« AnteriorContinuar »
SOUTH AMERICAN PATRIOT's song*.
'Tis the voice of a Nation waking
From her long, long sleep, to be free-
At the watchword “Liberty!"
The gallant victor's prize:
Eternal laurels bloom,
Or flourish o’er our tomb.
See the god of the fight at hand!
On his own devoted band.
The blood of the pure and free? .
On thy golden sands, Potose?
As the ravenous beast his
By the hopes and joys of the free,
And bring down the haughty knee.
Where fell the conquer'd foe,
Columbia! Columbia! thy name,
“ Columbia !” the nations proclaim.
Over oppression's grave;
Several of the original stanzas of the above song are omitted, as containing chiefly a bare enumeration of towns and provinces in any way signalized during the contest. The music adapted to it is extremely beautiful and animated, and the translator regrets it has never yet been published in England.
ALL HALLOW EVE IN JRELAND.
In the hinder end of harvest upon All Hallow ene
KING JAMES VI. SOME years ago, I had the pleasure of passing an All Hallow Eve at the house of a substantial farmer in the vicinity of the town of Sligo. I had been wandering the whole day about the beautiful and romantic glen of Knock-na-ree, and entered the hospitable abode of my worthy Milesian friend just as the dim twilight was melting into the dark gloom of an autumnal evening.
A sparkling turf-fire enlivened the hearth, and a number of the neighbouring young rustics were mingled with the ruddy children of mine host about the room ; while the elder folks encircled the glittering blaze, or crouched beneath the immense chimney that jutted far out into the room. Large pieces of hung beef and rusty bacon adorned the walls, a spinning-wheel was turned up under the ladder which ascended to the loft, the white wooden piggins and well-scoured trenchers were placed in meet array on the well-filled shelves, and the huge dresser proudly exhibited its store of shining pewter to the admiring eyes of the youthful peasants. A door, which stood ajar in one corner, purposely betrayed the treasures of “the best room;" a double chest of drawers, a polished oaken table, and several antique and quaintly-figured chairs reflected the beams of the burning turf, and faintly illumined the sacred apartment.
The buxom good wife, arrayed in a striped linsey-wolsey gown, was regaling her friends with merry lamb's-wool, while her lively children and their young guests indulged in the usual superstitions and quaint customs of All Hallow Eve. Three of the eldest lasses were lurking in a dark corner busily employed in kneading a cake with their left thumbs. Not a sound escaped from their clenched lips; the work proceeded in mute solemnity; a single word would have broken the charm, and destroyed their ardent hopes of beholding their future busbands in their dreams after having partaken of the mystic dumb-cake.
While this work was going on silently in the corner, a group of sturdy boys in the centre of the floor were indulging in all the uproar of boisterous merriment at the glorious game of snap-apple. A burning candle was aslixed to one end of a short skewer, and a ripe ruddycheeked apple stuck at the other. The skewer was suspended by its middle with a piece of strong cord from the dusky ceiling, and being gently put in motion, the eager boys thronged tumultuously forward to catch the delicious apple in their mouths as it performed its swinging evolutions. Many a furzy head was set in a blaze, and many loud laughs and chirruping exclamations emanated from the merry group before the prize was carried off. Several young girls were roasting pairs
of matrimonial apples on the hearth. One they dignified with the · lordly title of “The Baron," and the other was supposed to be his
lady-wife. And truly it was a bitter satire on the married state. The scorching apples resembled many a foolish couple in the land. Such sputtering and foaming-such angry fuming at each other—such prodigious perspirations—such vindictive tones and contemptuous hissings on both sides, and then such melting quietness for a moment, interrupted by a sudden swelling-up, or a burly look, that renewed the sputtering and fuming, until both were utterly exhausted! The married folks looked on and laughed prodigiously, ever and anon exchanging those most eloquent and volume-speaking looks, which often pass between man and wife.
* The fairies.
