CELT document E850006-002

Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland


New Preface

Seven centuries are nearly finished since the political connexion began between England and Ireland; and yet Ireland remains to this hour not a well-known country to the general British public. To do something, however small, towards making it better understood, is the aim of this little book.

Since it first appeared in Fraser's Magazine, the aspect of Irish affairs has changed in several particulars. Instead of “Ribbonism”, we now hear of “Fenianism”; the latter being a development of the former, with its republican element grown prominent under American influence. Again: although the general British public retains much, if not quite all, of its old feelings (part apathy, part disgust), towards everything Irish, the majority of the House of Commons  p.iv has taken a new view, and is acting on it with determination.

That Ireland has a very different history and character from England, and needs a very different kind of management, and that Ireland has hitherto been lamentably mismanaged, are facts, put forward from time to time by rash or courageous individuals, by degrees (after the usual ordeal of scorn, anger, and contradiction) accepted and defended by men of high public position, and now in process of being received, as it were by filtration, into the general underlying stratum of English opinion.

The poem of Laurence Bloomfield is likely to repel many readers,—those who shun books of verse, and those who seek in them subjects and diction more romantic. As a work of art it has glaring faults and defects, of which no one is more aware than the author; there is too much detail, and the handling is often awkward; yet some indulgence may  p.v possibly be conceded to an attempt to cultivate English narrative poetry on entirely new ground; and he ventures to plead on its behalf, as a presentment of various characteristics of modern Ireland derived from close acquaintance with life there among all classes, that it has not one unmeaning line or phrase written at random. The title of the poem is intended to indicate that Laurence's work, and its effects on his own life and character, make him the central figure in the picture, not finally as landlord, but as man. Several of the most important problems of life, Irish life and human life, are dealt with in their principles, according to the author's best lights. Fain would he have spoken more acceptably (nobody fonder of sympathy), especially to his countrymen, more especially to his particular friends, had such a consideration been allowable.

A few words on the immediate question of the day, “Disestablishment”, may not be out of place. It is  p.vi to be hoped from the measure now in progress, that its gradual effect will be to relieve the national mind of Ireland from the unwholesome influences of a mediaeval clerical authority, and to allow a healthy lay public opinion to grow up, wanting which, Irish politics must remain contemptible, except as symptomatic of disease and danger, and Ireland, in spite of her many gifts, fail to reach a good position or to exercise a respectable influence in the world. Hitherto in that country politics and polemics have been inextricably mingled, with results too obvious. Among Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants equally, the chief binding element has been hatred, hence in each an aggravation of the evils of dogma and a suppression of the benevolences of religion; hence, for the result of long-continued social intercourse, not mutual tolerance and kindly feeling, and a willingness to meet on ground common to both, but constant exacerbation and inflammation, as from the rubbing of two sore surfaces,—perpetual anger and conflict.


What is to be feared, I think, in consequence of Disestablishment is this: all Irishmen, speaking generally, are partisans, of a singularly narrow and violent type; to an educated opposition of parties and a reasonable discussion of contending views they are totally unaccustomed; and now it is possible that “agitation” may be bolder, and that new centres of disturbance may become active.

But the bad consequences will, I trust, be transient, and the good consequences permanent.

That there is any natural incapacity in Irishmen to govern Ireland I nowise allow; that the nation is at present very unfit for self-government, being almost entirely uneducated in the principles of it, I strongly believe. To my countrymen, one and all, I would fain say, If you desire to have the management of your island in your own hands, strive earnestly to prepare yourselves to manage it. Experience is a great teacher, but there must be some reasonable degree of fitness before undertaking so heavy a piece of work. If, as appears too evident, you do not at present  p.viii possess any such degree of fitness, to give you the absolute control of things would be to confer an evil gift indeed.

To England, had I a voice to reach her ear—to mighty and, with all her faults, noble England—I would say: Ireland has been in your hands these many long centuries, and you have woefully mismanaged her. Past history, present facts, the consensus of educated opinion throughout the civilized world, put this beyond question. And to systematic maltreatment you have added, in dealing with the most sensitive of races, a coarse and invariable contempt. Justice (as within recent years you have begun to acknowledge) demands a new attitude on your part; generosity prescribes it; nay, self-interest strongly enforces it. Instead of Ireland a scene of chronic misery and discontent—harassing, costly, disgraceful, and dangerous—imagine Ireland tranquil, prosperous, and loyal; her warm-hearted, kindly-mannered people, gifted with intellectual and artistic vivacity, and  p.ix brilliant in the battle-field, going hand in hand and heart in heart with the people of England, mutually learning and teaching many things, marching together in the vanguard of human progress.

Is this a mere dream? I believe the obstacles to its realization rest mainly in the foolishness—the obstinate, but ill remediable, foolishness—of those men of either country who at every turn prefer paltry and essentially selfish party-considerations to the large, simple, and eternal views of truth and duty. Such views carried quietly and fearlessly into action would meet with no brutish resistance in the Irish people, but with intelligence and gratitude.

One word more. England is justifiably proud of her history; yet her position at this moment is not completely and finally satisfactory, and she would do well to bear in mind that some of the so-called “Irish Questions” have relation not merely to Ireland and England, but to the Modern World. The modern world is disturbed and discontented to the core; full  p.x of vague but profound uneasiness, as though half aroused from trance; full of dim and deep longing for a word of deliverance, for the example of a step into freer and truer life. Will England, not timid or laggard in old times, now speak the word—ste to the front?

W.A. May, 1869.


The scene is a district in Ireland, of extent such as might be seen in panorama from a moderate eminence; inland, but not far from the coast, with mountain-range, hills, moors, and bogs, wide rich plain, a river, and a lake. The parish is named Kilmoylan; the hamlet, Ballytullagh, on Tullagh Hill; the town, Lisnamoy; Sir Ulick's mansion, Lisnamoy House; Mr. Bloomfield's, Croghan Hall, under Croghan mountain and near Lough Braccan.

William Allingham


    Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland: A modern poem in twelve chapters.

    1. Laurence

  1. Autumnal sunshine spread on Irish hills
    Imagination's bright'ning mirror fills,
    Wherein a Horseman on a handsome grey
    Along the high road takes his easy way,
    Saluted low by every ragged hat,
    Saluting kindly every Teague and Pat
    Who plods the mud or jolts on lazy wheels,
    Or loudly drives a patient ass with creels, 1 p.4
    (Short pipe removed before obeisance made)10 
    Or checks, regardant, his potato-spade.
  2. “Fine day,” the young man says with friendly nod,
    “Fine day, year honour, glory be to God!”
    Then, too polite to stare, they talk their fill
    Of Minor Bloomfield (so they call him still,15 
    Though six-and-twenty now) come back of late
    From foreign countries to his own estate,
    And who in turn has no incurious eye
    For each, and all the world, in passing by;
    The cornstacks seen through rusty sycamores,20 
    Pigs, tatter' d children, pools at cabin doors,
    Unsheltered rocky hill-sides, browsed by sheep,
    Summer's last flow'rs that nigh some brooklet creep,
    Black flats of bog, stone-fences loose and rough,
    A thorn-branch in a gap thought gate enough,25 
    And all the wide and groveless landscape round,
    Moor, stubble, aftermath, or new-plough'd ground,
    Where with the crows white seagulls come to pick;
    Or many a wasteful acre crowded thick p.5
    With docken, coltsfoot, and the hoary weed30 
    Call'd fairy-horse, and tufted thistle-seed
    Which for the farm, against the farmer tells;
    Or wrinkled hawthorns shading homestead wells,
    Or, saddest sight, some ruin'd cottage-wall,
    The roof-tree cut, the rafters forced to fall35 
    From gables with domestic smoke embrown' d,
    Where Poverty at worst a shelter found,
    The scene, perhaps, of all its little life,
    Its humble joys, and unsuccessful strife.
    Th' observant rider pass'd too many such;40 
    Let them do more (he thought) who do so much,
    or, where they've kill'd a human dwelling-place,
    Unburied leave the skeleton's disgrace.
    Though Irish, he was of the absentees,
    And unaccustomd yet to sights like these.
  3. 45 
  4. At twelve years old his birthplace he had left,
    A child endow'd with much, of much bereft;
    Returned a boy a lad the third time now
    Returns, a man, with broad and serious brow.
    A younger son (the better lot at first),50 
    And by a Celtic peasant fondly nurst,
    Bloomfield is Irish born and English bred,
    Surviving heir of both his parents dead;
    One who has studied, travell'd, lived, and thought,
    Is brave, and modest, as a young man ought;55 
    Calm—sympathetic; hasty—full of tact;
    Poetic, but insisting much on fact;
    A complex character and various mind,
    Where all, like some rich landscape, lies combined.
    From school to Ireland, Laurence first returned60 
    A patriot vow'd; his soul for Ireland burn'd.
    Oft did his schoolmates' taunts in combat end,
    And high his plans with one Hibernian friend,
    Who long'd like him for manhood, to set free
    Their emerald Inisfail from sea to sea,65 
    With army, senate, all a nation's life,
    Copartner in the great world's glorious strife, p.7
    Peer in all arts, gay rival in each race,
    Illustrious, firm, in her peculiar place.
    The glories and the griefs of Erin fill'd70 
    Heart and imagination. How he thrill' d
    To every harp-note of her ancient fame,
    How, to her storied wounds, his cheek would flame!
    And hearing some great speaker, on a day,
    Whose urgent grasp held thousands under sway65 
    While thus he thunder' d, “Tis for slaves alone”
    “To live without a country of their own!”
    “Alas for Ireland! she whose sons are born”
    “The wide earth's pity and proud England's scorn,”
    “England whose fraud and guilt have sunk us low.”80 
    “Speak, Irishmen, shall this be always so?”
    Judge how young Laurence felt. “Like a young fool,”
    His guardian growl' d, and shipp'd him back to school.
  5. Not such was he at Cambridge; for he found
    Thought's new horizons daily opening round,85 
    While History spread her pictures grave and vast; p.8
    And living Britain startled him at last
    To recognise the large imperial tone,
    And all the grandeur of a well-built throne.
    joy, a part in England's pride to claim,90 
    To flush with triumph in her force and fame,
    See distant powers confess with wondering awe
    Her martial strength, her majesty of law,
    And every child of hers throughout the world
    Stand safe beneath her banner, broad unfurl'd!
  6. 95 
  7. A beardless Burke of college parliament
    The loyal Laurence back to Ireland went,
    On visit to a rich relation's house;
    Where boldly to Sir Ulick he avows
    An alter' d mind, and sees with altered sight100 
    Reckless provincials, hating rule and right,
    Busy for mischief without aim or sense,
    Their politics mere factious turbulence,
    Drawn this and that way by the word or nod
    Of noisy rogues and stealthy men-of-God; p.9105 
    And checks them with a small ideal band
    Who, brothers, round the British Ensign stand,
    To face rebellion, Papistry, and crime,
    With staunchness proved in many a perilous time.
    At twenty-one, his too a place shall hold110 
    With names ancestral in the Lodge enroll'd;
    Or thus at least resolved the young man, eager-soul' d.
  8. I then knew Laurence first, and could descry
    Keen intellect and generous sympathy
    In every look; life's fountain fresh and bright115 
    In him, for one man, freely sprang to light.
    Full was his nostril, sensitive his mouth,
    His candid brow capacious of the truth;
    Eyes, good Hibernian, warmest of all greys,
    Fervent and clear, or veil'd in thoughtful haze;120 
    Locks loosely curling, 'twixt a black and brown;
    His lips and chin, though but in boyhood's down,
    Were sculptured boldly, to confirm the face;
    A slender figure swayed with careless grace p.10
    To every impulse, every varying mood;125 
    Nothing in him was formal, nothing rude.
    The first five minutes rank'd him as a friend,
    He still was new and rare at five years' end.
  9. Gowns, books, degrees, will leave a fool a fool,
    But wit is best when wit has gone to school.130 
    In busy leisure 'mid those cloisters grey,
    This young man communed many a happy day
    With thoughts perennial of the mighty dead,
    To which his soul, how often, whilst he redd,
    Sprang up with greeting; nor, in prose or rhyme,135 
    Fail'd he to mark the Spirit of the Time;
    Then wander'd forth, saw Germany and Greece,
    France, fairer Italy, with large increase
    For that eternal storehouse in the mind;
    Saw, too, earth's younger half, whose western wind140 
    Would bear across the sea, if wind could bear,
    To Ireland many a wish and filial pray'r.
    And now he treads again the shamrock shore, p.11
    Of age, and half a fruitful decade more;
    By books, by travel, and by life matured,145 
    With words less ready, insight more assured,
    A student still, of all beneath the sun,
    And wishing good to each, and wrong to none.
  10. His life, the first great impulse falling slack,
    Has now begun to feel or fear a lack,150 
    Unknown, undreamt-of hitherto, a void,
    A need in truth for work; to rise employ'd
    Each morning-light on some progressive toil,
    Itself not all inadequate, the foil
    And clasp for ruby, pearl, and diamond hours,155 
    Or say, the root and stem for life's best flow'rs.
    Public ambitions are not to his mind,
    His nature's proper work seems hard to find,
    Grown sick of London's huge and flimsy maze,
    Polite, luxurious, ineffectual days.160 
    But no such turn suspect his English friends;
    This morning, Frederick Stanley's letter ends— p.12
    Your blessed island I have also seen,
    At Galway Claddagh, Dublin Castle, been,
    And view'd the savage natives, high, and low,
    And semi-savage that is, high and low165 
    Not unamusing for a month or so;
    But fancy living in the place!—take care
    And don't get shot, old fellow, whilst you're there.
    So Stanley. Meanwhile, fain are other some
    To keep the youth in Ireland, now he's come.
  11. 170 
  12. Greatly his friends and relatives desire
    To colour staring blue the rich young Squire,
    With vivid streaks of orange, to describe
    A noble chieftain of their loyal tribe,
    That in such war-paint he may lead their van175 
    To fight the county with a fierce Green Man.
    But soon they find this Bloomfield less and more
    Than lived in their philosophy before;
    Direct and frank in motive, plan, and deed,
    Cautious and mild in theory and creed,180 
    There friendly, here reserved, but not by rule, p.13
    Like those who send their cordial smile to school;
    Cold upon interests where the rest grow hot,
    Intent, where they have never given a thought;
    Too apt to lightly leap “the usual course,”185 
    Turn, look about,—he may perhaps do worse;
    He visits Phelim's farm, and Pat's, and Mike's,
    And questions Pigot more than Pigot likes;
    Each tenant's history fain would understand,
    Examines every corner of his land,190 
    Day after day has freely seen and heard,
    But of his general thought avows no word;
    Perhaps, in secret, striving to arrange
    Experiences so multiform and strange.
  13. Thus much of Laurence Bloomfield, on his way195 
    From Croghan Hall, this bright autumnal day,
    Quickly, by turns, and slowly, man and beast,
    To where Sir Ulick Harvey spreads the feast,
    Twice, a well-arm'd police patrol he met,
    To guard the dinner-party duly set.
  14.  p.14200 
  15. Beyond the dirty town an Irish mile,
    Thick laurels round Sir Ulick's gateway smile;
    A mail'd arm cut on either pillar-stone
    Defends the Harvey motto, doubly shown,
    Meis, ut placet, utens; gravel-spread,205 
    And dusk with boughs that whisper overhead,
    A private drive at every turn displays
    The vista'd park where silky cattle graze,
    Through clumps of flow'rs and greensward sweeping wide
    Unfolds the heavy mansion's front of pride,210 
    And whirls, if such felicity be yours,
    Your chariot to the gently awful doors,
    Where men of soft address and portly frame,
    With gorgeous garments, wait to breathe your name.
    Lisnamoy House can see far summits rise215 
    In azure bloom, or cold on misty skies,
    Above the broad plantation set to screen
    Those dismal wastes of bog that stretch between;
    The Village, northward, only shows a spire, p.15
    As humbly conscious of the haughty Squire,220 
    Whose Lady visits but the Vicar's wife,
    Each meaner building crouchant for its life;
    And groves yet thick, though change is on the trees,
    Their first light losses borne on every breeze,
    Shut out from view a thousand vulgar fields,225 
    Whose foison great Sir Ulick's grandeur yields,
    With many a roof of thatch, where daily toil
    Extorts the bread of man from earth's dull soil.
  16. This must be: and if Toil receive his share,
    Nor Gather' d Power be selfish and unfair,230 
    Toil will not grudge Inheritance or Gain,
    The part which these in manly mood sustain.
    Toil, Poverty, are tolerable things,—
    Injustice every human spirit wrings;
    Thence flows the bitter stream of discontent,235 
    For him that earns a wage or pays a rent, p.16
    As through the patriot's pulses, born to feel
    His country's wounds, and glow with angry zeal.
    Thus meditated Bloomfield, while his horse
    Turn'd to familiar stableyard his course.240 
    A kind just man would make the poor his friends,
    And use his riches for no private ends;
    Till rich and poor, harmoniously conjoint,
    Form'd alto, basso, in a counterpoint,
    But could he so in this distracted isle?245 
    Traditionary wrongs each heart defile,
    Received, inflicted, rankling, arid renew' d;
    All passions shout the cries of ancient feud;
    God's worship is the pledge of endless hate:
    Who, linking class with class, these venoms can abate?250 
    How, once I quit the glorious world of dreams,
    Begin, where all a vile confusion seems?
    Perchance these Irish Captains, viewed aright,
    Sustain as best they may an ugly fight. p.17
    So let them. I'll interrogate the Sphinx,255 
    And Him who sleeps at Philae, for the links
    Of past and future; and behold the while
    Great dawns and sunsets mirror' d in theNile.
  17.  p.18 p.19 p.20 p.21

