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XVIII.

As some mild face of fallen beauty, where
Grief, sin, and shame have passed—those pass'd away,
Steals a pathetic beauty from despair;
So in this pensive land, the Norman's prey,
Full of old graves and towers in green decay;
Though groans no more affright, nor blood defile
The silver brooks, where leaves and sunbeams play,
The tragic past still haunts each mountain aisle,
Moans in the winter-roar, and saddens summer's smile.

XIX.

Lo! through disparted cliffs, with foam and dash,
Wild Edwy leaping from her dungeon rock,
Barred by wild branching oak and mountain ash,
On Wye's blue breast reposing from the shock;
Above some high perch'd straggler from the flock
Looks down the precipice-scene grand, yet gay :
But how doth it deep feeling's fount unlock,
When there thought sees a hunted king at bay,
Scene of a last-lost king's, a kingdom's fatal day!

XX.

Where scarce yon green tower peeps above the wood,
Flanked by two rivers in a mountain nook,
Homeless at home, the monarch-outcast stood,
And o'er the Wye turned many a longing look,
From his last friends cut off,—then sadly took
His fatal way, while angels watched th' event;
Forsaken by the land he ne'er forsook-
Straight to dethronement, death, and burial went:
A shepherd ridge of sod* is all his monument !

XXI.

Nor his alone,—“Ilic jacet Cambria:"
With broken sword upon that tomb-turf small
Departing freedom graved, for from that day
Earth was she, and no more! the virtues all,
Warned by the advent of a foul night-fall,
Sought their high seats in heaven; and foul, and fell,
All the dark passions waked beneath its pall,
The blood-fed vampires of that night of hell,
Which howl in human hearts when mercy bids farewell.

Sacred History is invested, to me renders it repulsive in poetry. The expression is Dryden's-

“ my doubts are doneWhat more could shock my faith than three in one ?

Hind and Panther. • A green turf eminence by the river Irvon, named Cefn y bedd, a “back or ridge of the grave,” marks the sepulture of Llewelyn, last Prince of Wales. The treason by which he is believed to have been betrayed to his enemies, is well known.

XXII.

Allo souls grew perjured, and all hands embrued;
Save the wild justice of the sword—was none;
Sacred no oath, but to some deadly feud
To which the dying father swore the son;
All minds “on bloody courses set” as one!
Men fled to outlaw-murderers from their kin!?
Lawless he left the land who lawless won,
Left to each other's fire and sword and sin,
To tame the kingdom's heart he little cared to win.

XXIII.

'Twixt freedom's set, and monarchy's full sway,
Such the red interregnum--twilight dire!
When all Nant Conway “in cold ashes” lay,
From all its pastoral towns did not aspire
One little smoke, (when spent that funeral fire,)
To tell of one poor head not homeless yet;
One touch of pity, midst that wide-wreaked ire,
Rare on time's page as peeping violet,
Left on a field of dead, pure from its bloody sweat.

XXIV.

Such the grey mother's wild hand interposed
'Twixt the sword falling and her darling's head;
That son's last look (ev'n as his eyelids closed,)
On that old bleeding hand, the last he said,
“Revenge it for me all who live! I'm dead !"
Such that fierce sister's wild love-desperate deed,
Who, for a waylaid husband, strong in dread,
Tore up a foot-bridge, faced a headlong steed,
Caught by the flying heels, and hung upon his speed !

XXV.

The brother smote her,—the less barbarous beast
Spared, while she raged and wept and prayed for life,
(Yes, life,—for with that life her own had ceased !)
On rode the murderer to the ambush-strife;
But the doomed man as fond a friend possest,
A foster-brother-tie in that day rife,
The gentle cuckoo of Welsh parents' nest,
Pleased to behold him play, loved, loving, like the rest.

* The interval between the imperfect conquest of Wales by Edward I. and the restoration of something like law and order under Henry VII. presents a dreadful page in its history. “The history of our country in that period,” says Pennant, “is but the record of perfidy and blood.” Foreign and internal fury equally desolated the country. All the incidents recorded in these stanzas are literally transplanted from Sir John Wynne's History of the Gwedyr family.

† An ancestor of Sir John Wynne removed from his own residence to a neighbourhood infested by bandits and outlaws, and gave as a reason that he had rather live there than stay to be murdered by his own kinsmen.

XXVI.

And little Robin's life had all been spent
In company with that whose hours were told;
As toddling childhood so their manhoods went,
Still by each other's side:—"that dwarf is bold,
You'll find him ever close, his eye still rollid
On his tall foster in fond watch and ward."
Thus to the assassin, who his soul had sold,
To his foul fury spoke the wild clan's lord,
And bade him watch his time for treachery's blow abhorred.

XXVII.

On rode the murderer-nor once looked back
On the fall’n wife: and now the moon hung red,
Low on the marsh, betwixt the mountains black;
When from his wild home of the sea-marsht head,
Sallied the lofty deer hate marked for dead.

To be continued.

BROOM COFFEE.

