CELT document E830002-001

O'Brazil, the Isle of the Blest

Gerald Griffin

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    O'Brazil, the Isle of the Blest

    A spectre island, said to be sometimes visible on the verge of the Western horizon, in the Atlantic, from the Isles of Arran.

  1. On the ocean that hollows the rocks where ye dwell,
    A shadowy land has appeared, as they tell;
    Men thought it a region of sunshine and rest,
    And they called it O'Brazil, the Isle of the blest.
    From year unto year, on the ocean's blue rim,
    The beautiful spectre showed lovely and dim;
    The golden clouds curtained the deep where it lay,
    And it looked like an Eden, away, far away!
  2. A peasant who heard of the wonderful tale,
    In the breeze of the Orient loosened his sail
    From Ara, the holy, he turned to the west,
    For though Ara was holy, O'Brazil was blest.
    He heard not the voices that called from the shore—
    He heard not the rising wind's menacing roar;
    Home, kindred, and safety, he left on that day,
    And he sped to O'Brazil, away, far away!
  3.  p.163
  4. Morn rose on the deep, and that shadowy Isle,
    O'er the faint rim of distance, reflected its smile,
    Noon burned on the wave, and that shadowy shore
    Seemed lovelily distant, and faint as before:
    Lone evening came down on the wanderer's track,
    And to Ara again he looked timidly back;
    Oh! far on the verge of the ocean it lay,
    Yet the isle of the blest was away, far away!
  5. Rash dreamer, return! O ye winds of the main,
    Bear him back to his own peaceful Ara again;
    Rash fool! for a vision of fanciful bliss,
    To barter thy calm life of labour and peace.
    The warning of reason was spoken in vain,
    He never re–visited Ara again;
    Night fell on the deep, amidst tempest and spray,
    And he died on the waters, away, far away!
  6. To you, gentle friends, need I pause to reveal,
    The lessons of prudence my verses conceal;
    How the phantom of pleasure seen distant in youth,
    Oft lures a weak heart from the circle of truth.
    All lovely it seems like that shadowy Isle,
    And the eye of the wisest it caught by its smile;
    But, ah! for the heart, it has tempted to stray,
    From the sweet home of duty, away, far away!
  7. Poor friendless adventurer! vainly might he
    Look back to green Ara, along the wild sea;
    But the wandering heart has a guardian above,
    Who, though erring, remember the child of his love.
  8.  p.164
  9. Oh, who at the proffer of safety would spurn
    When all that he asks, is the will to return;
    To follow a phantom, from day unto day,
    And die in the tempest, away, far away!

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Title statement

Title (uniform): O'Brazil, the Isle of the Blest

Author: Gerald Griffin

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by: Beatrix Färber and Juliette Maffet

Funded by: School of History, University College, Cork

Edition statement

1. First draft.

Extent: 1410 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2012

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E830002-001

Availability: The works by Gerald Griffin are in the public domain. This electronic text is available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of private or academic research and teaching.

Source description

Works by Griffin

  • For further information, please see Gerald Griffin's Chronology and Bibliography.

Hy Breasail (O'Brazil)

  1. Peter D. Jeans, Seafaring Lore and Legend: a miscellany of maritime myth, superstition, fable, and fact (Camden, ME: International Marine 2004), especially p. 38–39.
  2. John O'Hanlon, Irish Folk lore: traditions and superstitions of the country, with humorous tales (Glasgow: Cameron & Ferguson, 1870) pp. 114–125.
  3. See also 'The tour of the French traveller M. de La Boullaye Le Gouz in Ireland, A.D. 1644', ed. by Thomas Crofton Croker (London 1837), which is available at CELT, Appendix 2, pp 68– 78.

