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For with them and the Past, though the thought
My memory ever abides,
For the Times of the Barmecides !
For the Times of the Barmecides !"
This is the poem claimed by Mangan to be from the Arabic. I have no means of knowing whether it is or not. There is one translation from the Persian, one from the Ottoman, and acccording to Mitchel, one from the Coptic. But seeing that he turned into verse a great number of Irish poems from prose translations done by another, and that he did not know a word of that language, I think it may be safely assumed that The Last of the Barmecides is original. This poem is so old a favourite of mine that I cannot pretend to be an impartial judge of it. When I hear it (I can never see a poem I know well and love much) I listen as to the unchanged voice of an old friend; I wander in a maze of memories; “I see rich Bagdad once again;" I am once more owner of
the magic carpet, and am floating irresponsibly and at will on the intoxicating atmosphere of the poets over the enchanted groves, and streams, and hills, and seas of fairyland, or harkening to voices that years ago ceased to stir in my ears, gazing at the faces that have long since moulded the face cloth into blunted memories of the face for the grave.
On the 20th of June, 1849, Mangan died in the Meath Hospital, Dublin. Having been born in 1803, he was, in 1849, eight years older than Poe, who died destitute and forlorn at Baltimore in the same year. had been in abject poverty, both had been unfortunate in love, both had been consummate artists, both had been piteously unlucky in a thousand
and both had died the same year, and in common hospitals. Two more miserable stories it is impo:sible to find anywhere. I would recommend those of sensitive natures to confine their reading to the work these men did, and not to the misfortunes they laboured under, and the follies they committed. I think, of the two, Mangan suffered more acutely; for
Both poets he never rose up in anger against the world, or those around him, but glided like an uncomplaining ghost into the grave, where, long before his death, all his hopes lay buried. He had only a half-hearted pity for himself. Poe, in his Raven, is, all the time of his most pathetic and terrible complaining, conscious that he complains as becomes a fine, artist. But the raven's croak does not touch the heart. It appeals to the intellect; it affects the fancy the imagination, the ear, the eye. When Mangan opens his bosom and shows you the ravens that prey upon him, he cannot repress something like a laugh at the thought that any one could be interested in him and his
THE NAMELESS ONE.
“ Toll forth, my song, like the rushing river,
That sweeps along to the mighty sca; God will inspire me while I deliver
My soul of thee !
“ Tell thou the world, when my bones lie whitening
Amid the last homes of youth and eld, That there was once one whose veins ran lightning
No eye beheld.
“ Tell how his boyhood was one drear night-hour,
How shone for him, through his griefs and gloom, No star of all heaven sends to light our
Path to the tomb.
“Roll on, my song, and to after ages
Tell how, disdaining all earth can give,
The way to live.
"And tell how, trampled, derided, hated,
And worn by weakness, disease, and wrong, He fled for shelter to God, who mated
His soul with song
“ With song which alway, sublime or vapid,
Flowed like a rill in the morning beam, Perchance not deep, but intense and rapid
A mountain stream,
“Tell how the Nameless, condemned for years long
To herd with demons from hell beneath, Saw things that made him, with groans and tears, long
For even death.
“ Go on to tell how, with genius wasted,
Betrayed in friendship, befooled in love, With spirit shipwrecked and young hopes blasted,
He still, still strove.
« Till, spent with toil, dreeing death for others,
And some whose hands should have wrought for
him (If children live not for sires and mothers),
His mind grew dim.