Some of the younger children were wandering about in the cold moonlight, zealously seeking for protecting “angry weed,” to charm them against the fearful displeasure of their parents, for the ensuing year. The revered and grey-tressed patriarch of the family, with fearful inquisitive looks and quivering lips, silently tottered about on his crutches, to inspect the lusty "livelongs" which each of his beloved grandchildren had suspended from the roof on Midsummer Eve. If the plant still looked green and healthy, his countenance lighted up into a faint smile, and a pious ejaculation escaped from his thin lips; but if he met with one which shewed the sickly symptoms of decay, how woefully would the fond old man look round for the child who had hung it up, impressed with the heart-sickening certainty, that the sunk eye and pale cheek of his little darling were sorrowful foretokens of the untimely death predicted by the fatal livelong.
A troop of the youngest boys were kneeling round a bucket of icecold water, into which the old people, from time to time, threw small pieces of coin, for the shivering younglings to pick up from the bottom with their freezing lips. Some of the maidens were pouring molten lead through the bow or a rusty key into a bowl of pure fountain-water, and tracing indistinct semblances to different objects in the various shapes which the lead assumed. If any of them happened to cast the likeness of a ship, her future lord was doomed to be a hardy sailor. If fancy could warp a mis-shapen lump of the cooled metal into the similitude of a horse, a helmet, or a sword, the happy lass tempted her fate no farther, but merrily danced away, rich in the dear hope of being wedded to a gallant soldier. If the dim resemblance accorded not with her sympathies or inclinations, the dissatisfied and pouting girl would try her luck again, again' to be defeated in her hopes : until, at length, wearied and disgusted, she rose from the mystic well with a sad heart and a heavy brow, to seek for consolation, and promises of better fortune in a different rite.
During one of those moments of universal silence which often happen in the most roystering assemblages, a loud and rather melodious voice was heard at a little distance gaily chanting an old beggarman's song, to one of the merriest tunes that ever flowed from the lips of mirth and happiness.
In a few moments the children came tumbling in, and joyfully announced the unexpected arrival of Larry Donovan. The welcome information was received with an unanimous burst of enthusiastic rapture, which had hardly subsided when Larry Donovan, the ancient buchaugh, mounted on a grey drowsy-looking, lop-eared ass, made his appearance at the open doorway. Men, women, and children were all collected about the threshold to greet the arrival of the white
bearded, jovial beggarman, who continued to troll his old song amid the hearty kead-mille-a-falt ha's*, that were showered upon him from every quarter. He vigorously raised himself from his pad, and reaching over the heads of the delighted youngsters, warmly grasped the trembling, out-stretched hand of the old patriarch. This action betrayed a pair of thin mis-shapen legs that dangled impotently behind Larry's muscular calves, under whose efficient covert they had hitherto been concealed. “Who have you there, Larry ?" cried twenty voices at
“Och! boys, boys,” replied the happy mendicant, “I'll engage my fellow-traveller and kinsman here, will make every one of your young hearts dance with joy this merry night :—who did you think, boys, I'd mount upon my Rory and bring along with me to the house of revelry and feasting, but honest Dennis O'Neil, the old piper of Innismury.” Dennis now shewed his grizzled face over the broad shoulder of his companion, and struck into the heart of the tune of Larry Donovan's much-loved song, pealing forth such cheering notes from his pipes, as he entered the house, that every eye beamed with tran rt and every toe was set in
The floor was quickly cleared for dancing, and after Larry and the piper had quaffed a piggin of pure Pothient between them, the latter gave the signal for the lads and lasses to take their places. Every brow was beaming with joy and expectation, the young men were looking lovingly into the blue eyes of their maiden partners, when, after a moment's pause, the top couple started off to the galloping measures of “ Kiss in the Furze.”
I had now an opportunity of more particularly surveying the figure and appearance of the buchaugh. He was a tall handsome-looking old fellow, with a bright eagle glance, a high unfurrowed forehead, a full cheek and a profusion of long white locks floating carelessly down his back and bosom. He was wrapped up in a coarse blue cloak, fastened at his breast with a wooden skewer. A broad leathern belt was buckled round his middle, to which his little meal-can, and flat whiskey bottle were carefully fastened, and a nut-brown doothien or stunted tobacco pipe, was twisted in the band of his old slouched hat. He was engaged in deep confab with the aged grandsire of the family, but his ear was still attentive to the rapid flow of the tune, and he regularly beat time with the iron point of his oaken pike.