The French, urged by their national jealousy of our colonial produce, have been assiduously employed in endeavouring to find some substitute for coffee. One of their recent periodical publications informs us that this has at length been effected by M. Pajot Descharmes, who has discovered an indigenous plant, the berries or seeds of which possess all the properties of foreign coffee: this is the broom of our heaths and woods. When slowly roasted, ground, and prepared by boiling as the genuine coffee, no difference of taste is distinguishable between the two decoctions. We are particularly cautioned, however, to guard against making use of the seeds of the garden broom, car celleci donne le devoiement."

We have no lack of the family of the Plantagenets on the sides of the Welsh hills, to furnish the Principality with an ample supply of this native coffee.

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“Robin ap Inco, a little fellow, who is always near him.”

Sir J. Wynne's History. + Penmorva, head of the Marsh, his residence.

SIR S. R. MEYRICK ON IRISH MYTHOLOGY,

Continued from No. XIV. p. 156.

The Helio-arkite worship, as it met with less obstacles, and lasted longer in Ireland than in Britain, so it from time to time received additional improvements, and was strengthened by the all-powerful influence of the native princes. In the parliament which was convened at Teamor, by Tuathal Teachtmar, in the year of our Lord 130, a large tract of land was separated from each of the four provinces, and assigned for the demesne lands of the crown. In the portion taken from Munster the king erected an edifice for the sacred fire, to which the druids and augurs were annually to repair, on the last day of October, in order to consume the sacrifices offered to their deities. No other fire, on that night, under the penalty of a heavy fine, was to be lighted in any house in the kingdom, in order that all fires might be derived from this fire, held sacred, that they might be propitious, and to prevent their doing mischief. For this supposed great benefit, every family was to pay a tax of three pence to the king of Munster, as a compensation for the land he had lost.

In the district taken from the province of Connaught, a building was raised for the convocation of Usneach, i. e. the divine fire. On the mountain on which this stood, all the inhabitants that were able to appear on the 1st of May, were to offer sacrifice to Bél, the chief divinity of the island; and the fire lighted on this occasion was called Bealtinne. This was regarded as the principal fire of Belus, in the northern parts of Leinster, where the states assembled, and held judgment on all criminals guilty of capital offences, when such as were found guilty were burnt in a fire kindled between two others, dedicated to Belus.

The ancient historians of Ireland relate that the use of fire, or more properly the worship of the divinity had been taught the inhabitants by a chief druid of the Scythian race, named Midghe, i. e. sight, aspect, or light. In the same manner, Plennydd, light, is termed one of the primary bards of Britain, we are therefore to understand by this that fire worship was coeval with the coming of the Tinea scuit, or Scythian race. The Irish history goes on to say that it was the sacred fire which was worshipped on their altars that gave the name of Midhe (now Meath* ) to the demesne land of Tuathal Teachtmar, before described, and which, from its central situation, was best adapted

Vallancey, however, says Meath signifies a plain country.

at once for the celebration of their religious rites, and for the seat of judgment.

These edifices, though dignified by such a lofty appellation, seem only to have been altars raised on mountains, on which the sacred fire was lighted. The one mentioned as in the portion taken from Munster, was perhaps on the Bladhma Shabh, a range of mountains between the King's and Queen's counties, and, in ancient times, one of the boundaries of Munster. Bladhma is a contraction of Beal-din-mai, whence Shabh Beal di mai is the mountain of the worship on Beal's day.* Here is still a pyramid of white stones.

Usneach is a mountain in West Meath, and Beal-tinne-glass where the southern states of Leinster celebrated the fire of Beal's mysteries, is the hill of Baltinglass, in the county of Wicklow, in the neighbourhood of which are several druidic altars.

It has been already stated that the Irish druids pretended to draw down fire from Heaven, by means of the Liath Meisieith, magical stone of speculation, a crystal, and that this fire they called the Logh Aesar, essence or spiritual fire and presence of God. It has been suggested that this was by means of cobalt ground up with oil, which would remain long enough for prayers and incantations before it burst into a flame. Whenever the composition failed to take effect, the Aesar was no doubt represented as displeased, and vengeance denounced on the state or person offering the oblation. Many such practices were adopted from the pagan into the Catholic rites, and it will be sufficient to instance the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius, still practised at Rome. The use of this stone was strictly forbidden to the Jews by Moses, in the twenty-sixth chapter of Leviticus: “Ye shall make you no idols, or graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye suffer mascith to be within your dominions.” In the highlands of Scotland large crystals of an oval form are kept by the oldest and most superstitious persons of the country, which are called leice, a word corrupted from liath-cith, precious stone. These the priests formerly carried about to work charms by, and water poured upon them is, at this day, given to cattle against diseases. They were afterwards fixed on the covers of religious books, and one of them so placed is engraved in the fourth volume of the “ Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis.

Tuathal is also said to have erected a palace at Tailtean, or Tailteaghan, i.e. the place of anniversary worship, where king Lughad, a Dannonian prince, is said to have instituted an assembly on the 1st of August, called Lughnasa, where games

• Beauford's Topography of Ireland, in the Collect. de Reb. lib. vol. iii.

p. 289.

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