    2. Neighbouring Landlords

  18. This Irish county bears an evil name,
    And Bloomfield's district stands the worst in fame,
    For agitation, discord, threats, waylayings,
    Fears and suspicions, plottings and betrayings;
    Beasts kill'd and maim'd, infernal fires at night,
    Red murder stalking free in full daylight.
    That landlords and their tenants lived as foes
    He knew, as one a truth by hearsay knows,
    But now it stands around where'er he goes.
  19. 10 
  20. Blue mountains, dusky moorlands, verdant plain; p.22
    A lively river hastening to the main;
    Bog, arable, and pasture; lake and pond,
    And woody park; a little Town beyond;
    Wide-scatter'd human dwellings, great and small;15 
    Glance round one rural scene; and let me call
    Its roll of petty princes,—they are such,
    If ruling little of our world, or much.
    Laws and a suzerain above them stand,
    But have they not dominion in the land?
  21. 20 
  22. The realm of Bloomfield, late his uncle's ward,
    And that which owns Sir Ulick for its lord,
    Pigot now governs, agent wise and great,
    Rich man himself, grand juror, magistrate.
    'Twas taught as part of Bloomfield's early creed,25 
    “Pigot in-val-uable man indeed!”
    And though Sir Ulick loves to seem to reign,
    Pigot' s least whisper never falls in vain.
    You find in old Sir Ulick Harvey's face,
    The looks of long command, and comely race; p.2330 
    No small man sees a brother in those eyes
    Of calm and frosty blue, like winter skies;
    Courteous his voice, yet all the pride is there;
    Pride like a halo crowns his silvery hair;
    'Tis unmisgiving pride that makes him frank35 
    With humble folk, and dress beneath his rank.
    Born in the purple, he could hardly know
    Less of the tides of life that round him flow.
    The Laws were for the Higher Classes made;
    But while the Lower gratefully obey'd,40 
    To patronize them you had his consent,
    Promote their comfort, to a safe extent,
    And teach them—just enough, and not too much;
    Most careful lest with impious hand you touch
    Order and grade as plann'd by Providence.45 
    An apophthegm, no doubt, of weighty sense;
    Had he but ask'd, is prejudice of mine
    A perfect measure of the Will Divine?
    Or, by how much per annum is one given
    A seat as privy-councillor of Heaven?
  23.  p.2450 
  24. He sometimes took a well-meant scheme in hand,
    Which must be done exactly as he plann'd;
    His judgment feeble, and his self-will strong,
    He had his way, and that was mostly wrong.
    The whim was such, that seized his mind of late,55 
    To “square” the farms on all his wide estate;
    Tim's mountain grazing, Peter's lough-side patch,
    This onion-field of Ned's that few could match,
    Phil's earliest ridges, Thady's bog, worse hap!
    By mere new lines across his Honour's map60 
    From ancient holdings have been clipt away,
    Despite the loud complaints, or dumb dismay.
  25. My Lady Harvey comes of Shropshire blood,
    Stately, with finish'd manners, cold of mood;
    Her eldest son is in the Guards; her next65 
    At Eton; her two daughters—I'm perplex'd
    To specify young ladies—they are tall,
    Dark-hair' d, and smile in speaking, that is all.
  26.  p.25
  27. Joining Sir Ulick's at the river's bend,
    Lord Crashton's acres east and west extend;70 
    Great owner here, in England greater still.
    As poor folk say, “The world's divided ill.”
    On every pleasure men can buy with gold
    He surfeited; and now, diseased and old,
    He lives abroad; a firm in Molesworth Street75 
    Doing what their attorneyship thinks meet.
    The rule of seventy properties have they.
    Wide waves the meadow on a summer day,
    Far spread the sheep across the swelling hill,
    And horns and hooves the daisied pasture fill;80 
    A stout and high enclosure girdles all,
    Built up with stones from many a cottage wall;
    And, thanks to Phinn & Wedgely's thrifty pains,
    Not one unsightly ruin there remains.
    Phinn comes half-yearly, sometimes with a friend,85 
    Who writes to Mail or Warder to commend
    These vast improvements, and bestows the term p.26
    Of “Ireland's benefactors” on the firm,
    A well-earn' d title, in the firm's own mind.
    Twice only in the memory of mankind90 
    Lord Crashton's proud and noble self appeared;
    Up-river, last time, in his yacht he steer' d,
    With crew of seven, a valet, a French cook,
    And one on whom askance the gentry look,
    Although a pretty, well-dress' d demoiselle,95 
    Not Lady Crashton who, as gossips tell,
    Goes her own wicked way. They stopp'd a week;
    Then, with gay ribbons fluttering from the peak,
    And snowy skirts spread wide, on either hand
    The Aphrodite curtsied to the land,100 
    And glided off. My Lord, with gouty legs,
    Drinks Baden-Baden water, and life's dregs,
    With cynic jest inlays his black despair,
    And curses all things from his easy chair.
    Yearly, the Honourable George, his son,105 
    To Ireland brings his game-subduing gun; p.27
    Who labours hard and hopes he shall succeed
    To make the pheasant in those copses breed.
  28. Finlay, next landlord (I'll abridge the tale),
    Prince of Glenawn, a low and fertile vale,110 
    No fool by birth, but hard, and praised for wise
    The more he learn' d all softness to despise,
    Married a shrew for money, louts begot,
    Debased his wishes to a vulgar lot,
    To pence and pounds coin'd all his mother-wit,115 
    And ossified his nature bit by bit.
    A dull cold home, devoid of every grace,
    Distrust and dread in each dependent's face,
    Bullocks and turnips, mighty stacks of grain,
    Plethoric purse, impoverish'd heart and brain,—120 
    Such Finlay' s life; and when that life shall end,
    He'll die as no man's debtor, no man's friend.
    Who duns?—who loves him? he can pay his way;
    “A hard but honest man,” as people say. p.28
    Unlike this careful management (between125 
    The two, Sir Ulick's townlands intervene)
    Is that of Termon on the river-side,
    Domain and mansion of insolvent pride,
    Where Dysart, drawing from ancestral ground
    One sterling penny for each phantom pound130 
    Of rent-roll, lives, when all the truth is known,
    Mere factor in the place he calls his own;
    Through mortgages and bonds, one wide-spread maze,
    Steps, dances, doubles round by devious ways,
    While creditor, to creditor a foe,135 
    Hangs dubious o'er the vast imbroglio.
    And thus, minute in bargain where he can,
    There, closing quick with ready-money man,
    Despised for cunning, and for malice fear'd,
    Yet still by custom and old name endear' d140 
    To Celtic minds, who also better like
    A rule of thumb than Gough's arithmetic,—
    Dysart has shuffled on, to this good day,
    Let creditors and courts do what they may. p.29
    The house is wondrous large, and wondrous mean;145 
    Its likeness year by year more rarely seen;
    A ragged billiard-table decks the hall,
    Abandon'd long ago of cue and ball,
    With whips and tools and garments litter'd o'er,
    And lurking dogs possess the dangerous floor.150 
    Ghost, from Proconsul Rutland's time, show in
    To this great shabby room, which heard the din
    Of bet and handicap, oath, toast, and song,
    From squires and younger sons, a vanish'd throng,
    Who drank much wine, who many foxes slew,155 
    Hunted themselves by creditors all through,
    And caught at last, or fairly run to earth;
    A cold and ghastly room of bygone mirth.
    Above the dusty fox's-brush see hung
    Our grandpapa the Major, spruce and young,160 
    In faded scarlet; on that other side
    The needy Viscount's daughter, his fair bride;
    And many portraits with once-famous names,
    Of ancestors and horses, dogs and dames, p.30
    Now damp, or smutch' d, or dropping from, their frames.165 
    Big doleful house it is, with many a leak;
    With dingy passages and bedrooms bleak;
    With broken window-panes and mildew'd walls;
    With grass-grown courtyard and deserted stalls
    That proudly echoed to the hunting-stud,170 
    Where still one stable shows its “bit of blood.”
    Tom is not wed; long wed is brother Hugh;
    They seldom meet, and quarrel when they do.
    Tom is a staunch good Protestant by creed,
    But half a Mormon, judged by act and deed;175 
    A dozen wives he has, but underhand,
    Sub rosâ, not confess'd, you understand,
    And this makes all the difference, of course.
    His pretty little babes, except perforce,
    He never knows, and never wants to know;180 
    Yet, clippings of his purse must that way go.
  29. Pass on to Isaac Brown, a man elect,
    Wesleyan stout, our wealthiest of his sect; p.31
    Who bought and still buys land, none quite sees how,
    Whilst all his shrewdness and success allow.185 
    On Crashton's mortgage he has money lent,
    He takes a quiet bill at ten per cent,
    The local public business much he sways,
    He's learn'd in every neighbour's means and ways,
    For comfort cares, for fashion not a whit,190 
    Nor if the gentry to their ranks admit.
    All preachers love him; he can best afford
    The unctuous converse and the unctuous board;
    Ev'n the poor nag, slow-rattling up the road
    In ancient rusty gig a pious load,195 
    Wags his weak tail, and strikes a brisker trot,
    Approaching Brownstown, Isaac's pleasant lot.
    For though at Poor-House Board was never known
    A flintier Guardian-angel than good Brown,
    As each old hag and shivering child can tell,—200 
    Go dine with Isaac, and he feeds you well. p.32
    And hear him pray, with fiercely close-shut eyes!
    Gentle at first the measured accents rise,
    But soon he waxes loud, and storms the skies.
    Deep is the chest, and powerful bass the voice,205 
    The language of a true celestial choice;
    Handorgan-wise the holy phrases ground,
    Go turning and returning round and round;
    The sing-song duly runs from low to high;
    The choruss'd groans at intervals reply;210 
    Till after forty minutes' sweat and din,
    Leaving perhaps too little prayer within,
    Dear Brother Brown, athletic babe of grace,
    Resumes his bench, and wipes his reeking face.
    And if among his audience may be found215 
    One who received two shillings in the pound
    When merchant Isaac, twenty years ago,—
    Then talking pious too, but meek and low,
    Was chasten' d by the Lord,—with what delight
    Must he behold the comfortable plight220 
    And sacred influence of this worthy man.
  30.  p.33
  31. Isaac can put in awe, he only can,
    The very preachers; oily though his lip,
    His will and temper have a stubborn grip.
    His son, a scamp, and always in disgrace,225 
    Skulks from the father's unforgiving face.
    His timid, sickly wife is sore afraid.
    His three stout daughters dare not go array'd
    Too smartly, but read novels unconfess'd.
    Brown, of all neighbouring owners handles best230 
    Conacre and subletting; he can boast
    That poorest tenants profit him the most.
  32. One other Landlord, to conclude our list:
    O'Hara,—The O'Hara, some insist,—
    Of princely Irish race, which sounds full well;235 
    But what an Irish prince was, who can tell?
    It more imports to study wisely how
    They rule the world who stand for Princes now.
    The present Chief, a thin-faced man of care,
    Keeps here his Bailiff, but resides elsewhere; p.34240 
    A widower he, some fifty-two years old,
    A rigid Catholic, mild, formal, cold.
    Children he had, but death removed his sons,
    He lock'd his youthful daughters up as nuns;
    An heir for half his wealth he may select;245 
    His Clergy use him with profound respect.
    O'Hara, once ambitious, all in vain,
    And indisposed for action or for gain,
    Disgusted long since with a public life,
    Hates England's name, but censures noisy strife;250 
    Is proud, dyspeptic, taciturn, and shy,
    Learn' d in forgotten trifles, dead and dry;
    Secluded from the troublous world he lives,
    And secret help to church and convent gives.
    Low-let, ill-tilld, and unimproved, his lands255 
    Are left in lazy, sneaking flatterers' hands,
    Most of them of his Bailiff-steward's tribe,
    Nor any who withhold that rascal's bribe.
  33. Lord Crashton, The O'Hara, Isaac Brown, p.35
    Sir Ulick, Dysart, Finlay,—here set down260 
    With touch of rapid pencil, not untrue,
    Are one horizon's dominating few,
    With Pigot's name to add, and Bloomfield's own:
    Eight Lords of Land, terrestrial gods, are shown.
  34. Some part of whom, with others not so great,265 
    Consulting on the country's dreadful state,
    Sir Ulick Harvey towering in the chair,
    Impressively, resolved, that then and there
    They sat assembled: that resolved they were
    That something should be done: and what to do—270 
    But this was more than they exactly knew.
    From first to last 'twas cordially agreed
    That tenants had been kindly used indeed
    By every landlord round. Who justly blamed?
    With modest boldness for themselves they claim'd275 
    Approval of the world: their simple rights.
    Were never half enforced. Warm days and nights p.36
    Fulfill'd the harvest to the reaper's hook;
    But souls of men dismay and passion shook.280 
    It should have been a peaceful, grateful time;
    But o'er this landscape enmity and crime
    Like shadow lay. The harvesting is done;
    That shadow stays, in spite of moon or sun.
  35.  p.37 p.38 p.39

