Page images
PDF
EPUB

are to be found. It is, however, a curious fact, that utensils of pottery, iron, and even gold oraments, &c. have been discovered under their surface. The picturesque round towers, too, have greatly puzzled the antiquary as to the time of their erection, and the use of their erection. Enormous horns of the morse or deer kind are frequently found, and many species of extinct animals have been discovered in a fossil state. The Irish appear to have been once a very refined nation, but the barbarous policy of their English conquerors, who destroyed all their records, has left us little light on the subject, but that of tradition. The Irish language so closely resembles the Punic, as to be used in translating a scene in Plautus, written in that dialect, which had hitherto defied every effort to render it intelligible. For her vegetable productions, Ireland greatly resembles her sister country; but we have, we believe, noticed; that the arbutus, rarely, if ever found in England, grows in profusion in Ireland. The country, in many parts, is very destitute of wood, but the pastures are fine. The lower orders chiefly feed on potatoes, and their vigorous constitutions speak highly in favour of this simple diet. The animal productions, too, closely resemble those of Great Britain, though it is evident, from the fossil remains, that many gigantic quadrupeds must have for. merly inhabited Ireland. The seas abound in fish, which supply a profitable article of commerce. The manufactures of Ireland, owing to the disturbed state of the country, are few; but that of linen, established by the patriotism of Dr. Samuel Madden, proves to how high a pitch they might carry their industry. The great superiority of the Irish linen to the English, has been sometimes attributed to the greater flexibility of the fingers of the Irish spinning women, owing to the great moisture of the air. The exports are numerous ; the vast numbers of cattle furnish abundance of beef and butter; they also export in great quantities cattle, hides, wool, suet, tallow, wood, cheese, wax, honey, salt, hemp, flax, furs, frieze, linen, and thread. The character of the inhabitants is highly impetuous, warm, and ungovernable ; they are unalterable in their attachment, and many beautiful tales have been selected of the readiness with which they have risked their lives to save those of others to whom they owed any obligation. They are extremely hospitablethe poorest peasant in Ireland will offer to the stranger an air of the fire, with potatoes and butter-milk, and minds no trouble in setting him right, if he have lost his way, even though it take him ten miles out of his own. They have a great fund of native humour--their wellknown blunders, entitled bulls, are a great characteristic in even the higher ranks of society. They possess a great fund of oratory, ingenuity, and strong good sense, but their inordinate love of wbiskey, and their highly irritable characters, frequently occasion much bloodshed and confusion. The state of the peasantry in some parts of the country, is wretched in the extreme, but in others, it is greatly improved. The established religion is that of the Church of England, but the prevailing one is the Roman Catholic, Great rebellions have often taken place in Ireland, but the state of the people, to which they are reduced by the absenteeism of the nobility and gentry, and the oppression of the petty farmers, must, in some measure, plead their excuse. Great pains have lately been taken to ameliorate the condition of the peasantry; and we may hope that, ere long, Ireland will as firmly unite with her sister countries in every respect, as in the three divisions of the national emblem -the green and graceful shamrock. And perhaps I cannot better conclude this article, than with the lines from the pen of a highly celebrated poet, whose candour has given the generous and warm-hearted natives of the Emerald Isle their due.

Hark! from yon stately ranks what laughter rings,

Mingling wild mirth with war's stern minstrelsy ;
His jest while each blithe comrade flings,

And moves to death with military glee.

Boast, Erin, boast them! tameless, frank, and free ;
In kindness warm, and fierce in danger known,

Rough nature's children, humouroas as she;
And he, yon chieftain-strike the proudest tone
Of thy bold harp, green Isle !--the hero is thine own.

The VISION OF DON RODERICK

EUGENIA.

HYMNS AND POETICAL RECREATIONS.

" When I remember thee upon my bed."-Psalm Ixiii. 6,

In the mid silence of the voiceless night,
When chas'd by airy dreams the slumbers flee,
Whom in its darkness does my spirit seek,

O God, but Thee?

