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“• It is the sigh of expiring nature. Shalt be young no more, till time for thee furl his pinions, and thou art wafted into a world where youth is ever young.'
“Those about me opened wide their filmy eyes. Could not make it out, they said. Was that my substitute for a roaring song ? But the great majority screamed out, 'Jolly good song, and very well sung, merry companions every one — ay, every one!' And, having thus delivered themselves, the maudlin roystering crew dispersed.
“The cool night air soon braced my fevered senses. It was the first, the last symposium I should ever attend. “The feast of reason and the flow of soul,' methought, were poorly replaced by pot-house orgies and bacchanalian scores. The ever-blessed stars shone peacefully above. What thinkest thou, dearest-art thinking of me? Art well — art happy? Ah, sweetest, not all so well, nor all so happy, as with me.”
“Dearest, best, a strange affecting incident has just occurred. You knew my foster-mother, the devoted woman who tended me with even more than maternal care. Poor Bridget, having been deprived of husband and child by one of those casualties so frequent on our western waters, was taken into the house to assist in nursing me. I lost my own dear mother; my father contracted a second marriage ; and Bridget, with, it is said, my step-mother's full consent, bore me to her humble cottage on the Shannon.
“It was thus I first awakened to a perception of this so wondrous world. Those days I shall never forget! While the simple meal was preparing, I would creep to the broad river, and there essay to cast pebbles into the stream. Anon, uttering cries, my foster-mother would snatch me up, and with fondest caresses urge me to eat. It was holding by her gown that I learned to walk ; clutching, while I did so, at the great red sun gilding the green hills of Connaught, away, away to the sea. Sometimes she led me to the old castle ; and there, while our cow grazed, would hush me with wild legends, tales of other days. She told me how the once proud Conellans, beaten down and subdued, had given way; some flying beyond the seas, some sleeping by their old ancestral walls, till all that was left to betoken their valour and their fame was the one word
traced in ancient characters on the riven stone.
“Bridget's forefathers were retainers of, had fought, lived, died for, the fallen line. Tears at times relieved her pent-up agonies. Then, drying her eyes, she would clasp me to her heart: for thou, too,” she said, “art one of
them.' Imagine, now, this faithful creature, her white hair streaming, her dark eyes flashing sweet love for the child of her adoption, beside me.
66-6 You were in London, I knew, and I could not live from you, heart's golden son! The dear soul, with some vague direction, but my name upon her lips, had traced me out. She talks ever about the young mistress;' and, seriously, dearest, I have taken apartments that will suffice for two, in one of the streets leading to the Thames. My chamber opens on the broad river; not so broad or so deeply rolling as our own Shannon. I fancy, surveying the mimic surge, that I could soon gain the open sea, and so on to my own country. Ah me — if I were only there, with you — by that river shore, I should never wander more!
“ Delicious day dreams haunt me. A cottage covered with flowers ; leafy slopes, where little ones play; a latticed casement, through which
struggling rays illumine pages on which a pale and serious man doth pore; yet not all so pale and serious, but that his eyes glance and his lips smile, for his love and the darlings of his heart are there.”
“But the rest,” said Cornelius, “where is the
“There is no rest," I replied : “ that life's history is finished, done — a broken sword, a shattered lyre!
" Why, let the stricken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play ;
“ The high-souled man and gentle maiden rest, sweetly rest, by the old walls of Castle Conellan. The aged foster-mother tended them to the close ; and, having placed them in the dust, went late and early to pray by their remains. She, too, one morning, was discovered