As soon as the dance was ended, preparations for the supper were set about with infinite vigour and alacrity. A neighbour's son disappeared for a few seconds, and returned with a colossal “cobler's nob,i" which, Melcager like, he presented on bended knee to our host's eldest daughter, the blooming little Alice, and gave the signal for every youth to salute bis willing partner by imprinting a warm kiss on the ripe luscious cheek of the blushing damsel.
The young man's gift was immediately ushered into an iron pot, a kish of turf and a fresh log were brought in--the good wife spitted a fine turkey, and a quarter of fat kid (which, when drest, tasted as delicious as fawn's flesh), and little Nicodemus, our host's youngest boy, with a mortified and reluctant air, took his allotted station in the chim
Kead-mille-a-faltha, a hundred thousand welcomes. † Pothien, very strong whiskey.
ney corner, and sullenly and slowly turned round the richly-fraught spit with a heavy old-fashioned iron hand-dog.
The simmering waters soon began to send forth the most delicious of sounds to the ears of the hungry; the blue flames curled and twined round the black crocks in snake-like coils; the moaning wind sang a melancholy foretoken of the death of the waning year; the burning turf, and the bright embers of the crumbling log, assunied strange images in the eyes of superstition and fancy; and the whole party drew closely round the glimmering hearth, drinking with greedy ears the honeyed words of the old Buchaugh. He was rich in the legendary histories of all the great families in the kingdom; explained the origin of such bitter maledictions as
“ the curse of Cromwell," and "the screech of the morning;" sang ancient ditties, aud told affecting love-stories, and superstitious tales of midnight goblins, ladies clad in white garments tinged with crimson blood, and gaunt warriors galloping through dark glens in sable armour and plumes of waving fire; fearful visions of dying men; and rich descriptions of fairy-revels among old ruins, or on the bright greensward, in the chill moonlight beam.
He had travelled from a village on the other side of Sligo, with the , ancient piper behind him, alternately playing boisterous tunes and singing roaring catches, to scare away the mischievous elves and fearful goblins that flit about in the dark, and play lawless pranks upon sober travellers with impunity, on All Hallowmas Eve. “Wicked flesh and blood too,” quoth he, “is often abroad on such a night as this. I remember, this time seven years, a poor sinful soul of a footpad formed a plan to waylay me, as I passed from father Fitzpatrick's snug little cabin, on the bog's side, to old Biddy Maguire's merrymaking on the hill. The simple fool thought, perhaps, that my old cloak, like Thady Aroon's, was lined with rich gold; but no such thing, boys: Larry Donovan never takes more from charitable Christians, than just enough to make his heart glad, and his tongue chirrup for the night, living like the happy birds in the forest, without a single thought of the morrow. Well, boys, the footpad not having a distinct recollection of my figure, attire, and phiznomy, or perhaps being hoodwinked by the thoughts of the ugly business he was going about, instead of my own poor old body, actually fell upon little Jack Delany, that keeps the shebeen-house in the valley. It's an old saying and a true one, that a bad cause makes a weak heart; and by this pike in my grasp, little Delany overcame the cowardly cur of a footpad, (who was no Irishman, do you mark,) knocked the dirty poltroon down, and resolutely robbed him. Now, whether Delany was justified in going so far, Larry Donovan won't pretend to decide ; for I'm told it was a poser for the rosy, good-humoured priest himself. But when Jack lies on his low death-bed, with the clammy dews standing on his brow, the moaning bibe combing her yellow locks, and singing the death-wail at his casement, then will this, and all poor Delany's other actions, appear to his darkening eye in their true colours."
The supper-table was now prepared. The bright holiday pewterplates and dishes gleamed upon the board, to the utter exclusion of the wooden bowl and rude trencher. The cobler's nob grinned ghastly in the centre, surrounded by huge piles of laughing potatoes,
VOL. IV. NO. XV.