Imágenes de páginas

they lost in their native county. These lands remained with their descendants, until after the enactment of the penal laws; when a profligate younger brother, "conformed" to protestancy, and deprived the elder, who was the father of Carolan's friend, of the estate. It soon after passed away from the family.

Mr. Stafford, having on a certain occasion, requested Carolan to prolong his stay, the facetious bard is said to have made the following humorous reply:

Go tigh do chúráid má théidh tú,
Cukirt fhádá ní h‐í is fea̸pr ;

Páirt de'd chion beir legt ukidh,

Is Ádhbha̸r d'fuátha an t-iompóghadh geírr.

If to a friend's abode thou should'st repair,
Pause, and take heed of lingering idly there ;
Thou may'st be welcome-but, 'tis past a doubt,
Long visits soon will wear the welcome out.


1 The air of the old song, called the "Farmer," which was written by a Catholic priest, who certainly, while composing it, was not dreaming of the "church establishment," will be found to answer this translation.

3" Thou hast sprung from the Gael."

Gael and Gadelian, which frequently occur in Irish poetry, mean the ancient Milesians of Ireland. From one of these families was descended the gentleman for whom the present song was composed.


From Gallen to Grange.The first of these places is a barony in the county of Mayo, the latter a village in Ahamlish Parish, lower half-barony of Carbry, county of Sligo.

* “ For the hero of Limerick is near us." This line requires no comment. The siege of Limerick, its capitulation, the articles of surrender, and their flagrant violation, are already known throughout the civilized world. Edward O'Corcoran was one of the heroes who “ covered themselves with glory” in that memorable struggle. His name has been consecrated by the muse; but many a brave and noble spirit, his companion in arms, fell in the contest, whose name is unknown to posterity.

Omnes illacrimabiles
Urguentur ignotique long å
Nocte, carent quia vate sacro.'

HORAT iv. 9.


· Doctor Harte was Titular Bishop of Achonry, an Episcopal see in the West of Ireland. The virtues, persecutions, and sufferings of the Catholic clergy of Ireland, not only endeared them to all of their own persuasion, but excited the commisseration, and gained them, almost generally, the esteem of every liberal and enlightened Protestant in the kingdom, even before the relaxation of the penal code. Carolan, “ constitutionally pious,” was enthusiastic in his attachment to the clergy of his faith. Their praises frequently occupied his muse, and

gave birth to some of his noblest conceptions in music and poetry. The anonymous, but excellent, correspondent of the

Author of the Memoirs of the Irish Bards, alluding to his "it has often excited sentiments

poem to Doctor Harte, says, of the most fervent piety."

Ytíobhárd ceart do mhác ná zlóire é fem

2" To thy Master in heaven a true steward art thou,” is no less an idea of the most exalted devotion, than of the most elevated genius." He adds, "It is a loss to the public that this truly virtuous dignitary had been so insensible to all emotions of self-love, as to have the first of Carolan's compositions for him entirely suppressed."-This, however, was not the case. The copy here given has been had from the dictation of an aged man, by whom it was recited with all those feelings of virtuous enthusiasm so peculiar to the Irish.—It has been translated to the air of " My lodging is on the cold ground."-See Moore's Irish Melodies, No. II. p. 100.

"Oh! good is thy fame in the land of O'Neill."

The province of Ulster which has been particularly denominated the Land of O'Neill, being the territory of that princely family.


'The O'Harte's are an ancient and noble family of Ireland. In the topographical poem of the famous John O'Dugan, beginning “Trillám timcheall ná Podlá," Fines obeamus Iernes, h-Aift íoghdhá "O'Harte the Noble or Regal," is the first family of Meath mentioned after Maelseachlan the monarch. This was anterior to the Anglo-Norman visitation.

Though Carolan's attachment to the Catholic clergy was unbounded, yet he sometimes had occasion to make them feel the severity of his satirical powers. Having once visited the Friars of Rossreill, a monastery beautifully situated on the banks of Lough-Corrib in the county of Galway, he is said on departing to have addressed them as follows:

[ocr errors]

Máis ionmhúin lekt ná bráithre,
bídh leó go rástk, rockir;
Tabhair dóibh gach nidh iarraid,
’Y ná h-iápr Kén nidh optha.

Would'st thou the friendship of the friars secure,
Be civil - be submissive-be demure !
Breathe not a word that


Grant all they ask, but nothing ask from them.



· The music of this ode has never, that I know of, been published, although it is, undoubtedly, one of the finest specimeus of our bard's composition,

It was composed, with the words, on the following occasion. The son of O'Reilly, returning from Leitrim, accidently met the “ Fair daughter of O'More," near her father's residence. Struck by her beauty, the youth remained “spell-bound," gazing in silent amazement at the charming object before him. Love took possession of his soul, and the new inmate, always fertile in expedients, soon suggested a pretext for accosting the maiden. Feigning fatigue, he approached her, and requested a cup of water with so gentle, so engaging an address, heightened by the external graces of a fine person, that a correspondent feeling was instantaneously excited in her bosom. He enjoyed her conversation for a few moments only, and then, for the first time in his life with regret, continued his course homewards. On arriving at his father's house, he there found his old favorite, Carolan, who had just made one of his annual visits. The bard, whose eyes, as he used humourously


to say of himself, “ were transferred to his ears," perceived his youthful friend unusually thoughtful and pensive; and from as thorough an acquaintance with every chord of the human heart, as with every string of his own harp, be at once suspected the cause. After some anxious inquiries, and a few good-natured sallies, the secret was imparted; and the bard, in a little time, produced the words and music of the present ode. They only who have ever felt as young O'Reilly did, can duly appreciate the enthusiasm with which he received them. Shortly after, invited to an entertainment at the house of O’More, the youthful lover took the opportunity of reciting the ode, accompanied by the music of the harp, music of which, perhaps, no modern can form an adequate idea. The effect on the young lady, who happened to be in an adjoining apartment, may be easily anticipated. The conquest of her heart was finally achieved, and young O'Reilly had, soon after, the happiness to be united to the beloved object of his affections.

When celebrating the praises of the descendents of the Gael, Carolan’s genius appears in its brightest lustre. The O'Neills, O'Mores, and O'Connors wound him up to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. He considered himself born to “

sing in their service," and nobly has he performed the duties of his fancied mission. Of this the ode before us is a splendid proof. As a poetical composition it is much and deservedly admired.

* Pride of the gay green hills of Maile.The territory of Hy-Malia, an ancient district in the S. W. of the county of Mayo, comprehending the baronies of Murrisk and Carra, or at least a part of the latter. The country of the O'Malleys.

3" Child of the old renowned O'More." This family which holds so conspicuous a place in the annals of Ireland, sprung from Conall Kearnach, a Northern hero,

« AnteriorContinuar »