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As some mild face of fallen beauty, where
Lo! through disparted cliffs, with foam and dash,
Where scarce yon green tower peeps above the wood,
Nor his alone,—“Ilic jacet Cambria:"
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.
Allo souls grew perjured, and all hands embrued;
'Twixt freedom's set, and monarchy's full sway,
Such the grey mother's wild hand interposed
The brother smote her,—the less barbarous beast
* 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.
And little Robin's life had all been spent
On rode the murderer-nor once looked back
To be continued.
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.
“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.