And if there seem a weight upon my breast,
Some vague impression of the day foregonc,
Scarce knowing what it is, I fly to Thee,

And lay it down.

Or if it be such heaviness as comes
In token of anticipated ill,
My bosom takes no care for what it means,

Since 'tis thy will.

And oh! in spite of past or future care,
Or any thing beside, how joyfully
Passes that silent, solitary hour,

My God, with Thee!

More tranquil than the bosom of the night,
More peaceful than the stillness of that hour,
More bless'd than any thing, my bosom lies

Beneath thy power.

For what is there on earth that I desire
Of all that it can give or take from me
Or what is there in heaven that I need,

My God, but thee?

RETIREMENT.

The bold adventurer, mid-way on his course
To some far island that his fancy dreams,
Where mis-shaped animals and forms grotesque
Prowl over regions of embowel'd gold,
Becomes full soon impatient of the calm
That holds him anchor'd in the glassy bay:
And longs—aye, longs to hear the dashing wave
In reckless fury bursting o'er his bows.
And so the warrior, too, the battle shout
Of victory still ringing in his ears,
Unscaith'd in limb, in spirit unsubdued,
Distastes the plays and pleasures of the court,
And lists in proud impatience for the call
To higher glories and to fresher bays.
But is there not a time? Can fancy's dream
Of things that may be, though as yet unfound,
And treasures hidden though we know not where,
But worth the seeking were it but to know
Can they go on for ever? And when worn
And wasted with defeat, and wounded deep;
And if perchance the tardy victory come,
With scarce a limb to hang the ribbons on-
O is there not a time, when satisfied,
Alike of what it has and has not found,
In doubt if there are treasures yet to find,
Or garing not to have them, if there are
The spirit asks no better boon of Heaven
Than to repose between the earth and skies,
To tread a soil that footsteps have not worn,
To breathe an air untainted and unfoul'd
By contact with the impurities of earth-
And as the eye sees nothing intervene
Between this fair creation of his love
And that far heaven, where we think He dwells,
So in the purified and chasten'd soul
To feel no baser interest interfere
Between our spirit and the God of love ?

O yes, believe it—there does come an hour When spirits brave, and bold, and blithely fitted, Ardent to know, and panting to perform, Have had enough-and, sicken'd, or asham'd,

Tire never of the shelter that receives them,
From life's impetuous and unhallow'd cares,
To days of meditation, peace, and prayer.
And vainly then may wealth and fame invite
And fancy tell of mighty deeds to do-
The treasures are laid up--the store is full
The pure and molten gold has pass'd the fire,
And proved itself eternal-Now we ask
But time to count our treasures, and possess them,
And live upon that rich celestial store
Earth can add nothing too, nor all the waste
Of time or of eternity exhaust :
And hear—not earth's cold counsels or its fame.
But, safer far, to list the harmony
Of nature's musick; and by the lark,
That sings ere day-light opens, be reminded
Of that unseen and near approaching day:
And do-have we not done enough?-of sin,
Of folly, and of our own false will
Heaping the evil measure of our doings
Till scarce eternal misery may requite them?
Now rather give us time to tell them over
And take the value of them; and be taught
Or e'er that day arrive, the sum we owe,
How much must pay, or how much be forgiven,
Cease the world's music

-cease the battle strife
Cease all alike, and stop the cumbrous wheels
Of earth's machinery-silent and serene
That we may rest awhile without their noise
Or ever we depart beyond their reach;
And earth's poor interests willingly foregone,
Make God our all before He claims to be so.

1

Psalm cxlvii. 11.

O LET me call thee Father-for to me

Above all other names, that name is sweet ; And if I am thy child, admit the plea,

When I approach before thy mercy seat. O look upon me in thy best beloved,

I come to thee in Jesus' precious name; And in my Lord, accepted and approved,

Let me thy guidance, thy protection claim;

« EelmineJätka »