    3. A Dinner at Lisnamoy House

  36. Chilly and dim th' autumnal fields; but bright
    Sir Ulick's table glows with waxen light;
    Alternate fair and brown, the seemly guests
    With smiling nonsense aid the varied zests;
    The solemn liveries with observance wait,
    And smoothly pour the wine and shift the plate;
    Each thing fulfils a justly measured part,
    And all like nature seems, where all is art.
    The steps of banquet keeping time and place,10 
    With bland succession and unconscious grace,
    The dishes circle in a savoury train,
    The small-talk bubbles with the brisk champagne; p.40
    Till Beauty now glides rustling from the room,
    And men in freer groups their chairs resume.
  37. 15 
  38. Say who they are, whom Irish Fates combine
    To crack those filberts and to sip that wine?
    The pompous Head of all the Harvey clan;
    Shrewd Vicar Boyd, who seems a simple man;
    Lord Crashtons' son, with whiskers large and fair,20 
    His chief distinction, and his fondest care;
    Hard Finlay; Laurence Bloomfield next in place;
    Fat Agent Pigot with his joking face;
    James Duff, a northern tory, big and coarse;
    Dysart, who shrewdly bets on dog and horse;25 
    With these, great Nassau Blunderbore, whose fame
    Fills all the journals,—hear him now declaim,
    When Bloomfield, sifting out some little fact.
    Would fain have answer quiet and exact:
    “All Papists are but rebels in disguise,”30 
    And if they dared, this very night would rise;
    The law from mere compulsion they obey, p. 41
    Their priests and demagogues have genuine sway;
    Mainly the first, a dark and dangerous band,
    The creeping rulers of this wretched land,35 
    Their faith a lie, their purity a cheat,
    (Want of detection proves their plans complete)
    Dogmatic vassals of insidious Rome,
    Courted by coward governments at home,
    Ambitious, cunning, false, yet firm of will,—40 
    Improve them, you but help their power of ill.
    Each Papist is his Queen's and Landlord's foe,
    “And every Priest conspires to keep him so!”
    Such is the well-worn theme. Such theme to-night
    Great Nassau pounds with fourfold main and might;45 
    For Ribbonism has flourished high its head,—
    Has sworn a trembling farmer, dragg'd from bed,
    To quash his lawsuit,—promised mortal harm
    To him who ventures on the vacant farm
    Snatch'd from a poor industrious innocent,50 
    Whose only fault was owing five years' rent,— p.42
    Puts fear and hate, acknowledged or conceal'd,
    To haunt each hearth, and lurk in every field.
  39. Boyd listens blandly, Boyd the shrewd divine,
    Who loves his money, and who likes his wine,55 
    Who travels, has a house in Mountjoy-square,
    And to his parish comes for change of air,
    Blames, ex-officio, popery and dissent,
    Though doctrines breed him little discontent,
    Lets parish questions to the Curate go,60 
    (The Curate's views are “high,”his pay but low)—
    A trim old parson, Boyd; whose smile urbane
    Will soothe, although perhaps you talk in vain;
    Blest with four daughters, and, as fame resounds,
    For each a fortune of five thousand pounds.65 
    The first is clever—writeth books, be sure;
    The second Sunday-schools the drowsy poor
    By rote, on unintelligible things;
    Another of the damsels plays and sings; p.43
    The fourth professes, merely, flaxen curls.70 
    What is their mother?—slave to these four girls.
  40. “I can't think ill of every popish priest,”
    Says Boyd, “our own are harmless men, at least;”
    “Vulgar no doubt, and very wrong, of course,”
    “But still, admit the truth, we might have worse.”
  41. 75 
  42. “Sir!”responds Nassau, (Bloomfield in his eye)
    “We live amidst one huge conspiracy!”
    “For Papal Ireland hates, in common cause,”
    “The church, the constitution, and the laws.”
    “Priest, politicians, with their cunning views,”80 
    “The blindfold passions of the peasants use;”
    “This wicked league if once their Altar spoke”
    “Would break and vanish, like a ring of smoke.”
    “And feel them twitch the blood-stain' d Ribbon's end.”
  43.  p.4485 
  44. “Why!” angry Duff breaks in, “to crown it all,”
    “Here's Pigot threaten' d in a murder-scrawl.”
    “Sooner than let this Ballytullagh stand,”
    “I'd tear it down, by Jove, with my own hand,—”90 
    “Must do our duty, and with one accord.”
    “Elections too draw near, and if we flinch”
    “They'll seize an ell—a mile—for every inch.”
    “By George I leave no man of mine in doubt,”
    “Vote as I bid you, or I turn you out!”95 
    True Orangemen were Blunderbore and Duff,
    Each spoke his mind, and each made noise enough;
    The one on force of argument relied,
    The argument of force was all the other's pride.
  45. “These people, on the side of Tullagh Hill,”100 
    Says Agent Pigot, “merely hold at will”
    Some spots of tillage in a mountain tract,
    O'er which they stray' d, and deem'd it theirs in fact.
    Half-savage long, reduced to bounds at last, p.45
    From grumbling to defiance they have pass'd;105 
    With men and money help the Ribbon Lodge;
    Full time, I think, to ask our friends to budge!
    To get his own, Sir Ulick would have paid,
    But this have I, on principle, gainsaid;
    These folk deserve no kindness, have no claim;110 
    Count down fee-simple, they would yell the same.
    Faith, gentlemen, this country sorely needs
    A quicker clearance of its human weeds;
    But still, the proper system is begun,
    “And forty holdings we shall change to one.”
  46. 115 Bloomfield, his inexperience much confess'd,
    Doubts if the large dispeopled farms be best,—
    Best in a wide sense, best for all the world,
    (At this expression sundry lips were curl'd)—
    “I wish, but know not how, each peasant's hand”120 
    Might work, nay, hope to win, a share of land;
    For ownership, however small it be,
    Breeds diligence, content, and loyalty, p.46
    And tirelessly compels the rudest field,
    Inch after inch, its very most to yield.125 
    Wealth might its true prerogatives retain;
    “And no man lose, and all men greatly gain.”
    This, Bloomfield chiefly to the Vicar said,
    Who courteously demurr'd with shake of head.
    “Ah, my dear sir, our philanthropic dreams”130 
    “Are fine—but human nature mars our schemes!”
    If Boyd had such, he well knew how to shake
    Those dreams away, and thus live wide-awake.
  47. Loud hemm'd Sir Ulick, in his pompous tone,
    A platitudinarian too-well known,135 
    Whom meetings with respectful torpor heard,
    And all his private circle duly fear'd.
    How polish' d, grave, and dignified he is,
    Strutting along in dull periphrasis,
    With mental back impossible to bend!140 
    Pinchbeck he quotes, his economic friend,
    That “tenant-right” is robbery or worse; p.47
    That “little holdings” are a country's curse;
    Does he that merely tills turn owner? Why,
    Who could inherit land, who sell or buy?—145 
    Which may have reason in it: but at best
    Pinchbeck in some poor scrap of truth is drest,
    And, like the Kaffir who has chanced to find
    A coat of Europe, dons it front-behind.
  48. Now Finlay, of the cold sarcastic eye,150 
    And voice for ever tuneless, hard, and dry:
    “Land is of course, like other things you buy,”
    Investment for your money. Find or make
    A contract,—law will punish if you break.
    Supposing legal contract there be none,155 
    Then, he who occupies your house in town,
    Or country farm (what matters which) must know
    That when the owner bids him, he should go.
    He has no lease, though he desires to stay,
    Why, then, so much the worse for him, you say.160 
    He has a lease, and pays but little rent, p.48
    A lucky man! and you must bide content;
    He wants a lease; then, such and such the terms,
    Or you declare you will not let your farms.
    Contracts are contracts; law is law; and land165 
    “Is property: thus much I understand.”
  49. Fat Pigot turn'd to every one who spoke,
    And laugh' d when each was done, as at a joke.
    His fun is somewhat threadbare, but you half
    Believe it rich, so hearty is his laugh;170 
    And not ill-furnish'd he with jest and tale.
    Beetroot beside his glowing cheek were pale.
    Kind to his household, jolly with his friends,
    Business begun, all Pigot's feeling ends;
    With jovial voice and look, his hand, like Fate's175 
    Can freeze the dwellers upon four estates,
    Whose slavish flattery finds a self-redress,
    A sort of freedom, in its own excess.
    Their mother-wit,—debased through dismal years
    Of rapine and oppression, blood and tears, p.49180 
    To craft and cunning,—twists in reptile form,
    A slimy, soft, and poison-bearing worm.
    Be silent, noisy tongues on either shore!
    Denounce, defend, recriminate no more!
    In history's record England reads her blame,185 
    Ireland her grief, her folly, and her shame;
    Let each peruse with humble soul and sage.
    And, from the past, amend the future page.
  50. But, meanwhile, of the Present shall be read
    One dirty leaf,—a coffin decks its head,—190 
    From Pigot's bulky pocket, by desire,
    Emitted, for the table to admire:
    Take Notis, Big gut, if one claw you lay
    On Tullah, you'll for ever roo the day—
    So change your tune, and quickly, or by God195 
    This warnin is your last—we'll have your blud.
    “Sined, Captin Starlite.”—“Funny letter, eh?”
    The Honourable George is heard to say. p.50
    “Good mark”—says Dysart, with a nod and laugh.
    “For pot-shots,” Duff observes, “too good by half.”200 
    “Got a six-shooter?” Tom rejoins: “let's see.”
    “No!” cry the rest. Says Pigot, “Trust to me,”
    And hides the weapon. Tom approves not such:
    “I'll bet, with your revolver, you don't touch”
    My hat at twenty yards, two shots in five.205 
    “You must have daily practice, man alive!”
    Practice is everything, and firing quick,
    Before a lazy finger does the trick;
    That's how my uncle finish'd Major Crowe,
    “A splendid marksman, only rather slow.”210 
    “Fire from the hip!” cries Tom in cheerful mood,
    And cracks a nut in proper attitude.
    “Mayn't get the chance,” growls Finlay. It was time,
    Sir Ulick thought, to meet this growth of crime,
    But how?—shall counter-terror bid it cease215 
    By Proclamation and more big Police?
    Spies and rewards, thought Dysart; turning out p.51
    All tenants, Duff said, in one rabble-rout.
    “Where should they go to?” “They may go to h—.”
    But Bloomfield to his own reflections fell:220 
    “Owners are owners we decide in haste,—”
    Might three men choose to keep a county waste?
    Is there no spirit in the world of things
    Whereon his gyve in vain the lawyer flings?
    Can we, by politics of coin or birth,225 
    Own, like a house or hunter, God's round earth?
    Or, is that different property? We're tried
    In turn as leaders. Families subside,
    As they have risen, like billows of a tide,—
    Heirs lifted to the top-surge one by one.230 
    But continuity from sire to son,
    No further, quibbles in the North-star's face:
    One man is dead—another's in his place.
    A trust, to help our fellow-men, we own;
    True right of property is this alone.235 
    Chieftains there must be; and the low man clings p.52
    With long affection to unworthy kings;
    Ev'n here, would fain be faithful to his lord—
    And Bloomfield sigh'd and look'd around the board.
    To throw my life to loss with men like these?—240 
    “Why should I?—” of a sudden this brought ease.
    Where earth gives most of what to me is best
    To live is mine, my privilege confess'd,
    My duty too"—but here some side-wind caught
    The sail out-spread of his quick-moving thought:245 
    Duty with duty it is hard to weigh,
    To rule the very power you must obey,
    Doubt Judgment, of your doubting doubtful too.
    The pain of too much freedom Bloomfield knew.
    For all the choice was in his proper hand;250 
    No shadow-barrier in his road to stand
    Of others' expectation; none could say,
    Parting next week, that he had plann'd to stay,
    Nor wonder if th' ensuing seven years' rent
    In banker's bills should over sea be sent, p.53255 
    While Pigot, well-accustom' d viceroy, reign' d,
    And far off tenants fruitlessly complain' d.
    While Blooinfield's mind experienced this unrest,
    His face was calm, his converse self-possest;
    The noble sprig beside him sees no gloom;260 
    “Come down to shoot the country, I presume?”
    “Good cocking in Sir Ulick's upper wood—”
    “Cover for grouse on Croghan, doocid good.”
    “Queer fellows, though, the common fellows round—”
    “And every one a poacher—does your ground”265 
    “Touch on the river?” So we sit and talk,
    A finger round the crystal flower-bell-stalk
    Brimm'd with cool claret, fruit and biscuits munch,
    And some in secret pine for whisky-punch,
    Or vapour of the soothing weed. But soon270 
    All reassemble in the White Saloon,
    With decent forms of speech and gestures fit,
    Which clothe mere dulness with a kind of wit. p.54
    Though press'd to stay, and bid with serious brow
    Remember he is not in England now,275 
    Laurence will homeward ride, and ride alone;
    Deaf, blind, insensible as stock or stone
    To three Miss Harveys and to four Miss Boyds,
    The charm of song and every smile avoids,
    Yielding that bower of beauty and of tea280 
    To George's whiskers, and our mild A.B.,
    Too busy Curate to present more soon
    His well-brush' d hair and voice's gentle croon.
    How does a man with seventy pounds a-year
    In virgin linen every day appear?285 
    Spotless his shirts are, spotless too his life;
    Stiff in cravat, and dialectic strife,
    He shuns the popish priests, and flogs the Pope,
    nor may the Methodist for mercy hope;
    Much milk of human kindness, too, he carries,290 
    A little sour'd with dogma, through the parish,
    And plays a half-divine, half-human part
    With many a pious flirting female heart. p.55
    Enough—on dangerous matter we presume;
    Shut smoothly, door of silken drawing-room!295 
    Let Lady Harvey lead the reverend man
    Profoundly to discuss his favourite plan
    Whereby we might convert all Papists, in
    Say three short years, and crush the Man of Sin:
    “Dear Lady Harvey! this benighted land”—300 
    “Ah, yes! your trials we can understand”
    Those dreadful Priests"—"The cause of Scriptural Truth ...
    Our Church in danger ... Government ... Maynooth"—
    And leaving lovely damsels as they may
    To quote Evangeline, Traviata play,305 
    We move with Laurence on his homeward way.
  51. All down the leafy way as Bloomfield rode,
    O'er man and horse the latticed moonshine flow'd,
    Like films of sorcery, or sacred rite
    Of sprinkling by the holy priestess, Night;310 
    Strange pools of mist were on the lower ground, p.56
    Moonlight above, and silence deep around,
    Except the measured footfalls. In a shade
    By thicker growths of laurustinus made,
    Our young Squire heard not, or unheeding heard,315 
    One whispering bough that stealthily was stirr'd;
    Saw not the glitter of an ambush' d eye
    That glared upon the landlord moving by.
    In meditation through the leaves he rode;
    O'er man and horse the web of moonshine flow'd;320 
    Then on the open highway swiftlier sped,
    Where spectral gates and walls behind him fled.
  52. Within, his soul was seething. Should he stay,—
    Toil, wrangle, risk his blood, from day to day?
    Or from the tumult quietly withdraw,325 
    And soon forget what he no longer saw?
    Was all his duty to his rental bound?
    Might he not better serve on other ground?
    It matters not for whom, or how, or where—
    Be what you're fit for, all the world has share. p.57330 
    'These men are in their element, and do
    Much work; it may be, are victorious too.
    Novels and newspapers alone afford
    Th' angelic peasant and his fiendish lord.
    Ev'n Duff has kindness; Harvey's wit is small335 
    Yet leaves him average mortal after all;
    Pigot is business-like and bold, not base,—
    One looks not there for Shelley's mind or face.
    Such have a manly spirit of their own,
    Which roughly in a rugged world is shown.340 
    And what know I of tenants or of land?—'
    Here conscience took once more the upper hand:
    'Somewhat you know of men, and Heavenly Laws;
    Permit not selfish sloth to win the cause;
    The right choice wins a strength, wrong choice a plea.'345 
    Perplex' d in mood, his mansion enters he,
    With varying step along the lonely floors
    And dismal dark neglected corridors.
  53. A long discussion may, for good or ill, p.58
    Be sharply ended by despotic will.350 
    'I'll quit the place before to-morrow night!
    Party with party, church with church may fight,
    Rich fools with poor,—I cannot set them right.'
    But to the council-chamber of his head
    Rush'd in a tale that he had long since read,355 
    An ancient story, putting all astray,
    As Csesar's self was stopt upon his way.
    Imperial Hadrian, with his lofty knights,
    Prancing through pillar'd gateway, Dion writes,
    There saw a Widow kneeling to implore,360 
    Since none could rescue save her emperor,
    An audience of her suit; to whom he said
    “I have no time to hearken.” Hope and dread
    Together gone, she cried “Then cease to reign!”
    Whereat, amidst a check'd and wondering train,365 
    The Roman wheel' d his horse and heard.
    This wrought Another change of hue upon his thought.
    'Twere hard to reign, to abdicate more hard. p.59
    Is living free, like other men, debarr'd
    Shut eyes, and open (says the World) your mouth,370 
    And take what fortune sends you, foolish youth!
    Would things go better here, supposing I,
    Not Pigot, govern'd? ought I not to try?
    Or are they dreams, my poetry and art,
    And love and faith too, all life's finer part—375 
    Fit but for conversation, books, the stage,
    And not for men whom actual toils engage?'
    His heart beat, and he felt as faint within
    As one who has a whole day fasting been,—
    Irresolution's sickness; so combined380 
    Are all the powers of body and of mind.
    Moreover, looking on himself, he saw
    A crisis of his life. There was Heaven's Law,
    Cloudy, but firm and sure. He saw the crime
    (Touching all future pleasures with a slime)385 
    To stand before a true task face to face,
    Then turn away, though secret the disgrace. p.60
    Man's life is double: hard its clues to give
    Within, Without, and thus completely live.
  54. Custom of pray'r with wandering soul he kept;390 
    Desired to sleep, but not till daylight slept.
  55.  p.61 p.62 p.63

