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Young Novice; to him all thy orisons arise ;
Love is the saint enshrined in thy breast,
And angels themselves would admit such a guest, If he came to them, clothed in Piety's vest.
THIS LIFE IS ALL CHEQUER'D WITH PLEASURES
That chase one another like waves of the deep,-
Reflecting our eyes, as they sparkle or weep. So closely our whims on our miseries tread,
That the laugh is awaked, ere the tear can be dried; And, as fast as the rain-drop of Pity is shed,
The goose-feathers of Folly can turn it aside.
With hearts ever happy, and heads ever wise,
Through fields full of sun-shine, with heart full of play, Light rambled the boy over meadow and mount,
And neglected his task for the flowers on the way. Thus some who, like me, should have drawn and have tasted
The fountain that runs by Philosophy's shrine, Their time with the flowers on the margin have wasted,
And left their light urns all as empty as mine!
Her flowerets together, if Wisdom can see
From her fountain divine, 'tis sufficient for me!
* Proposito forem prætulit officio.-Propert, lib. 1. eleg. 20. Ít is but fair to those, who take an interest in this work, to state that it is now very near its termination, and that the Sixth Number, which shall speedily appear, will, most probably, be the last of the series. Three Volumes will than have been completed, according to the original plan, and the Proprietors desire me to say that a List of Subscribers will be published with the concluding Number.
It is not so much from a want of materials, and still less from any abatement of zeal or industry, that we have adopted the resolution of bringing our task to a close ; but we feel so proud, for our country's sake and our own, of the interest which this purely Irish Work has excited, and so anxious lest a particle of that interest should be lost, by any ill-judged protraction of its existence, that we think it wiser to take away the cup from the lip, while its flavour is yet, we trust, fresh and sweet, than to risk any longer trial of the charm, or give so much as not to leave some wish for more. In speaking thus I allude entirely to the Airs, which are, of course, the main attraction of these Volumes; and though we have still many popular and delightful Melodies to produce,* yet it cannot be denied that we should soon experience some difficulty in equalling the richness and novelty of the earlier Numbers, for which, as we had the choice of all before us, we naturally selected only the most rare and beautiful. The Poetry,
too, would be sure to sympa. thize with the decline of the Music; and, however feebly my words have kept pace with the excellence of the Airs, they would follow their falling off, I fear, with wonderful alacrity. So that, altogether, both pride and prudence counsel us to stop, while the Work is yet, we believe, flourishing and attractive, and in the imperial attitude, “ Stantes mori,” before we incur the charge either of altering for the worse, or, what is equally unpardonable, continuing too long the same.
We beg, however, to say, it is only in the event of our failing to find Airs as exquisite as most of those we have given, that we mean thus to anticipate the natural period of dissolution, like those Indians who put their relatives to death when they become feeble--and they who wish to retard this Euthanasia of the Irish Melodies, cannot better effect it than by contributing to our collection, not what are called curious Airs, for we have abundance of them, and they are, in general, only curious, but any really sweet and expressive Songs of our Country, which either chance or research may have brought into their hands.
T. M. Mayfield Cottage, Ashbourne, December, 1813.
* Among these is Savourna Deelish, which I have hitherto only withheld from the diffidence I feel in treading upon the same ground with Mr. Campbell, whose beautiful words to this fine Air have taken too strong possession of all ears and hearts, for me to think of producing any impression after him. I sup pose, however, I must attempt it for the next Number,
OH, THE SHAMROCK!
To sport awhile,
With Wit, the sprite,
Whose quiver bright
Where'er they pass,
A triple grass
As softly green
As emeralds, seen
immortal Shamrock !
Of Bard and Chief,
“They spring for me,
Says Love, “No, no,
" For me they grow,
"My fragant path adorning !"* Saint Patrick is said to have made of use of that species of the trefoil, to which in Ireland we give the name of Shamrock, in explaining the doctrine of the Trinity to the pagan Irish. Í do not know if there be any other reason for our adoption of this plant as a national emblem. Hope, among the ancients, was sometimes represented as a beautiful child, “ standing upon tip-toes, and a trefoil or three-coloured grass in her hand."
But Wit perceives
The triple leaves,
“ A type that Blends
“Three god-like friends,
Of Bard and Chief,
May last the bond
And ne'er may fall
One drop of gali
May LOVE, as shoot
His flowers and fruit,
May VALOUR ne'er
His standard rear
Of Bard and Chief,
AT THE MID HOUR OF NIGHT.
And I think that, if spirits can steal from the regions of air
To revisit past scenes of delight, thou wilt come to me there, And tell me our love is remember'd, even in the sky!
II. Then I sing the wild song it once was rapture to hear, When our voices, commingling, breathed like one on the ear; And, as Echo far off through the vale my sad orison rolls,
I think, oh, my love!'tis thy voice from the kingdom of souls,* Faintly answering still the notes that once were so dear.
ONE BUMPER AT PARTING.
Have circled the board since we met,
Remains to be crown’d by us yet.
Is always so slow to come forth,
It dies, do we know half its worth!
Be all of such moments made up;
To pause and inhabit a while
That’mid the dull wilderness smile!
Cries, “Onward! and spurs the gay hours ;
Than when his way lies among flowers.
Be all of such moments made up:
In waters his glory made bright-
Should be like that farewell of light. “There are countries,” says MONTAIGNE," where they believe the souls of the happy live in all manner of liberty, in delightful fields; and that it is those souls, repeating the words we utter, which we call Echo.”