ bail he was no smoker, or he'd speak till morning about it, and break

her heart in her, with his beautiful praises of the leaf.”—“Aye, bothera« tion would he” said the Doctor, “I wish by my faith you were there, (and movrone 'tis you would blister her with your allusions to Nebuchad

nezzer, and the nine muses; but she was a ghost in a thousand, or she “ would have paid him for his purty verses.”.

The schoolmaster shook this excellent critic" by the hand, and old Brady handed him his mull; the former bethought himself of his rival, it was a moment when he found his own reputation was in the mouths of men, and he wished that that intru. ding pedagogue was present, that he might be witness to the loud acclaim with which he was hailed, the first of bards, and so, being “blinded by excess of light,” he may never more raise his head in rash competition, his name was mentioned muffled up in an insinuation against the sonnd sense of his Patrons and the Doctor deemed the opportunity favourable to relate a recent misfortune of the luckless Pedagogue. “It seems that having “ been dozing in bed one night between sleeping and waking, he heard a “ knocking at the door, and something called out Mister Phelim M'Quill : “ Phelim imagined it might be some one of the neighbours that wanted him, “ perhaps to go for the Priest, or may be said the Doctor, for myself for

some one dying, or for a midwife for some woman in the straw, so smel“ ling the whiskey at any rate, whether it was a wake or a christening up he

got ---the moon was shining brightly through the chinks of the door, and “ he looked through one of them to see first who was outside, but deuce a “ one could he see, so rubbing the sleep out of his eyes he opened the door, " and what in the world should he see on looking out, but the entire field be: “ fore him filled with his friends, the “good people,” moving along in the “ moonlight, all dressed out in green jackets, and mounted on brisk and “ active little horses, that seemed impatient-of stop or stay, to be sure, if

master Phelim did not get into a fright when he saw them instantly gather round him, 'tisn't day yet, his nightcap was near walking over his head, “ the hair of which began tu stand upright with alarm, and he made a “ bounce back to close the door, but the good people had taken possession “ of it, and if he was pulling at it until cock-crow it would not stir an inch

on its hinges for him.---- Yerrow come along Phelim my jewel, said one “ of them to him, “come away with us, for we have something of more “ importance for you to do before morning, than to stand there shaking

your jaws, like a great big goose as you are.” Well wondering what “ they could want, and half dead and alive as he was with fear, and seeing “ there was no use in straining at the door or saying no to them, giving a " scratch to his pole, and putting his best leg foremost, just as he was, he

was obliged to march out; he saw they were all mounted, and seeing “ there was neither horse nor mare for himself in the field, he began to

hope at least they would not take him far; but they did not stand at a “ baulk, for all this, for in the corner of the field, they spied a large white “ buck goat, on the back of which, they mounted my gentleman, desiring " him at the same time not to open his mouth while on his back, or 'twould “ be the worse for himself, though- not quite confiding in the ability of the “ animal to bear him, he saw 'twas useless to grumble; but the goat, in “ spite of all that, shewed he had the spunk in him,—the good people can“ tered away, as if old Belzebub himself was at their tails, and the Puckawn cantered on, resolved not to bate an inch of turf to the best of “ them :-over ditches and hedges, hills and dales, through heath and “through furze, through bogs and through woods; they scudded along, “ like the winds in swiftness,-Phelim I'll be bound for him, never cried

ochone, for a spur, or for his cat o’nine tails, the goat had light heels, “ and did not want them; away they went, their bridles ringing merrily

along, until they came to a broad mountain river, where one by one they all

leapt across as easily as if it was only a little stream by the ditch side ; “ the schoolmaster kept looking an until it came to his turn, monnom !

says he to himself, here at any rate they must leave me, for good to be

sure as the Puckaune is, she must baulk the leap: the Puckaune howe“ ver was not of the same opinion, he raised himself on his hind legs, and “ in a thrice was over at the other side; now Phelim when he was in tho “ humour, liked to give merit its due, he would sometimes to be sure un

