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Poland could scarcely furnish 8,000 men to oppose so formidable an enemy : but even with these few troops, brave but inexperienced, the valiant Prince Poniatowski took the field, and on the plain of Raszyn, near Warsaw, the barbarian host was subdued by this handful of heroes.
With Napoleon fell Poland. At the Congress of Vienna, 1814, the basis of a treaty was drawn up, styled, in mockery of God and man, “ The Holy Alliance," by which Alexander of Russia was proclaimed the Liberator of Europe, and by which Poland, the preserver of civilization and Christianity, was given up to the tender mercies of a barbarian tyrant, “in the name of the Holy Trinity--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!”
It is but justice to add, that Lord Castlereagh possessed sufficient sagacity to foresee somewhat of the nascent ambition of our “magnanimous ally,” and spirit enough to make a manly declaration in behalf of the rights of injured and abandoned Poland. He saw the incompatibility of the claims of the Russian with the maintenance of the future peace of civilized Europe, and insisted on the necessity of erecting the Duchy of Warsaw into an independent kingdom, that “Poland might become an intermediate power between Russia, Austria, and Prussia.” It is fair also to mention, that the efforts of Lord Castlereagh to restore the ancient kingdom of Poland, were sanctioned by Austria and Prussia; and that the descendants of Maria Theresa and Frederic, feeling somewhat of shame and sorrow at the iniquitous acts of their predecessors, expressed their willingness to restore a portion of their possessions for that purpose. The preponderating influence of Russia, however, enabled it successfully to oppose the benevolent wishes which were entertained by them. Lord Castlereagh's specious remonstrance was unavailing. Of his own act and free will he neutralised the principle which he had proclaimed, and permitted the assembly of royal robbers to distribute among themselves the spoils of Poland. The newly-created kingdom was ceded to the Muscovite ruler and his successors; and the land of Sobieski and Kosciusko, the saviour of the liberty and religion of Europe, was given up as a sacrifice to a barbarian power, and fell, on the altar of the world, the first martyr among the nations, to the great and holy cause of Freedom !
W. M. W. C.
ODE TO BACCHUS.
(TRANSLATED FROM EURIPIDES.)
Oh! blest is he whom his bright star hath taught
The mysteries of the sky! Hallowing his life in action and in thought,
With pure and holy lore;
On mountains evermore :
And wreath'd with ivy twine,
Swaying his wand divine.
From Phrygian hills stream down,
Thro' our imperial town.
Him a sad mother in compulsive woe,
Untimely gave to birth ;
Amid the thunder's mirth.
Did Zeus immediate bear;
And hid from Here there.
He gave him to the light;
More marvellously bright.
And thence the Mænads fair,
Wreath'd serpents in their hair.
STROPHE ß. O Thebes! the nurse of dearest Semele, Weave thee a coronal of ivy green ; And in the soft and verdurous luxury Of the holm foliage, bloom thou like a queen : Branches of oak and pine-boughs bear with thee; Revel it featly thro’ each festal scene, And crown with wreaths of soft wool snowily, Your gentle band in dappled skins array'd : And where your lithe wands twinkle, gleam, and glance, There blest and holy be each Bacchic maid !
lo ! for universal earth shall dance !
Far from their loom and broidery wandering,
ANTISTROPHE B. Hear, sacred Crete! and hear thou solemn lair Of the Curetian votaries, and know That the wild priests whom Zeus hath made his care, And who delight to dwell in caves below, First rais'd the vellum'd timbril high in air, Their triple mitres glancing to and fro:
ere the Mænads, wild fair, Danc'd to soft breathings of the Phrygian flute : Loud rang it in the mighty Mother's hand, Nor was its dull low echo ever mute When shout and song peal'd from the Bacchic band. The Satyrs then, with bright voluptuous glance, Received it from the Goddess with wild glee, And wove the mazes of the mystic dance, Which now we Mænads weave triennially; The dance belov'd by thee, dear friend of mine, Thy glory and my joy, O Bacchus ! lord of wine.
Sweet is Bacchus, when in glory
On the green meadow whitest milk is flowing,
In plenteous streams and bright:
Gleams there in golden light.
He waves his wand aloft ;
Then leaps with dance and song and Bacchic shout,
His neck and shoulders soft.
The Monarch's voice peals too,
On, Bacchæ, on, my crew!
The Evian god to woo."
Let play its music's fountain !
On, Bacchæ, to the mountain.
Frolics on pastures fine,
Each weaves the dance divine.
Note.-Bacchus was as a god what Aphrodite was as a goddess-the lord of birth and death-the vivifier and creator-the impersonation of Perfect Beauty, and the upholder of Love and Desire throughout the universe. He is the god of wild, impassioned and enthusiastic action. Hence his character of patron of the Drama, the ideal expression of the actions of life; and hence the tumultuous dances of the Mænads and their frantic and weird ceremonies became sacred to him, the inspirer of the divine enthusiasm, which is so often misapprehended for madness, and of which they were the imperfect outward form or approximative symbol.
W. M. W. C.
SOME PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF A WANDERING
" The pewter he lifted in sport
Believe me, I tell you no fable-
The pot still froth'd over the brim.
And I've naught in my larder but mutton;
And the leg most politely complied ! Now, after that reminiscence of thee, the Patron Saint of green Erin, I'll have another tumbler to drink your health. Yes, most glorious of the long list of venerated names that illuminate the holy record of “the Island of Saints,” you are not dead, but live still amongst your merry descendants
Semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebunt," which, according to the liberal English, my darling, of one Father O'Leary, is
More power, Saint Pat, to your elbow,
A thousand years after you're dead I' The miraculous spatch with which I was comforting myself, and the reflections which followed it, having affectionate reference to one who was par excellence P.P. (Parish Priest) of All Ireland,” were delivered in the hearing of my landlady's daughter, who seemed very much pleased with my pious roundelay, or pretended to be so, seeing that I was very much pleased with both it and myself. Alice was a kind-hearted girl—the soul of good-nature.
“Although you are in capital voice to-night, Mr. O'Shaughnessy," said pretty Alice Lindon,“ I should prefer hearing one of your
• Doctor Maginn's song, beginning with
“ A fig for Saint Denis of France." The natives sing it to the air of the older and still more celebrated chaunt composed by the Rev. Robert Burrowes, Dean of St. Finbar's Cathedral, Cork :
“ The night before Larry was stretched.”