Imágenes de páginas

But let what will, below stairs light the faggot,
That drives this monster up the frighten'd Lee,
Above stairs it should seem, a merry maggot
Fills every bosom with high mirth and glee,
To be so gay on deck what can besot 'em,
With such a devil's furnace at the bottom ?"

"Troth Pat, there's nothing strange in your surprise,”
Said Peter, “I myself felt equal wonder,
When first the Steam Boat met my startled eyes,
With speed of lightning, and with noise of thụnder---
Such rapid motion, without oars or sails,
Made one at first believe 'twas drawn by whales,"

"Upon my soul,” cried Pat, " a natty guess---
A harnessed whale would give a power of motion---
But 'twere the devil's own gang that could impress,
Such hands as that to serve upon the ocean,
And yet they say that elephants so big,
Åre much less hard to manage than a pig."

Says Peter---" there's no witcheraft in the case,
The art is simple when you come to know it,
Nor whale nor devil here has any place,
As you yourself will own, when I shall sbew it---
And in a word ---believe me I'm not punning,
'Tis boiling water sets this vessel ruoning."

“ Arast ! friend Pimley," answered honest Pat,
“ Although I'm but a Kerry mountaineer,
Yet not so great a ninny for all that,
As to be humbugged by a tale so queer,
You might as well convince me by your blarney,
The Devil's punch-bowl's greater than Killarney!

Of water boiled, I know the power and use,
Without it, what would come of us poor

sinners ?
It tender makes the toughest hep or goose,
And cooks potatoes for our daily dinners,
With it, who whiskey, lemon, sugar, brings,
Can make a liquor fit for Irish kings!

With mischief too, as well as good, 'tis big,
Unless you handle it with caution due,
'Tis excellent for scalding a fat pig,
But ugly business, if it scalded you---
In short, your friend, tho’sprung froin conntry folks,
Is not to be entrapped by city jokes!"

Peter aware that reasoning would be rain,
Pat's stubborn incredulity to move,
Soon as the Steam Boat had disirissed lier train,
Took him on board the actual case to prove,
Matter of fact, said Hudibras long since,
Of demonstration is the sovereign prince.

Pat stepped on board, tho' not with right good will,
Although the fire was out, the chimney quiet,
Some apprehension trembled in him still,
Lest fames below again might raise a riot;
Put all was safe---his friend was not deceiving,
Pat saw, and own' that seeing is believing.

To neighbours, Pat's return was always dear,
Sure as they were of something to amuse,
He lov'd to talh, as well as they to hear,
and ever coine with budget full of newg.--
Truth might not always give him things worth mention-c.
What then? lie draws, like others, froin inveution,

But all Pat's former story telling glory,
Is nought to what his present hoard displays,--.
No wonder that the marvels of his story
Were heard with silent, open mouthed amaze,
Tho' some mayhap internally were crying,
“ Lord how this world of our's is given to lying."

Among the clowns who heard the wondrous tale,
Was one Johın Bawn, a wight of sharp repute,
Who thought how best he might himself arail
Of boiling water his own ends to suit,
l'or thus, he argued with consummate art,
What drives a ship must surely drive a cart,

He had a restiff steed, ycleped a garron,
Of strength enough, but obstinate and slow,
Which hated any road to drag a car on,
But voted it a bore up hill to go,
Now then, quoth John, if boiling water forces
A ship to fly, what will it do to horses ?

John fixed a day for trying on his nag.
The virtues of his new discovered notion,
A boiling kettle, where the brute should flag.
Was in the cart to give him quicker motion,
Within a milk-pan some live coals ho got,
To keep his little boiler scalding lot,

Short time was lost in waiting for the trial,
For soon they came to bottom of a bill,
The unsuspecting nag made firm denial,
And 'stead of moving upwards, sti od stock still,
John was prepared to make his nagslup jump,
Aud poured the boiling ketile on his rump!

Jump sure enough he did, and gallop 100,
Not with a Sieam Boat's steady forward inotion,
But like a bark deserted by her crew,
Tossed to and fro upon the troubled ocean,
Nor was it long, ere ketule, man and load,
With broken cart, lay scattered on the road.

Unhurt in body, but in mind distrest,
Sad from the ground the baffled artist rose,
Contending passions laboured in his breast,
And first he swore that Pat should feel his blows,
But after thought---a very sage adviser,
Whispered that silence would be vasty wiser,

" For accident," said he, “I'll let it pass,
A thing quite credible with steed so vicious,
Were I to blab---no Kerry lad or lass
But would esteem it as a jest delicious,
And well they might both mock me and despise,
For giving credit to Pat's monstrous livs,"


As lightly o'er yon moonlight sea,

Which shews the feint star's pallid gleam, A silvery mist at times will flee,

Bat shadow pot the placid main ; Lending the mirror'd light a softer grace, Like modesty's bright veil on beauty's face.

'Tis thus above the sinless soul,

In its own purity arrayed,
The clouds of care and sorrow roll,

And lightly on the surface fade;
Whilst calmly bright, and free from every stain,
The smiles of Heaven, enshrined within, remain.