Works about Gerald Griffin

  1. Daniel Griffin, The life of Gerald Griffin, by his brother (London: Maxwell and Co., 1842–1843) 8 vols. Expanded version published in Dublin, 1857.
  2. Karl von Killinger, Gerald Griffin: ein Schriftstellerleben (Stuttgart and Tübingen: J. G. Cotta, 1847).
  3. Henry Giles, Sketches of celebrated Irishmen, Irish character, etc. (New York: P. J. Kenedy, 1869, 1896 printing).
  4. John Power, Gerald Griffin, His Life and Poems: A Biographical and Critical Essay (Dublin: Duffy & Sons 1881).
  5. W. S. Gill, Gerald Griffin, Poet, Novelist, Christian Brother. (Dublin: M.H. Gill & Son, Ltd. [1941]. First published in Dublin, 1940).
  6. M. Moloney, Limerick and Gerald Griffin (1940).
  7. Maire O'Donovan, Gerald Griffin's nieces (1940).
  8. Ethel Mannin, Two studies in integrity: Gerald Griffin and the Rev. Francis Mahony (Father Prout) (London: Jarrolds, 1954).
  9. William MacLysaght and Sigerson Clifford, Death sails the Shannon: the tragic story of the Colleen Bawn: the facts and the fiction. (Tralee: Anvil Books, 1971.) First published in 1953 under the title 'Death Sails the Shannon. The Authentic Story of the Colleen Bawn'. Tralee: The Kerryman Ltd.
  10. John Cronin, 'Gerald Griffin and The Collegians? : a reconsideration', University review, V/1 51–63, (Spring 1968).
  11. John Cronin, Gerald Griffin in London, 1823–1827. Irish Booklore, 1972.
  12. Grace Eckley, "Griffin's Irish Tragedy, The Collegians, and Dreiser's American Tragedy", Éire–Ireland 19/1 (1977).
  13. John Cronin, Gerald Griffin (1803–1840): A Critical Biography (Cambridge University Press 1978). [With bibliographic information].
  14. Robert Davis, Gerald Griffin (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980).
  15. John Cronin, 'Gerald Griffin, The Collegians', in: The Anglo-Irish Novel: The Nineteenth Century [Vol. I] (Belfast: Appletree Press 1980) 59–82.
  16. Judy Gleeson, Pre-Famine Ireland in the Works of John Griffin (1981).
  17. John Cronin, 'The Creative Dilemma of Gerald Griffin', in: Talamh an Éisc: Canadian and Irish Essays, ed. Cyril J. Byrne & Margaret Harry (Halifax: Nimbus 1986) 105–118.
  18. Barry Sloan, 'Early Tales by the Banims and Gerald Griffin (1825–1830)', in: The Pioneers of Anglo-Irish Fiction, 1800–1850 (Irish Lit. Studies 21) (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe; New Jersey: Barnes & Noble 1986) 51–73.
  19. Barry Sloan, 'Lady Morgan's Departure and Griffin's Major Works (1825–1830)', in: The Pioneers of Anglo-Irish Fiction, 1800–1850 (Irish Lit. Studies 21) (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe; New Jersey: Barnes & Noble 1986) 109–136.
  20. Julian Moynahan, 'Gerald Griffin and Charles Dickens', in: Literary Interrelations: Ireland, England, and the World, edited by Wolfgang Zach and Heinz Kosok, vol. II: Comparison and Impact (Tübingen: Günter Narr Verlag, 1987) 173–180.
  21. Michel Flot, 'Gerald Griffin', in: The Big House in Ireland, ed. Jacqueline Genet (Dingle: Brandon; New York: Barnes & Noble 1991) 91–102.
  22. Benedict Kiely, 'The Two Masks of Gerald Griffin', in: A Raid into Dark Corners and Other Essays (Cork Univerity Press 1999) 203–214 [first publ. 1972].

The edition used in the digital edition

Griffin, Gerald (1895). ‘O’Brazil, the Isle of the Blest’. In: Poems and Plays: The poetical and dramatic works of Gerald Griffin.‍ Ed. by [unknown]. Dublin: James Duffy, pp. 162–164.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  author 	 = {Gerald Griffin},
  title 	 = {O'Brazil, the Isle of the Blest},
  editor 	 = {[unknown]},
  booktitle 	 = {Poems and Plays: The poetical and dramatic works of Gerald Griffin},
  publisher 	 = {James Duffy},
  address 	 = {Dublin},
  date 	 = {1895},
  pages 	 = {162–164}


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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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Profile description

Creation: By Gerald Griffin (1803–1840). between 1820 and 1838

Language usage

  • The poem is in English. (en)

Keywords: literary; poetry; Gerald Griffin; 19c; O'Brazil (Hy-Breasail)

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2012-02-16: File proofed (2), additions to encoding made; header completed, more bibliographic detail added; file parsed; SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2012-02-02: Header created; bibliographical details added. (ed. Juliette Maffet)
  3. 2012-02-02: First proofing. (ed. Juliette Maffet)
  4. 2012-02-02: Text captured by scanning. (file capture Juliette Maffet)

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