    4. The Dorans

  56. Jack Doran's cottage, from a bare hillside,
    Look'd out across the bogland black and wide,
    Where some few ridges broke the swarthy soil,
    A patch of culture, won with patient toil.
    The walls were mud, around an earthen floor,
    Straw ropes held on the thatch, and by his door
    A screen of wattles fenced the wind away,
    For open wide from morn till dusk it lay,
    A stool perhaps across, for barring out10 
    The too familiar porker's greedy snout.
    Thieves were undreamt-of, vagrants not repell'd,
    The poor man's dole the pauper's budget swell' d, p.64
    A gift of five potatoes, gently given,
    Or fist of meal, repaid with hopes of Heaven.
  57. 15 
  58. There Jack and Maureen, Neal their only son,
    And daughter Bridget, saw the seasons run;
    Poor but contented peasants, warm and kind,
    Of hearty manners, and religious mind;
    Busy to make their little corner good,20 
    And full of health, upon the homeliest food.
    They tasted flesh-meat hardly thrice a-year,
    Crock-butter, when the times were not too dear,
    Salt herring as a treat, as luxury
    For Sunday mornings and cold weather, tea;25 
    Content they were if milk the noggins crown' d,
    What time their oatmeal-stirabout went round,
    Or large potatoes, teeming from the pot,—
    Descended to the basket, smoking hot,
    Milk of its precious butter duly strip't,30 
    Wherewith to Lisnamoy young Biddy tripp'd.
    Not poor they seem'd to neighbours poorer still, p.65
    As Doran's father was, ere bog and hill
    Gave something for his frugal fight of years
    'Gainst marsh and rock, and furze with all its spears,35 
    And round the cottage an oasis green
    Amidst the dreary wilderness was seen.
    Two hardy cows the pail and churn supplied,
    Short-legg'd, big-boned, with rugged horns and wide,
    That each good spot among the heather knew,40 
    And every blade that by the runnels grew,
    Roved on the moor at large, but meekly came
    With burden'd udders to delight the dame,
    And in its turn the hoarded stocking swell'd
    Which envious neighbours in their dreams beheld;45 
    At thought whereof were bumpkins fain to cast
    Sheep's eyes at comely Bridget as she pass'd
    With napkin-shaded basket many a morn;
    But every bumpkin Bridget laugh'd to scorn.
  59. Who at an evening dance more blithe than she?—50 
    With steps and changes, modest in their glee, p.66
    So true she foots it, and so hard to tire,
    Whilst Phil the Fiddler's elbow jerks like fire,
    That courting couples turn their heads to look,
    And elders praise her from the chimney-nook55 
    Amidst their pipes, old stories, and fresh news.
    From twenty decent boys might Bridget choose;
    For, put the jigs aside, her skill was known
    To help a neighbour's work, or speed her own,
    And where at kemp or kayley could be found 260 
    One face more welcome, all the country round
    Mild oval face, a freckle here and there,
    Clear eyes, broad forehead, dark abundant hair,
    Pure placid look that show'd a gentle nature,
    Firm, unperplex'd, were hers; the Maiden's stature65 
    Graceful arose, and strong, to middle height,
    With fair round arms, and footstep free and light;
    She was not showy, she was always neat,
    In every gesture native and complete, p.67
    Disliking noise, yet neither dull nor slack,70 
    Could throw a rustic banter briskly back,
    Reserved but ready, innocently shrewd,—
    In brief; a charming flower of Womanhood.
  60. The girl was rich, in health, good temper, beauty,
    Work to be done, amusement after duty,75 
    Clear undistracted mind, and tranquil heart,
    Well-wishers, in whose thoughts she had her part,
    A decent father, a religious mother,
    The pride of all the parish in a brother,
    And Denis Coyle for sweetheart, where the voice80 
    Of Jack and Maureen praised their daughter's choice.
    More could she ask for? grief and care not yet,
    Those old tax-gatherers, dunn'd her for their debt;
    Youth's joyous landscape round her footsteps lay,
    And her own sunshine made the whole world gay.
  61. 85 
  62. Jack and his wife, through earlier wedded years, p.68
    Untroubled with far-sighted hopes and fears,
    Within their narrow circle not unskill'd ,
    Their daily duties cautiously fulfill'd
    Of house and farm, of bargain and of pray'r;90 
    And gave the Church and gave the Poor a share;
    Each separate gift by angels put in score
    As plain as though 'twere chalk' d behind the door.
    The two themselves could neither write nor read,
    But of their children's lore were proud indeed,95 
    And most of Neal, who step by step had pass'd
    His mates, and trod the master's heels at last.
  63. When manly, godly counsels took the rule,
    And open'd to her young a freer school,
    Poor Erin's good desire was quickly proved;100 
    Learning she loves, as long ago she loved.
    The peasant, sighing at his own defect,
    Would snatch his children from the same neglect;
    From house and hut, by hill and plain, they pour
    In tens of thousands to the teacher's floor; p.69105 
    Across the general island seems to come
    Their blended voice, a pleasing busy hum.
    Our little Bridget, pretty child, was there,
    And Neal, a quick-eyed boy with russet hair,
    Brisk as the month of March, yet with a grace110 
    Of meditative sweetness in his face;
    To Learning's Temple, which made shift to stand
    In cowhouse form on great Sir Ulick's land
    (Who vex'd these schools with all his pompous might
    Nor would, for love or money, grant a site),115 
    Each morn with merry step they crossed the hill,
    And soon could read with pleasure, write with skill,
    Amaze from print their parents' simple wit,
    Decypher New-world letters cramply writ;
    But Neal, not long content with primers, read120 
    “Rings round him,” as his mother aptly said;
    Sought far for books, devour' d what e'er he found,
    And peep'd through loopholes from his narrow bound.
  64. Good Maureen gazed with awe on pen and ink, p.70
    On books with blindest reverence. Whilst we think125 
    The Dark and Middle Ages flown away,
    Their population crowds us round to-day;
    So slowly moves the world. Our dame believed,
    Firmly as saints and angels she received,
    In witchcraft, lucky and unlucky times,130 
    Omens and charms, and fairy-doctors' rhymes
    To help a headache, or a cow fall'n dry;
    Strong was the malice of an evil eye;
    She fear'd those hags of dawn, who skirnm'd the well,
    And robb'd the churning by their May-day spell;135 
    The gentle race, whom youngsters now neglect,
    From Mary never miss'd their due respect;
    And when a little whirl of dust and straws
    Rose in her pathway, she took care to pause
    And cross herself; a twine of rowan-spray,140 
    An ass's shoe, might keep much harm away;
    Saint Bridget's candle, which the priest had blest,
    Was stored to light a sick-bed. For the rest,
    She led a simple and contented life, p.71
    Sweet-temper'd, dutiful, as maid and wife;145 
    Her husband's wisdom from her heart admired,
    And in her children's praises never tired.
  65. Jack was a plodding man, who deem'd it best
    To hide away the wisdom he possessed;
    Of scanty words, avoiding all dispute;150 
    But much experience in his mind had root;
    Most deferential, yet you might surprise
    A secret scanning in the small grey eyes;
    Short, active, though with labour's trudge, his legs;
    His knotted lingers, like rude wooden pegs,155 
    Still firm of grip; his breath was slow and deep;
    His hair unbleach'd with time, a rough black heap.
    Fond, of a night, to calmly sit and smoke,
    While neighbours plied their argument or joke,
    To each he listened, seldom praised or blamed,160 
    All party-spirit prudently disclaim' d,
    Repeating, with his wise old wrinkled face, p.72
    “I never knew it help a poor man's case;”
    And when they talk'd of “tyrants,” Doran said
    Nothing, but suck'd his pipe and shook his head.
  66. 165 
  67. In patient combat with a barren soil,
    Jack saw the gradual tilth reward his toil,
    Where first his father as a cottier came
    On patch too poor for other man to claim.
    Jack's father kept the hut against the hill170 
    With daily eightpence earned by sweat and skill;
    Three sons grew up; one hasted over sea,
    One married soon, fought hard with poverty,
    Sunk, and died young; the eldest boy was Jack,
    Young herd and spadesman at his father's back,175 
    With every hardship sturdily he strove,
    To fair or distant ship fat cattle drove,
    (Not theirs, his father had a single cow),
    And cross'd the narrow tides to reap and mow.
    A fever burn'd away the old man's life;180 
    Jack had the land, the hovel, and a wife; p.73
    And in the chimney's warmest comer sat
    His good old mother, with her favourite cat.
  68. Manus, now dead, (long since, on “cottier-take”
    Allow' d cheap lodgment for his labour's sake)185 
    Contriving days and odd half-days to snatch,
    By slow degrees had tamed the savage patch
    Beside his hut, driven back the stubborn gorse,
    Whose pounded prickles meanwhile fed his horse,
    And crown' d the cut-out bog with many a sheaf190 
    Of speckled oats, and spread the dark-green leaf
    Where plaited white or purple blooms unfold
    To look on summer with an eye of gold,
    Potato-blossoms, namely. Now, be sure,
    A larger rent was paid; nor, if secure195 
    Of footsole-place where painfully he wrought,
    Would Manus grumble. Year by year he sought
    A safeguard; but the Landlord still referr'd
    Smoothly to Agent, Agent merely heard,
    And answer'd—We'll arrange it by and by; p.74200 
    Meanwhile, you're well enough, man; let it lie;'—
    Resolved to grant no other petty lease,
    The ills of petty farming to increase.
    Old Manus gone, and Bloomfield's father gone,
    Sir Ulick Harvey's guardian rule came on;205 
    And so at last Jack found his little all
    At Viceroy Pigot's mercy, which was small.
    With more than passive discontent he look'd
    On tenacies like Jack's, and ill had brook'd
    The whisper of their gains. He stood one day,210 
    Filling the petty household with dismay,
    Within their hut, and saw that Paudeen Dhu,
    The bailiff, when he call'd it “snug,” spoke true.
  69. The patch' d, unpainted, but substantial door,
    The well-fill'd dresser, and the level floor,215 
    Clean chairs and stools, a gaily-quilted bed,
    The weather-fast though grimy thatch o'erhead,
    The fishing rods and reels above the fire, p.75
    Neal's books, and comely Bridget's neat attire,
    Express'd a comfort which the rough neglect220 
    That reign'd outside forbade him to expect.
    Indeed, give shrewd old cautious Jack his way,
    The house within had shown less neat array,
    Who held the maxim that, in prosperous case,
    'Tis wise to show a miserable face;225 
    A decent hat, a wife's good shawl or gown—
    For higher rent may mark the farmer down;
    Beside your window shun to plant a rose
    Lest it should draw the prowling bailiff's nose,
    Nor deal with whitewash, lest the cottage lie230 
    A target for the bullet of his eye;
    Rude be your fence and field—if trig and trim
    A cottier shows them, all the worse for him.
    To scrape, beyond expenses, if he can,
    A silent stealthy penny, is the plan235 
    Of him who dares it—a suspected man!
    With tedious, endless, heavy-laden, toil,
    Judged to have thieved a pittance from the soil. p.76
    But close in reach of Bridget's busy hand
    Dirt and untidiness could scarcely stand;240 
    And Neal, despite his father's sense of guilt,
    A dairy and a gable-room had built,
    And by degrees the common kitchen graced
    With many a touch of his superior taste.
  70. The peasant draws a low and toilsome lot;245 
    Poorer than all above him? surely not.
    Conscious of useful strength, untaught to care
    For smiling masquerade and dainty fare,
    With social pleasures, warmer if less bland,
    Companionship and converse nigh at hand,250 
    If sad, with genuine sorrows, well-defined,
    His life brought closer to a simpler mind;
    He's friends with earth and cloud, plant, beast and bird;
    His glance, by oversubleties unblurr'd,
    At human nature, flies not much astray;255 
    Afoot he journeys, but enjoys the way. p.77
    Th' instinctive faith, perhaps, of such holds best
    To that ideal truth, the power and zest
    Of all appearance; limitation keeps
    Their souls compact; light cares they have, sound sleeps;260 
    Their day, within a settled course begun,
    Brings wholesome task, advancing with the sun,
    The sure result with satisfaction sees,
    And fills with calm a well-earn'd hour of ease.
    Nay, gold, whose mere possession less avails,265 
    Far-glittering, decks the world with fairy-tales.
    Who grasp at poison, trigger, cord, or knife?—
    Seldom the poorest peasant tires of life.
  71. Mark the great evil of a low estate;
    Not Poverty, but Slavery,—one man's fate270 
    Too much at mercy of another's will.
    Doran has prosper'd, but is trembling still.
    Our Agent's lightest word his heart can shake,
    The Bailiff's bushy eyebrow bids him quake. p.78
    Jack had been urged, and thought the counsel good,275 
    “Go, delve the prairie, clear the Western wood;”
    There, with your little purse and vigorous arm,
    “Be king (for so you may) of house and farm.”
    But kindly to his native nook he clung,—
    Too old his mother, and his babes too young,280 
    His wife too timid,—till he found at last
    His own brisk day for enterprise gone past,
    And hoped with trembling, that, without a lease,
    The LORD would let them pass their days in peace,
    And leave the children settled well in life:285 
    Such was the prayer of Doran and his wife.
  72. School-teaching some, and some the Church advised
    For Neal; but Jack, from lifelong habit, prized
    His hard-won and uncertain “bit o' ground,”
    And in his son's increasing vigour found290 
    A welcome help, till soil and seasons claim'd
    Neal's constant hand. But far too high it aim'd, p.79
    On house and field improvement bravely bent.
    “My boy,” said Jack, “you'll only rise the rent,”
    “Or get us hunted from too good a place”—295 
    And back'd his fears from many a well-known case.
    He praised their added room, but shook his head,
    The small new dairy fill'd his soul with dread,
    To cut a drain might dig their own pitfall,
    'Twas ostentation to rebuild a wall,300 
    And did they further dare to stub the whins3,
    The Great-Folk soon would visit all their sins.
    “We'll buy.”—“But they won't sell.”—“More rent we'll pay.”
    “They'll charge three prices, or snap all away.”
    What could Neal do?—his parents getting old,305 
    Detain' d him; but his early hopes were cold.
    Improve they must not; if permitted still
    To merely stay, 'tis at their Agent's will.
    They long have struggled, with some poor success,
    But well they know, should harder fortunes press. p.80310 
    Their slow prosperity is thin and poor,
    And may not even petty rubs endure.
  73. From day to day th' unresting finger steals
    Of Heaven's great clock, with all the stars for wheels,
    Transmuting worlds, and every small thing too;315 
    The boy to man, the girl to woman grew;
    Jack stiffened; Maureen's hair was streak' d with white;
    The good old grandame vanish' d from their sight.
    And day by day, on both estates, Jack sees
    Old tenants losing place by slow degrees;320 
    No leases granted or renew'd; the serf
    Hemm'd from his former space of moor and turf;
    To grazing, here, the various tillage yields;
    There wide-spread farms absorb the petty fields;
    Gain, luxury, and love of power, inspire325 
    New selfish schemes, that more and more require
    All privilege and profit from the land
    To rest completely in the Great-Folk's hand,
    Accorded, changed, withheld, at their command. p.81
    Neal sometimes argues that, whilst yet in plight,330 
    'Twere well to dare at last the distant flight.
    “Let's go while go we may; if things get worse”
    They soon must leave us empty byre and purse.
    You're fresh, thank God, and lively, mother dear;
    Father, we'd work and prosper well, no fear;335 
    And rise to something, anywhere but here.
    There's Coyle, besides, in tiptoe haste to start;
    “One word, and Coyle is with us, hand and heart.”
    But age's caution, added to their own,
    Still held the parents back from risks unknown.
  74. 340 
  75. One cool and grey autumnal night—the same
    That sees Sir Ulick's banquet—round the flame
    Of fragrant fir that branch'd a waving tree
    Before the human form began to be,
    And countless years lay sunk in black morass,345 
    Are drawn this humble household. Slowly pass
    Their quiet evening hours. If Maureen doze,
    Her needles fail not, adding rows to rows p.82
    Of knitted wool; nor less untiring spins
    Her daughter, who with skilful finger wins350 
    The flowing yellow flax from rock to reel,
    And chants a ditty to her murmuring wheel;
    The son and father bask, as well they may
    Who handle flails as these have done to-day,—
    The sweet-milk-and-potato supper done,355 
    Their out-door creatures cared for, every one,
    The cat and dog, too, comrades old and tried;
    In drowsy warmth reposing side by side.
  76. Jack thinks the times look bad. “God help the poor!”
    Sighs Maureen; “We're not cowld or hungry sure,”360 
    The Lord be praised! but rising rints, mavrone,
    “And failing crops, would soon scrape flesh from bone.”
    The girl had met a keeper, hung with grouse;
    She talks of banquet at the Moy Big House:
    “They're at their dinner now,—and so polite,—” p.83365 
    “With lovely dresses,—O to see the sight!”
    “A glorious wish!”—arousing, mutters Neal,
    Though envy's pang he could not choose but feel.
    “Our Landlord's on the start again, they say.”—
    “To us what matter, let him go or stay?”—370 
    “Well now,” says Bridget, “he's a fine young man.”
    Her thoughts on Bloomfield's recent visit ran.
    —“A gintleman o' plain discoorse, in troth,”
    “Good luck to him!” says Maureen. “Chips and froth!”
    Cries Neal: “I half began to speak my mind,”375 
    But—." “All no use, no use, my son, you'd find.”
    “'Twould only,” Jack thinks, “drive our Agent mad.”
    The young man sat fire-gazing, sullen-sad.
  77. “Maychance you'd read us something Nail asthore?
    The less 'twas understood, believed the more,380 
    Her son's vast learning made Maureen rejoice; p.84
    Her heart was aisy, listenin' to his voice.
    “Goin' out you are avic? You won't be late?”
    “No, mother dear.” They heard the garden gate
    Clap loud behind him. “He's across the hill”385 
    “To Ballytullagh,”—which but pleased them ill;
    This neighbouring hamlet being a noted place,
    By Pigot, their Pashá, cast out from grace.
  78. Jack lit his pipe; the mother deeply sigh'd;
    The girl in thought her humming spindle plied;390 
    Young Neal, the while, on glooming path, well-known,
    That winds by clump of gorse and boulder-stone,
    Mounted the ridge, and saw in shadowy skies
    A red enormous moon begin to rise.
  79.  p.85 p.86 p.87