Again, fair images, yt flutter near,

As erst ye shone to cheer the mourner's eye!

may I hope that ye will linger here?
Will my heart leap as in the days gone by!
Yo throng before my view divinely clear,

Like sunbcams conquering a cloudy sky!
Beneath your lightning glance my spirit burns,
Alagic is breathing, ---youth and joy returns.

But ah? they cannot bear by closing song,

Those hearts for whom my earliest lays were tried, --
Departed is, alas ! the friendly throng,

And dumb the echoing spiriis that replied ;
If some still live this stranger world among,

Fortune bath scattered them at distance wide ;
To men unknown my griefs must I impart,
Whose very praise is sorrow to the heart !

Aynin it comes ! a long unwonted feeling,

A wish for that calm solemn phantom land.---
Aiy song is swelling now, ---now lowly stealing,

Like Eol's harp, by varying breczes fanned,
Tears follow tears, my weaknesses revealing,

And silent shudders shew a heart unmanned :...
---Dull forms of daily life before me flee,
T'he rast,---the past alone, seems true to me!


[ocr errors][merged small]

After a long and eventful life, which has laid many a burthen on my weary spirit, though it has also sent many a rushing tide of bliss through this still impassioned heart, I am at last sheltered in the depth of a solitude, which I have been able to create around myself in the midst of the din and bustle, the elaborate trifling, the pompous nothingness, and the plain, downright, plodding industry;—the rapidly and harshly alternating sights and sounds of revelry and of wretchedness; the tu, multuous pleasures, whose voice is as loud as the shriek of the agonizing pangs that are fearfully endured, or-more fearfully ended---and that too, in close neighbourhood, which makes the contrast more shocking, and the condensation of ill-assorted shapes of trial and enjoyment, of heroic suffering and selfish profligacy, of cant and religion, pretence and sincerity, into one narrow spot, nothing short of a grotesque and monstrous exhibition of tragi-comedy: in the midst of all those objects that go to compose the material of a large and popular city, and that truly convert it into a miniature of that luge panorama, of bewildering

dreams and conflicting passions denominated THE WORLD. It is not in wrath or in bitterness, but in gentle sorrow, that I have gradually withdrawn from every thing like active co-operation in the stirring scenes that are in progress around me:---though I still love to pursue into its recesses the worth which shrinks from the broad and vnlgar admiration of a hoisterous crowd, and is sure to receive at my hands the homage so congenial to its own over-timid and sensitive nature, as well as the support and encouragement so necessary to sustain its hopes and counterbalance its infirmities;---and though I have yet remaining, sympathy, full and fresh enough, to listen with interest to the history of some unnoticed sufferer, and soothe the pangs it is no longer in my power to heal. The activity of mere bodily exertion is considerably abridged by my advanced age, and the current of my affections has grown somewhat 'slow and languid in proportion as the physical channels, through which they have been used to Aow, are worn away, and enfeebled:-while the fountain itself, as its sanctuary is crumbling fast into decay about it, and the ruins are splashing into its bosom and choaking its bed, is as pure as ever, but not so deep or so sparkling.

The greatest events that have ever chequered the destinies of mankind have happened in my day: and I have not only witnessed but borne a considerable part in them. In the prime of manhond, when my frame was vigorous and proudly erect, when the great passions that urged me to the field of ambition and glory, struggled fiercely, and, for a while, triumphantly, with the softer and more insinuating ones that invited me to luxurious repose, the mighty conflict between the new and fascinating opinions that were then broached and were spreading rapidly over the world, and the old institutions of government, religion and manners, which they aimed at unsettling and overthrowing, not only kindled the zeal and awakened the alarms of those who were more immediately concerned in propagating the one and in upholding the other; but sent its fire into the very heart of domestic life, in the most retired recesses of the most distant provinces;--where every youthful spirit was animated by the dazzling picture of that LIBERTY, which alone was said to be capable of working out the regeneration and purging away all the dross and abuses of mankind. To the young, thus panting for wild and terrible enjoyment, and thirsting after that beauteous vision displayed by the genius of poets, orators, philosophers and theorists, and ineffectually decried by the humble and calculating prudence of sober-minded and timid men, it was a matter of no consideration whatever--not worth the trouble of reflection—what a vast amount of confusion and bloodshed, of public devastation and ruin, of private anguish and destitution and guilt, would be offered as the price of this political redemption; and what a hecatomb of broken hearts and wrecked hopes-of innocence violated, beauty defaced and dishonoured, and happiness crushed,--would be immolated on the altar, and involve in disgrace at once the temple, the priests, and their deity!! If these gloomy and disheartening anticipations did actually occur to some one of the visionaries who joined to the ardour of a sanguine temperament, the sedateness and steadiness of a reflecting mind; they were quickly dismissed as unworthy of the thinker himself, and as unsuited to the grandeur of the vast enterprise whick-whatever might be its issue, the weal or the woe of millions—still held out in that very grandeur, its most seductive teinptation to the noble-minded and inexperienced; which, moreover, if

« AnteriorContinuar »