P

“ dervalue some of his neighbours, and people too that the world knows “ he couldn't hold a splinter or a rush with, and seeing what an amazing “ fine leap the goat had given, and thinking but little about the caution he “ had got to keep his tongue at ease in his head, he cried out in the full

ness of his heart, my soul to the dickens, but if I was to lose Kate and “ the childer for it, but that is as fine a leap as ever a goat made before,”

yerrow be the powers! he had no sooner opened his mouth and said it “ than he found himself thrown on the flat of his back amongst a clump “ of briars and brambles that grew along side the cliff, down which he “ tumbled, rolling from thorn to bush, and from bush into briar, so that he “ thought the very sowl was torn out of his carcase, until he came splash “ into the water below, lucky enough for him that he fell into a shallow

pool and out of the current of the flood, or he would never have returned “ home to his wife all tattered, and torn, and bruised and dripping wet as “ he was, to tell what happened to him, or to swear against praising the "merit of man or beast ever more.”

QUESTION AND ANSWER.

You ask, when to my bosom prest,

Why thus you feel my throbbing heart?
You say it never seems at rest,

But wishes from its cell to part.
I'll tell thee, lovely Mira, why
The little captive beats so high.
Thy heart, the magnet's power conceals,

And like the faithful steel is mine,
While thus, the loadstone's virtue feels,

And pants and throbs to join to thine !

THE DYING ROSE.

O Stella, mark the beauteous rose,
Which cn yon branch so fragrant blows,
Fresh from its stem, the flower I'll tear,
A present for my lovely fair.

Here let me place the blooming flower,
Within thy nosom's sacred bower ;
But see, its blushiny smiles decay,
It droops---alas! it dies away!

Say, sweetest flower, why didst thou die
Beneath the warmth of Stella's eye?
But ah! what summer flower could blow
Between two hills of driven snow ?

A.

[blocks in formation]

The following sketch was written at the command of a society of which I was a member, the subject was prescribed, and I was limited in time.

An officious fellow who looks over my shoulder while I write, objects, " that the society had no more power to compel me to write on their sub“ ject, than Sancho had to make his prisoner sleep in a dungeon, and that “ the fact of my having written a certain number of bad verses within a

given time because they bid mę do so, only serves to shew that their voice “had the same effect upon my mind that a liot-bed has upon a cucumber.”

To be serious, I have endeavoured to combat the dangerous sophistry, which from the existence of evil, would deduce the existence of the double principle of the Manichees. I have endeavoured to shew, that without the existence of evil, man could not possess free will, and consequently, could not in the eye of supreme justice, merit either punishment or reward.

A careful reading of that magnificent error, “Cain," has induced me to hazard this audacious attempt, may I hope that a good cause has not materially suffered through the inconsiderate rashness of an unskilful adyocate.

THE FIRST MURDERER.

Scene, a Solitude.-Time, Midnight.
Cain. My limbs are overworn, but sleep comes not,

Travel and toil, and weariness of heart
Have tired my body down, but sleep comes not,
Or if the body sinks into repose,
The wretched spirit struggles still the more,
Tearing itself with suicidal rage
Like a chained vulture---still and natural rest---
The soothing calm that smoothes the rugged brow,
And kisses from the closing lid, the tear
Flies, like a timid dove, my abhorred lair,
--- Adah!' oh wretched Adah! more beloved
In this dark hour of misery, than in joy,
How can I look upon thy gentle sleep,
Broke with unbidden sighs, and see the tea.
Steal down thy pallid cheek, that in the day
Mantles with smiles of food hypocrisy ?
How can I look upon thine innocent grief
And thy mute wretchedness, that has no voice
But in its silence, and the saddened smile,
That cuts me to the heart ---the savage heart,

Inexorable thing, whate'er thou art
Which making me, didst make me what I am
A chaos of dark passions, can it be
That since my guilt has made the guiltless wretched,
Thou wilt refuse to strike me from the face
Of this, thy fair creation, which thou lovest,
And plunge me in the gulf from whence I came
An undistinguished atom, 'till thy voice

Called me to life and punishment.---
Aduh. (entering)

Oh Cain,
Why hast thou left me, thus, in solitude,
A solitude more fearful, since I know
Thou art enduring agony, alone,
In this thy midnight wandering.--it is cruel
To be thus churlish in the hour of grief,
I well remember in a happier time,
At such an hour as this, in such a light,
Wo forth have wandered by our placid stream.,

« AnteriorContinuar »