    5. Ballytullagh

  80. The hamlet Ballytullagh, small and old,
    Lay negligently cluster' d in a fold
    Of Tullagh Hill, among the crags and moor;
    A windy dwelling-place, rough, lonesome, poor;
    So low and weather-stain' d the walls, the thatch
    So dusk of hue, or spread with mossy patch,
    A stranger journeying on the distant road
    Might hardly guess that human hearts abode
    In those wild fields, save when a smoky wreath10 
    Distinguish'd from huge rocks, above, beneath,
    Its huddled roofs. A lane goes up the hill, p.88
    Cross'd, at one elbow, by a crystal rill,
    Between the stepping-stones gay tripping o'er
    In shallow brightness on its gravelly floor,15 
    From crags above, with falls and rocky urns,
    Through sward below, in deep deliberate turns,
    Where each fine evening brought the boys to play
    At football, or with camuns4drive away
    The whizzing nagg;5 a crooked lane and steep,20 
    Older than broad highways, you find it creep,
    Fenced in with stooping thorn-trees, bramble-brakes,
    Tall edge-stones, gleaming, gay as spotted snakes,
    With gold and silver lichen; till it bends
    Between two rock-based rough-built gable ends,25 
    To form the street, if one may call it street,
    Where ducks and pigs in filthy forum meet;
    A scrambling, careless, tatter' d place, no doubt;
    Each cottage rude within-doors as without;
    All rude and poor; some wretched,—black and bare30 
    And doleful as the cavern of Despair.
  81.  p.89
  82. And yet, when crops were good, nor oatmeal high,
    A famine or a fever-time gone by,
    The touch of simple pleasures, even here,
    In rustic sight and sound the heart could cheer.35 
    With voice of breezes moving o'er the hills,
    Wild birds and four-foot creatures, falling rills,
    Mingled the hum of huswife's wheel, cock-crow,
    The whetted scythe, or cattle's evening low,
    Or laugh of children. Herding went the boy,40 
    The sturdy diggers wrought with spade and loy6,
    The tether' d she-goat browsed the rock's green ledge,
    The clothes were spread to dry on sloping hedge,
    The colleens did their broidery in the shade
    Of leafy bush, or gown-skirt overhead,45 
    Or wash'd and beetled7 by the shallow brook,
    Or sung their ballads round the chimney-nook
    To speed a winter night, when song and jest
    And dance and talk and social game are best:
    For daily life's material good enough p.9050 
    Such, trivial incidents and homely stuff.
    Here also could those miracles befall
    Of wedding, new-born babe, and funeral;
    Here, every thought and mood and fancy rise
    From common earth, and soar to mystic skies.
  83. 55 
  84. This ancient Woman crown' d with snow-white hair,
    With burden of a hundred years to bear,—
    The marvels and enchanting hopes of youth,
    The toil of life, and disappointing truth,
    Delights and cares that wives and mothers know,60 
    The turns of wisdom, folly, joy, and woe,
    The gradual change of all things, year by year,
    While she to one Great Doorway still draws near,
    All good and ill from childhood to old-age,
    For her have moved on this poor narrow stage.65 
    A cottage built; farm shifting hands; big thorn
    By midnight tempest from its place uptorn;
    The Church's rites, the stations, and the priests;
    Wakes, dances, faction-fights, and wedding-feasts; p.91
    Good honest neighbours; crafty wicked rogues;70 
    The wild youth limping back without his brogues;8
    The moneyed man returning from the West
    With beard and golden watch-chains on his breast;
    He that enlisted; she that went astray;
    Landlords and agents of a former day;75 
    The time of raging floods; the twelve weeks' frost;
    Dear summers, and how much their oatmeal cost;
    The Tullagh baby-daughters, baby-sons,
    Grown up, grown grey; a crowd of buried ones;
    These little bygones Oona would recall80 
    In deep-voiced Gaelic,—faltering now they fall,
    Or on her faint lips murmur unaware;
    And many a time she lifts her eyes in pray'r,
    And many an hour her placid spirit seems
    Content as infant smiling through its dreams,85 
    In solemn trance of body and of mind;
    As though, its business with the world resign'd,
    The soul, withdrawn into a central calm, p.92
    Lay hush'd, in foretaste of immortal balm.
    —Secluded Ballytullagh, small, unknown,90 
    Had place and life and history of its own.
  85. Great Pigot's wrath, which brought unnumber'd woes
    On Ballytullagh, Muse of mine disclose
    These upland people, paupers as they were,
    Retain'd almost an independent air,95 
    Drawn from old times, for clearly could they trace
    Long generations in the self-same place;
    Game-laws they scorn' d, and mearings on the moor,
    And all new-fangled things could ill endure;
    Landlord and agent were their natural foes;100 
    Old custom for their simple guide they chose;
    All Pigot's plans appear'd to them unjust;
    They murmur' d; and he only said, “You must!”
    So, when he took away their mountain-run,
    Enclosing half the heath for dog and gun,105 
    And half to feed a stranger's herds and flocks,
    A sturdy coarse disciple of John Knox,— p.93
    Sheep were soon missing, cattle night by night
    Dock'd of their tails, hamstrung, or kill'd outright;
    The grazier too, at last, was waylaid, left110 
    Of breath and blood and all but life bereft;
    And every witness questioned in the case
    Mere falsehood swore, with calm unblushing face.
  86. Pigot, and Pigot's bailiff, Paudheen Dhu, 9
    Are still prepared for war, and like it too;115 
    Costs, fees, drop in, and profitable 'takes,'
    While every change the rental higher makes,
    Clears petty claims aside, a vexing swarm,
    And brings estates to new and better form.
    Herein Sir Ulick, for himself and ward,120 
    Was soon with Pigot's plans in full accord;
    One half this upland being Sir Ulick's ground,
    One half engirt by nephew Bloomfield's bound.
    A day was fix'd, arrears must then be paid;
    For more police a tax on all was laid,— p.94125 
    New little barracks dropt in lonely spots
    Where moping constables bewail'd their lots,—
    For now the Ribbon-Snake was known to glide
    With secret venom round this country-side;
    Till Tullagh Hill became a place accurst,130 
    And Ballytullagh stood for blot the worst
    On Magisterial map. In two year's time
    The tranquil nook was grown a nest of crime,
    A den of were-wolves to a landlord's sight;—
    And Pigot only ask'd for legal right.
  87. 135 
  88. Rich neighbouring farmers, noway ill-disposed,
    Their cautious lips, if not their eyes, keep closed
    They dread revenge, they dread the public shame
    That clings and reeks around th' informer's name;
    For Ireland's long tradition, lingering yet,140 
    Hath in two scales the Law, the People set.
    Nay, Ribbonism keeps Landlordism in check:
    They blame, they fear, but will not break its neck;
    To them belongs no sense of commonweal, p.95
    Authority as alien still they feel,145 
    Ruled, without partnership or wholesome pride,
    By Government that governs from outside.
    Their native Church, where peasant sons might rise,
    The rulers first despoil' d, and now despise.
    Trade, wealth, flow elsewhere, why they cannot guess,150 
    Save by constraint of ruling selfishness.
    In their own narrow bound, the constant fight
    For land goes on, with little ruth or right,
    So far as they can see; but every man
    Takes all advantage that he safely can.155 
    And so, as in the chamber of a mist
    Moving as they move, sadly they persist,
    And let the puzzling world be as it list.
  89. Our Agent twice a year sent forth a show'r
    Of Notices to Quit, and kept his power160 
    Suspended in terrorem: now at length
    Shall these atrocious tenants feel his strength. p.96
    On two or three a swift eviction falls,
    And then on Pigot Captain Starlight calls,
    High on the gatepost nailing up his card.165 
    But sturdy Pigot perseveres: 'twere hard
    If rampant ruffianism could overfrown
    All right and rule, and grossly beat them down!
    For desperate ill a desperate remedy.
    Some suffer guiltless, that must always be;170 
    Ev'n in fair war the necessary blow
    Sets distant hearts to weep; but here the foe
    From general sympathy his courage draws,
    In that alone lies ambush' d from the laws.
    A plain sharp lesson, read to all and each,175 
    Is here the true and only way to teach.
    Therefore let Ballytullagh's natives know,
    In due and legal form, that—out they go.
  90. The priesthood, meanwhile, gave its usual aid,
    Fulfill'd its wonted rounds and duly pray'd,180 
    Condoled in general words, and censured crime, p.97
    And watch' d with care the movements of the time.
    For this alone its mystic flag unfurl' d—
    The warfare of the Church against the World,
    Each minor human interest has a claim185 
    So far as mingling with the one great aim.
    Imagination to the Church must cling,
    A grand, accustom'd, venerable thing,
    Which dignifies the chief events of life,
    Securing Heav'n, avoiding vulgar strife;190 
    The more withdrawn from regions of dispute,
    The more within its bounds made absolute;
    The citadel impregnably maintain' d,
    So bit by bit may all the rest be gain'd.
    Priests' characters are various—priests are men;195 
    The system single to a bird's-eye ken;
    The method changing with the world's events,
    And still providing needful instruments,
    Which may, as men, do nothing, bad or good,
    And their own work have seldom understood.200 
    Blame if you must, but scorn not, over-bold, p.98
    This Great Association, deep and old;
    With guidance for the wandering soul of man;
    Sure dogmas to believe, for those who can;
    One step, one blindfold step, and all goes right,205 
    Your weakness guarded by celestial might.
  91. This wide Kilmoylan Parish own'd the care—
    Hills, plain, and town—of Father John Adair.
    And Father Austin was his curate now,
    A strong-built man of thirty, black of brow,210 
    A silent man, with heavy jaws and chin,
    Close-shaven, and a heavy soul within;
    You look, and guess him dangerous and deep,
    Full of dark plans that make your flesh to creep,
    A mine of mystic secrets; but alas!215 
    The narrow bounds he never may outpass
    Constrict him, and it eats his heart to know
    How short a way his seeming power can go.
    The tedious years will slowly wear him tame,
    Or else some channel for the smouldering flame p.99220 
    Give altar, platform, journal, one more voice
    To bid the foolish, furious mob rejoice,
    But those above him, on sharp watch to stand,
    And gather up the reins with cautious hand.
  92. Adair the priest is bland and dignified;225 
    The curate Austin sullen, sidelong-eyed;
    Both do their office punctually and well,
    And duly are revered; but, truth to tell,
    The people, when their crimes they plan and plot,
    Regard the blessed clergy scarce one jot.230 
    Some few, the leading scoundrels and the worst,
    Would laugh at Pio Nono if he curs' d;
    From under conscience many slip aside,
    Transgress, and somehow back to “duty” 10glide;
    While others meeting form with form (no more235 
    Demanded), by interpretation's lore
    And casuistry to equal Dens's own
    Arrange what's best to be conceal'd and shown. p.100
    From either side of that mysterious screen
    Of plain fir-boards, in every chapel seen,240 
    The usual whisper flows in much routine;
    It were not wise the suppliant soul to press
    Which now, being there, is yielding, more or less;
    The Mother keeps on terms, can watch and wait,
    Expecting full submission, soon or late,245 
    And overlooking much, if, on the whole,
    A man will not refuse to save his soul.
    Life's daily details, counted great or small,
