« PreviousContinue »
agony- the woe of those devoted people! Hot tears, and wailing, and wringing hands, there were for miles around to each, to all, Cornelius had been a friend. In relays of hundreds, they prayed for his recovery, or, failing that, for the repose of his soul:
“ Merciful God, Saviour of the world, grant he may not die ! Oh, master, leave us not! Thou all-compassionate God, be merciful to his soul!”
Generous peasantry, warm-hearted countrymen, lament no more. God indeed hath taken him from you, from a land that so much needed him, to his eternal rest. But He will raise you other comforters; and time, perforce, must come, when want and misery shall oppress you no more.
Thick as leaves the people gathered on the strand. Tears watered the soil, sighs rent the air. Presently, there came a dirge fitfully gushing, as the long procession wound by the
mountain's base to the lone burying-place by the shores of the sobbing sea. It was the “ Irish Cry” in that ancient and yet unperished tongue :
“ Oh! father, more than father, hast left thy children? We were not good enough for thee. God hath taken thee because of our sins — Honerie!
“ Sweet and good wast thou beyond the common of men — never shall we look upon thy like again – Honerie ! . “ Art gone to glory, so, thou ever blessed master, farewell !" But grief broke down their utterance, and the coffin was placed in the earth amid sighs and tears.
It was a grey autumnal morning : no breeze shook the musky foliage; no wind ruffled the waters of the bay. The last sad rites had been rendered ; the mourners were gone, and I stood by the grave of my friend alone. Suddenly, the dark clouds scattered, mellow light gushed over
hill and tree, and sorrow ceased to press so heavily on the soul. Thus, light, in truth, has issue out of darkness, joy out of grief, and, mercy of heaven, life out of death again!
THE MORNING'S DAWN.
I PAUSED by Reginald's tower on Waterford's stream. Men, women, children-haggard, forlorn, kept crowding by. Vice, grovelling error, had left dark traces on many a brow. Was there but one of that circling throng, who, in lofty port and noble bearing, upheld the dignity of his kind, gave trace and token of man's immortal destiny? I hid my face and wept-0 God, there was not one!
Again, another change; it boots little now. Yet once must I revisit Dublin - watch one more night by Marion's grave, meditate by
Cornelius's tomb, then turn my face for ever away.
I stand by the brink of the masterless sea. Huge waves boom in majesty. The wind sighs with gentler cadence ʼmid the rifted hills, bowing the wild plants as it hurries along. But my thoughts are far away. I pause by the shores of a mightier ocean, whose sands are time, whose waves are eternity! The future is about to lift its veil. My span of life is done, my term is drawing nigh, my little measure of usefulness is filled to the brim. Hail, then, blessed future – many-peopled regions of infinity, all hail ! Farewell, busy world — ye refreshing streams, and, oh, ye many-voiced winds of heaven, farewell! Farewell, too, thou provident nature ; soon, Michael shall need thy sustenance no more. Fellow-men, fellow-countrymen, I bless you. Almighty God, raise, protect my country! Cleansed from ignorance, error, sin, raise