    The Church absorbs and dominates them all,
    Takes her own silent course with conscious might,250 
    As earthly Judge Supreme of wrong and right,
    To rule at last, in great and trivial things,—
    The Servants' Servant grown to King of Kings.
  93. Hot grew men's passions: golden harvest came
    And ended: hotter wax'd this evil flame,255 
    Turning all wholesome thoughts to dread and hate.
    Jack to his own fireside kept close of late, p.101
    But Neal was not afraid to cross their hill
    To Ballytullagh, welcomed with good-will,
    When nightfall shadow'd mountain, moor, and glen,260 
    To chat the girls and argue with the men,
    Or study in the Firebrand, Dublin print,
    Seditious rhetoric and murderous hint.
    Best scholar there, with skill and force he redd,
    Explain'd, declaim'd, and on their flattery fed;265 
    Until at last, however unprepared,
    To lead an army would the Youth have dared.
  94. One dismal Sunday morning, such a day
    As brings the message, “summer's past away,”
    Neal with a sigh awoke; nor when awake270 
    Could free his bosom from a nameless ache,
    The misery of his slumber; ill-content
    Into the damp and sunless air he went.
    The fowls, with stretching wings and eager screech,
    Run up in vain his bounty to beseech;275 
    He rests his arms upon a wall, to gaze p.102
    Across the scene, not sad in other days,
    But now, all round, with dark and doleful hues
    A sombre sky the sluggish bog imbues;
    Black pit and pool, coarse tuft and quaking marsh:280 
    Stretch far away to mountains chill and harsh
    Under the lowering clouds; while, near at hand,
    The waters grey in trench and furrow stand.
    Beneath those mountains dim Lough Braccan lies,
    A stream wherefrom to join the river hies,285 
    Around their northern buttress bends a vale,
    Where ocean's breath is blown in every gale,
    And o'er the lake, far-seen from many a road,
    Is Bloomfield's long-untenanted abode.
    To Lisnamoy from Tullagh, either side,290 
    Rough hills descend, and mingle with the wide
    Grove-tufted, house-and-village-sprinkled plain;
    And far from north to south a roof of rain
    Hangs heavily this morning; dark and dead
    The dismal view, and deal's own heart like lead.
  95.  p.103295 
  96. Call'd in to breakfast by a mother's care,
    His sister and himself for Mass prepare;
    But Mary is not well, and doubts the weather;
    She and her husband bide at home together.
    Tranquil, at Neal and Bridget's pausing feet300 
    (Yet there is discontentment's chosen seat)
    The little hamlet lies in sheltering bend,
    Whereto with quicker steps they now descend;
    The sister carrying in a jug her boon
    Of precious milk for sickly Rose Muldoon.
  97. 305 
  98. Inside the poorest hovel of the place,
    The seal of death was on a young girl's face,
    “Far through in the decline,” beside whose bed
    Her haggard father sat with drooping head;
    A neighbour woman, taking turn as nurse,310 
    Upheld the sufferer when her cough grew worse.
    “God save you, kindly. How is she to-day?”
    Then Rosy's feeble voice was heard to say,
    “Is that you, Bridget darlin?” White and thin p.104
    Her fingers rested clammily within315 
    The other maiden's healthy palm; death-bright
    Her eyes met Bridget's, brimm'd with living light.
    Bare grimy walls, a roof with many a flaw,
    This corner strewn with turf, and that with straw,
    A borrow'd bedstead, two old stools, no more,320 
    To furnish round the damp uneven floor,
    Three plates, three broken cups, an iron pot,
    A batter' d black tin-porringer kept hot
    Beside the gaping hearth, enough to choke
    The unaccustom'd lungs with lazy smoke,—325 
    Such was the house: yet Rose with many a tear
    Implored “O not the Poorhouse, father dear!”
    Quick with her broidery needle once was she,
    The youngest and the busiest girl of three,
    And now her father's last companion left;330 
    Long sickness had his home of every comfort reft.
  99. Most of these peasants, (portion out the blame
    Who can: on whom have such a rightful claim?) p.105
    When all goes well, are one degree, no more,
    From want; grim Hunger, always at the door,335 
    With scarce a push comes in when aught goes wrong.
    —Why hold their land? Why marry? Why this throng
    Of naked children? Would you heap the rates
    By help beyond the loathsome Poorhouse gates?
    Why not take other work?—I tell you why:340 
    There is no work: they needs must beg, or fly,
    (O happy chance!) or else lie down and die.
  100. Soon from each doorway issue comrades, drest,
    Both “boys and girls” in humble Sunday best,345 
    And all together, laughing, down the lane
    They pick their steps, a smoother road to gain;
    The trailing cloud has falling drops at edge,
    But not enough to ask a sheltering hedge;
    Discourse curtails the league to Lisnamoy,
    And Bloomfield's doings many a tongue employ,350 
    Till near the Town they draw, and each cross-road
    Gives friendly increase to the moving crowd.
  101.  p.106
  102. Old Father Flynn and his plain chapel walls
    Are both no more; from a great steeple calls
    A bell that dins the rival church to shame,355 
    And pseudo-gothic art asserts its claim
    For pence and wonder in the unfinish' d pile,
    A dull burlesque on mediaeval style,
    Stone nightmare, lumpish, set with eye and horn,
    Of architectural indigestion born.360 
    Roofless and ruin'd each old stately fane,
    Or if a living voice in some remain,
    The rich usurper's,—now on Irish skies
    These new-born proofs of ancient faith arise.
    Adair, the zealous, careful parish-priest,365 
    Is gentle, smooth, and mild to man and beast,
    With comely presence and colloquial skill,
    Of secret thoughts, and cool tenacious will;
    An Irish mitre is perhaps his hope;
    A proper man for cardinal or pope.370 
    Outside the Church, all teaching is a crime,
    All strength diabolism: he bides his time p.107
    To gain at last the public purse for schools
    In strict accordancy with holy rules;
    The dark unlawful oath he blames no less375 
    Than Pigot; all must One Great Power confess.
    (What Power?—enough! each wandering thought suppress.)
    He likes not England's rule, nor will he curse;
    The Church's children's ofttimes please him worse;
    Dark oaths and alien bonds are things of sin;380 
    Yet agitation doth concession win;
    He favours loyalty of much that kind
    Which in a doubtful-temper'd dog you find,
    That fawns and growls, obeys and shows his teeth,—
    Servility with danger underneath;385 
    For so must selfish England understand
    That Ireland is not wholly in her hand,
    Yet want that old excuse to knit a frown,
    Cry “rebel!” and with fury smite her down.
    Irish Republic?—Irish Kingdom?—none390 
    Could less desire such thing beneath the sun p.108
    Than Father John Adair: your ship may roll,
    But will you run her straight on rock or shoal
    For mere impatience? Of all men that live,
    Such clerics are the most conservative;395 
    Perusing somewhat bitterly, no less,
    Their map and daily roll-call of distress,
    When scores around them, with the name of land,
    Staring on hungry wife and children stand,
    Unused by beggars' art to seek and shift,400 
    And dreading from their only hold to drift.
    To pay their clergy these are ill-prepared;
    The clergy's hard-won purse with them is often shared.
  103. Between the Latin prayers the small quire sings;
    In silence deep a tinkling handbell rings;405 
    The little altar-boys in white array
    Kneel round the altar; heads, black, fair, and grey,
    Through all the crowded chapel, row on row,
    Bow trembling and expectant: and with slow
    And solemn gesture, mystic-robed, the Priest p.109410 
    Lifting the body and the blood of CHRIST,
    Hath once again the miracle renew'd
    Of that old sacrifice on Holy Rood.
  104. The Mass completed, all prepare to go;
    But hush! the Father will not have it so.415 
    He speaks; th' arrested crowd is turn'd to stone;
    Familiar, but commanding, is his tone;
    The subject, Ribbonism; and, word by word,
    His fervour kindles, and his strength is stirr'd,
    To caution, warn, implore, denounce, forbid.420 
    “Think not,” says he, “that what you plan is hid:”
    “The spy, the stagg11, the traitor's at your heels!”
    The straining throng its interest now reveals
    By stirs and murmurs. “Picture, every one,”
    “Your husband, or your brother, or your son,”425 
    “March' d off to Carrick jail—” here women's cries
    And och! och! och! through all the building rise.
    “Whisht! hold your tongues! attend to what I say!” p.110
    “My children, shun the dark and dangerous way.”
    “Have any stray 'd? let these, while yet there's time,”430 
    “Withdraw. To swear a wicked oath's a crime;”
    “To keep it, worse. The Church, to whom is given”
    “All power to bind and loose in Earth and Heaven,”
    “Declares such oath is void, of no effect.”
    “And mark me well, you sinners that neglect”435 
    “This warning,—from God's altar I declare”
    You are not Catholics; you cannot share”
    “The Holy Sacraments; and he that dies”
    “In this condition” sobs and groans and cries
    Ring through the chapel. On their homeward way,440 
    By reddening hedge, bare stubble, heather gay,
    To distant hamlet, or thatch'd cottage lone,
    Or through the street and byways of the town
    (Some to the ruin'd abbey first repair,
    Among its graves to breathe a special pray'r), p.111445 
    The scatter' d congregation closely sift
    The reverend Father's lecture, and its drift.
    Here are the sage remarks of Bill M'Cann,
    Oracular and disputatious man,
    Who, while he stitch'd and hammer'd at a shoe,450 
    Would argue with the Pope, and “sack” 12 him too:—
    “Some things a Parish Priest is bound to say.”
    “The clergy, mind you, have their game to play;”
    “And whilst they always take the people's part,”
    “Keep in with powers that be,—no aisy art.”455 
    “Adair himself, Sir, has in private said”
    “That England gives us nothing but from dread;”
    “And I myself heard Father Austin say,”
    “At Jack O'Reilly's door last market-day,”
    “Eject them all!—It's bad, and far too bad!”460 
    “No wonder if they drive our people mad!”
    And Curate Austin was at times too rash;
    He mourn'd the peasants' sufferings; and the lash
    Of Protestant contempt which made him sore, p.112
    Impatiently, being young and proud, he bore.465 
    Perhaps he said it,—and perhaps said more
    In dingy room above the grocery shop,
    No senior's eye his rhetoric to stop,
    With Curate Michael of the neighbouring parish,
    (He sole familiar there, and he was rarish,470 
    Church keeping always, like a ship at sea,
    Its hands all busy), quaffing dreary tea.
    At least our Crispin Critic did not fail
    To clap the Curate in th' opposing scale;
    And though the elder folk and womankind475 
    Found this day's lecture greatly to their mind,
    Young men and politicians, not a few,
    Discussed the words, and freely blamed them too.
    Among the rest our Neal and Denis talk'd,
    Then both to Tullagh Hill with Bridget walk'd;480 
    A flask of holy water carrying she,
    And Neal two ounces of the best black tea,
    For Maureen. Though the miles were long and rough,
    They seem'd to Denis short and smooth enough, p.113
    Nor cared he when the rain at nightfall flow'd485 
    And made a torrent of his downward road,
    A stout young cartman, whistling bold and gay,
    Well used to vanquish weather and the way.
    Priests, Ribbonmen, and Landlords,—what are these?
    At every turn a girl's bright face he sees;490 
    Rich—poor—the dead unmeaning phrases!—Love
    Is monarch, earthly kings how far above!
  105.  p.114 p.115 p.116 p.117

    6. Neal at the Lough.

  106. So fared it with the folk behind the hill
    From Doran's—who did all his Agent's will,
    And bade his son the same wise course pursue
    But Neal had thoughts his father never knew.
    Old Jack is cautious, as a beast that knows
    His little burrow watch'd by natural foes;
    But Neal is rash, and some there are who bring
    To Pigot's Bailiff stories with a sting,
    To seat themselves, perchance, in Doran's place,10 
    Or at the least enjoy the Viceroy's grace. p.118
    Private and patriotic griefs combined
    To trouble and perplex Neal's youthful mind.
    At loose imagination's utmost pitch
    He rates the powers and graces of the rich,15 
    Not life in Saturn more beyond his grasp;
    And pictures, till the thought is like a wasp,
    The narrow toils and hardships of the poor,
    Which no kind hand assists them to endure;
    For rich and poor, contrasted lots at best,20 
    Here plainly mean oppressors and opprest.
    With this, Old Ireland's glories, and her wrongs,
    Her famous dead, her landscapes, and her songs,
    Were fever'd fancy's beverage,—things well known
    Mingled with names and dreams confus'dly shown.25 
    Poetic visions hover'd; every page
    For Erin's glory, every fireside sage
    Whose shanahus13 a brooding audience drew,
    Were pleasant to his soul, and gospel-true.
    Since dumb her school-books upon Ireland's tale, p.11930 
    Other and looser teaching must prevail,
    And ardent boyhood drink its greedy fill
    Of every wild-sprung legendary rill
    And holy fount—not in their virgin shade
    So oft as lower channels, hot and clay'd.35 
    But better thus, than dry and dusty live,
    Devoid of all th' ancestral past can give,
    And every human touch from hill and shore
    Being blotted out, let memory claim no more
    In this her ancient realm, than where, exiled,40 
    The shepherd sadly tracks th' Australian wild.
  107. By fits, moreover, hide them as we may,
    It frets us all, this tedious every-day;
    A longing throb, a germ of bold romance,
    Is deep in every bosom; thirst for chance45 
    And change, and rich adventure. Sadly brave
    This sends us wandering on the dismal wave,
    Or earth's remotest mountains; this gives war
    Its frenzied life, and stirs more crime by far p.120
    Than moralist or lawyer ever guess'd;50 
    Soul-fermentation, anxious blind unrest,
    That, sick of all the barren hours afford,
    Will seize on dice, the tankard, or the sword;
    Or burst its limits in a headlong flood,
    A mingling overflow of fire and mud,55 
    To do a deed,—of glory, or of shame,
    As outward things take hue from vulgar fame.
    To this unquiet, lawless, dangerous mood,
    The present seems a prison-house; all good
    (Though mainly shadows from our fancies cast)60 
    Being in the boundless future, boundless past;
    Great things that have been, greater things to be;
    As if a man could, save in soul, be free.
  108. Neal fain would join that secret brotherhood,
    The rich men's terror; but his father shrewd,65 
    Who saw the 'Ninety-eight, and blamed alike
    The yeoman's pitch-cap, and the rebel's pike,
    Whose earliest memories were of houses burning, p.121
    Dead men from branches hung, and slowly turning,
    Jack oft admonish'd him; and on her knees70 
    Maureen implored her son from thoughts like these.
    Yet still he hanker'd for the fruit forbid:
    A thousand gliding scenes the curtain hid
    Of plot profound, and daring enterprise;
    And he himself, acknowledged brave and wise,75 
    Head of the mystic band was seen to rise.
    Great, too, this charm of mystery; to swear,
    Fling stealthy signs, enchant the common air.
    When whispering schoolboys to a corner creep,
    Bedim their shallow plans and call them deep,80 
    Whilst uninitiates vainly pry and dodge,
    Behold in bud the sacred cryptic lodge,—
    For evil or for good, a power confess'd
    In that old east, as in our modern west.
  109.  p.122
  110. To check the tyrant Rich; perchance to see85 
    His injured country “glorious, great, and free”;
    To help “the patriot cause” with heart and hand;
    So Neal aspired; and all was vague and grand.
  111. Not always prisoner by the dull bog-side
    Was he; not always heavy skies abide.90 
    Among those mountain-skirts a league away
    Lough Braccan spread, with many a silver bay
    And islet green; a dark cliff, tall and bold,
    Half-muffled in its cloak of ivy old,
    Bastion'd the southern brink, beside a glen95 
    Where birch and hazel hid the badger's den,
    And through the moist ferns and firm hollies play'd
    A rapid rivulet from light to shade.
    Above the glen, and wood, and cliff, was seen,
    Majestically simple and serene,100 
    Like some great soul above the various crowd,
    A purple mountain-top, at times in cloud
    Or mist, as in celestial veils of thought,
    Abstracted heavenward. Creeps a little boat, p.123
    Along the path of evening's golden smile,105 
    To where the shattered castle on its isle
    May seem a broad-wing'd ship; two massive tow'rs
    Lifted against the yellow light that pours
    On half the lough and sloping fields,—half-laid,
    Creek, bush, and crag, within the mountain shade.110 
    Dark bramble-leaves now show a curling fringe,
    And sallies 14 wear the first autumnal tinge;
    With speckled plumes high wave the crowded reeds,
    Amongst whose watery stems the mallard feeds.
    Full many a time, on deep Lough Braccan's wave,115 
    Has Neal inveigled from its liquid cave,
    With youthful comrades, in a fragile keel,
    The pike, the perch, the trout, the twisting eel;
    Alone, and musingly, he glides to-day,
    Has fish'd an hour in vain, and coil'd his line away.
  112. 120 
  113. The coble beach'd at lonely Innisree
    High at a rifted window, musing free p.124
    On ancient sky and water, freshly fair,
    A poet's or a painter's rich despair,
    And on the fame of olden times, which threw125 
    Across the firm world a transcendent hue,
    No more with petty toils and cares dismay'd,
    The young man watch'd that glowing landscape fade.
  114. South-westward, where th' autumnal sun went down,
    A lake-reflected headland heaved its crown130 
    Of darkling trees, and, knew you where to search,
    The hoary ruins of a little church,
    That mingled there with human skulls and bones
    The mossy downfall of its sculptured stones;
    While, like one poem scatheless and sublime135 
    Amid the vast forgetfulness of Time,
    Slender and tall a Round Tower's pointed crest
    Rose dimly black against the gorgeous west.
  115. Methinks I stand with Neal, and, wide-eyed, gaze
    Far through the wondrous world of former days. p.125140 
    In clear-obscure extends th' Ogygian Isle,
    Deep-forested, but lit with many a smile
    Of lake and river, and empurpling air,
    The mantle of its mountains; wolf and bear
    In rocky cave and wild-wood shadow skulk;145 
    Free rove the stag and heavy-headed elk;
    Broad plain and valley spread their brilliant green,
    With pathless fen and sombre moor between;
    The changeful waste of ocean circling all;
    Whose tides in frith and channel flow and fall150 
    To dance the wild man's curragh,—till, some day, 15
    Poops of strange wing are gliding up his bay;
    An era, whilst he stares with dread and wonder,
    Closes its portals, without crash of thunder;
    Portals to us (yet sun and moon were bright)155 
    That seem the barriers of a realm of night.
    At history's dawn, the sons of the great east,
    Gigantic, spectral, doubtful, move in mist,
    Old Afric, Scythic, or Phenician fames, p.126
    Nemidians and Fomorians, dusky names,160 
    Firbolgs, Danaäns, and Milesians proud,—
    Fair shadowy queens, like floating forms of cloud,
    With, rugged Kings, Druids white-raimented,
    A thin gold crescent on each awful head,
    Sage Brehons, Bards, and Minstrels; and a roar165 
    Of battles, like a sea on distant shore,
    Sounds from the mighty hollow of the Past.
  116. Let the huge stones be desolate; the last
    Man's blood smoke up to Crom. 16 That solemn night
    Of Beltane, when King Layorie's hand must light170 
    The mystic blaze on Tara first of all,
    Behold on distant hill, at twilight-fall,
    A fire,—for which the penalty is death.
    Whilst frowning Druids pour prophetic breath,
    Spears bring the malefactor; on whose face175 
    Of heavenly calm, doth every prince in place
    Mute-wondering stare, until with awe-struck sense p.127
    Horc, son of Dego, bows in reverence
    Before SAINT PATRICK. Slave, he herded swine
    In Dalaradia once; the will divine,180 
    By messengers at midnight when he dream'd,
    Bade him return to Ireland, and it seem'd,
    At Tours within Saint Martin's cloister-wall,
    He heard the voices of the Irish call,—
    “We pray thee come to us!” O,loving, mild,185 
    And docile people!—as to parent, child,
    To Patrick, Bridget, fearless Columbkill,
    Knelt all the land. “Their bones one grave do fill.”
    A luckless land at length; a grave much wrong'd.
    Meantime, for learning and religion throng'd190 
    All Europe to the furthest western isle,
    With many a studious and monastic pile
    Thick-sown, and many a blessed man she sent
    To bring the souls of people nourishment
    In kingdoms far away. But ships came forth p.128195 
    For plunder, from the pagan pirate North,
    Who tore this isle; and these were not the worst.
    Dermot MacMurrough, be thy name accurst!
    And, wert thou Pope (as Pope thou wast indeed),
    Thine, Nicholas Breakspeare! who to Norman greed200 
    Sold what to neither could belong of right.
    Strongbow, De Courcy, many a mail-clad knight,
    Drive in the wedge of steel with stalwart blows;
    Vainly the saffron-shirted kerns oppose
    With axe and sling, their feet and bosoms bare,205 
    No helmet but their matted glibbs of hair; 17
    Vain the swift javelin, vain the furious rush
    On bareback'd horses from deep woods, to crush
    The Sassenach; slow lives of plotting pain,
    Outbursts of fever'd frenzy, all are vain.210 
    King Brian he is dead, who smote the Dane.
  117. Alas, no bond the troubled chieftains know
    To weld their strength against the common foe; p.129
    Each power in turn promoted and suppress'd,
    Through Desmond, Thomond, Brefney, and the West.215 
    Edwards and Henrys waste the land by turns,
    The bloated king her ancient worship spurns,
    Entrench'd within the fortress of her frill
    His sour-faced daughter works her shrewish will,
    Cajoles or strikes, unpitying, to destroy220 
    Fraternal patriotism, her worst annoy.
    Ultonia last its undulating fields
    And dark-blue mountains to th' invader yields;
    From far Tyrconnell, like a northern gale,
    O'Donnell sweeps upon the English Pale;225 
    O'Neill defends the passes of Tyrone;—
    Last of the princes, these are also gone.
  118. Let pedant James now parh the plunder'd lands,
    And chaffer out his bag of Bloody Hands;
    Let slippery Charles depute his squire, Black Tom;230 
    The blacker “Curse of Cromwell” spread its gloom;
    From Orange William sneaking Shemus fly, p.130
    And brave men for a coward vainly die;
    Where slaughter ends let treachery begin;
    Ireland must lose, no matter who may win;235 
    Derided in her torture and her tears,
    In sullen slavery dragging hopeless years;
    Of social ties mere cruel scourges made;
    A ban upon her learning and her trade;
    Possessions, rights, religion, language, torn240 
    And crush'd by Law—a word to hate and scorn
    For those taught English in oppression's school,
    And reading good words by the witches' rule;
    A name for powerful wrong, with no appeal;
    Since law at every moment made them feel245 
    To live an Irishman on Irish ground
    The sole unpardonable crime was found.
  119. Island of bitter memories, thickly sown
    From winding Boyne to Limerick's treaty-stone,
    Bare Connaught Hills to Dublin Castle wall,250 
    Green Wexford to the glens of Donegal, p.131
    Through sad six hundred years of hostile sway,
    From Strongbow fierce to cunning Castlereagh!
    These will not melt and vanish in a day.
    These can yet sting the patriot thoughts which turn255 
    To Erin's past, and bid them weep and burn.
  120. The dusk has gather'd, vapour chill unfurls
    Down all the mountain-height, and creeps and curls
    Along the glens and edges of the lake,
    Like slumber on a mind still half-awake;260 
    While round the small and broken winding-stair
    In the wall's thickness, Neal descends with care,
    And stooping through the pointed arch below
    Is strongly seized by some expectant foe.
    He struggles hard, his elbows pinion'd tight,265 
    Bursts up, and writhes, and strains with all his might;
    Till now the hat from his assailant flies,
    And shows Tim Nulty's merry-twinkling eyes,
    A Ribbonman of note, who oft has fill'd p.132
    The stripling's ear with flattery not unskill'd.270 
    “Yourself, man!—searchin' for the pot o' gold?”
    “By japers, you're no aisy bird to hold!”
    “'Tis you, Nail, not a spy,—I'm glad to see it.”
    “Luck's in our meeting: now or never be it!”
    Tall, in the shadow of the ruin, stood275 
    A silent Stranger, draped in cloak and hood.
    “Sir, I have heard of you!”—he took Neal's hand;
    “We count on you to join our patriot band.”
    “I'll join, sir!”—“On the minute?”—“Yes!”—“Well said!”—
    “Doran, there's powerful interest at our head,”280 
    “As by degrees you'll know,—but that must wait.”
    “I'm from the Grand Lodge, County Delegate.”
    “Hats off! grip tight the Gospels!—now attend,”
    “And word for word say with me, to the end:”
  121. “I swear by the Most Holy Trinity”285 
    “A true and faithful Ribbonman to be;” p.133
    “To do my best to strike off England's chain;”
    “The poor against the rich man to sustain;”
    “Ever to help and never to betray”
    “My brethren; my superiors to obey”290 
    “At all times, without question or delay,”
    “Pity or mercy. If I break this oath,”
    “Destruction seize my soul and body both!”
    “Amen, by kiss! Amen, by cross! Amen!”
  122. “Here is your card. To-morrow night at ten.”295 
    “The place Shawn Roe's. King Malachi the pass.”
    “Now come,” the other says, “one christnin' glass.”
    “Brother, your noble health!—You've done what's right.”
    “There's more to tell you, Neal, to-morrow night.”
    “We'll then admit, in form and order due;”300 
    “And proud the boys will be, at sight of you.”
    Both boats lay dark where ivy-trailers hid
    A little cavern, whence the coble slid
    Into the dim expansive lough, and broke p.134
    Its hush'd and starry dream with rippling stroke,305 
    No other sound between the earth and sky
    Save from the misty shore, the plover's cry.
  123. But shortening days that flit on silent wing
    Near and more near the fate of Tullagh bring.
    Has Pigot shown relentment? “Out they go!”310 
    Says Pigot, and will keep his tryst they know.
    When Bloomfield sought to move his uncle's mind,
    'Twas vainly: “Pigot's views are right, you'll find.”
    “Pigot has vast experience—thirty years.”
    No wise man with his agent interferes315 
    At such a crisis; strengthen well his hands,
    Good sense advises, honour too demands.
    Your trusty general, with the foe in face,
    Would you, on little cause or none, disgrace?
    “This is no time—” “But foe,” said Laurence, “why?”320 
    “Such is the world,” Sir Ulick made reply,
    “At least in Ireland here: I wish I knew”
    “Much less about it: how I envy you!”
  124.  p.135 p.136 p.137

    7. Tenants at Will.

  125. The steady world pursued its common way
    Yet some good luck, before that evil day,
    Might intercept the hand outstretch'd to tear
    Those cottage roofs, and leave their hearthstones bare.
    If coming ills be distant half a mile,
    Poor Paddy can forget, and gaily smile,
    From carelessness, or fatalism, or sense
    Profound of overruling Providence.
  126. But Pigot's ruddy cheek and sharp black eye10 
    Display no softer hint, as months go by; p.138
    And now the trembling tenants whisper sad,—
    “O Queen of Heaven! and would he be so bad?”
    “And will they send us begging, young and old,”
    “And seize the fields, and make the firesides cold,”15 
    “Where, God's our witness, poor enough we live,”
    “But still content with what the Lord may give,”
    “Our hearts with love and veneration tied”
    “To where our fathers' fathers lived and died?”
    Or else more fiercely,—“'Tis our native land!”20 
    “But cruel tyrants have us at command,”
    “To let us grow, if best it serves their needs,”
    “Or tear and cast us forth like poison-weeds.”
    “The law's their implement: who make the law?”
    “The rich men for the rich, and leave no flaw.”25 
    “And what's the poor man's part? to drudge and sweat”
    “For food and shelter. Does the poor man get”
    “Bare food and shelter?—praties, cabin, rags.”
    “Now fling him out to famish—or he drags”
    “His weary body to that gaol and grave” p.13930 
    “The Poorhouse;—he must live and die a slave,”
    “Toil; starve, and suffer, creep, and crouch, and crawl,”
    “Be cursed and trampled, and submit to all,”
    “Without one murmur, one rebellious trace”
    “Among the marks of misery on his face!”
  127. 35 
  128. Each tongue around old Oona feared to tell
    The great misfortune, worse than yet befell
    In all her length of journey. When they tried
    To move her—“Would they take her life?” she cried;
    At which it rested, hap what happen might.40 
    And scarcely one, in truth, prepared for flight;
    Contempt of prudence, anger, and despair,
    And vis inertiae, kept them as they were;
    “God and the world will see it,” so they said,
    “Let all the wrong be on the doer's head!”
  129. 45 
  130. In early morning twilight, raw and chill,
    Damp vapours brooding on the barren hill,
    Through miles of mire in steady grave array p.140
    Threescore well-arm'd police pursue their way;
    Each tall and bearded man a rifle swings,50 
    And under each greatcoat a bayonet clings;
    The Sheriff on his sturdy cob astride
    Talks with the Chief, who marches by their side,
    And, creeping on behind them, Paudeen Dhu
    Pretends his needful duty much to rue.55 
    Six big-boned labourers, clad in common frieze,
    Walk in the midst, the Sheriff's staunch allies;
    Six crow-bar-men, from distant county brought,—
    Orange, and glorying in their work, 'tis thought,
    But wrongly,—churls of Catholics are they,60 
    And merely hired at half-a-crown a day.
  131. The Hamlet clustering on its hill is seen,
    A score of petty homesteads, dark and mean;
    Poor always, not despairing until now;
    Long used, as well as poverty knows how,65 
    With life's oppressive trifles to contend.
    This day will bring its history to an end. p.141
    Moveless and grim against the cottage walls
    Lean a few silent men: but some one calls
    Far off; and then a child “without a stitch”70 
    Runs out of doors, flies back with piercing screech,
    And soon from house to house is heard the cry
    Of female sorrow, swelling loud and high,
    Which makes the men blaspheme between their teeth.
    Meanwhile, o'er fence and watery field beneath,75 
    The little army moves through drizzling rain;
    A “Crowbar” leads the Sheriff's nag; the lane
    Is enter'd, and their plashing tramp draws near;
    One instant, outcry holds its breath to hear;
    “Halt!”—at the doors they form in double line,80 
    And ranks of polish'd rifles wetly shine.
  132. The Sheriff's painful duty must be done;
    He begs for quiet—and the work's begun.
    The strong stand ready; now appear the rest,
    Girl, matron, grandsire, baby on the breast,85 
    And Rosy's thin face on a pallet borne; p.142
    A motley concourse, feeble and forlorn.
    One old man, tears upon his wrinkled cheek,
    Stands trembling on a threshold, tries to speak,
    But, in defect of any word for this,90 
    Mutely upon the doorpost prints a kiss,
    Then passes out for ever. Through the crowd
    The children run bewilder' d, wailing loud;
    Where needed most, the men combine their aid;
    And, last of all, is Oona forth convey'd,95 
    Reclined in her accustom'd strawen chair,
    Her aged eyelids closed, her thick white hair
    Escaping from her cap; she feels the chill,
    Looks round and murmurs, then again is still.
  133. Now bring the remnants of each household fire;100 
    On the wet ground the hissing coals expire;
    And Paudeen Dhu, with meekly dismal face,
    Receives the full possession of the place.
  134. Whereon the Sheriff, “We have legal hold.” p.143
    “Return to shelter with the sick and old.”105 
    “Time shall be given; and there are carts below”
    “If any to the workhouse choose to go.”
    “A young man makes him answer, grave and clear,”
    “We're thankful to you! but there's no one here”
    “Going back into them houses: do your part.”110 
    “Nor we won't trouble Pigot's horse and cart.”
    At which name, rushing into th' open space,
    A woman flings her hood from off her face,
    Falls on her knees upon the miry ground,
    Lifts hands and eyes, and voice of thrilling sound,—115 
    “Vengeance of God Almighty fall on you,”
    “James Pigot!—may the poor man's curse pursue,”
    “The widow's and the orphan's curse, I pray,”
    “Hang heavy round you at your dying day!”
    Breathless and fix'd one moment stands the crowd120 
    To hear this malediction fierce and loud.
  135. Meanwhile (our neighbour Neal is busy there)
    On steady poles be lifted Oona's chair, p.144
    Well-heap'd with borrow'd mantles; gently bear
    The sick girl in her litter, bed and all;125 
    Whilst others hug the children weak and small
    In careful arms, or hoist them pick-a-back;
    And, 'midst the unrelenting clink and thwack
    Of iron bar on stone, let creep away
    The sad procession from that hill-side gray,130 
    Through the slow-falling rain. In three hours more
    You find, where Ballytullagh stood before,
    Mere shatter'd walls, and doors with useless latch,
    And firesides buried under fallen thatch.
  136. The Doran household, shadow'd with dismay,135 
    Can still perform a pious part to-day;
    Jack Doran's mother, now deceased a year,
    Was Oona's cousin; Oona's welcomed here;
    Nor will her grandson in his duty fail,
    Though now across the sea compell'd to sail. p.145140 
    “Man, woman, child,—they're gone, dear!” Mary said,
    “And here we sit and mourn them like the dead.”
    “It falls like death, as cowld upon the heart,”
    “For kin and kindly neighbours thus to part.”
    “There won't be one face left we used to know,”145 
    “Not one companion out of long-ago.”
    “The good oul' people!—why should this befall?”
    “Och, murneen18 boys and girls, where are ye all?”
    “Through the wide world they're scatter'd, fareer gair!” 19
    “Sarch for them, barrin' Ireland, everywhere.”150 
    “Sure Ireland once was blest,—and was she curst”
    “Since then? or what has made her last and worst?”
    “The Heretics that robb'd the Church, some say:”
    “But glory be to God, amin, this day!”—
    For gentle Maureen seldom said so much;155 
    And this was theme too perilous to touch.
  137.  p.146
  138. So was the little Hamlet's crowd at last
    Whirl'd off like leaves before misfortune's blast.
    Some from a seaport, and their lot the best,
    On Neptune's Highway followed, east or west,160 
    The myriads of their kindred gone before,—
    If Irish still, yet Ireland's nevermore.
    Some wander'd through the country; some went down,
    Like Rose, to back-lane lodgings in the Town;
    And some to those high-built repulsive walls165 
    Where Doctor Larmour paid his daily calls.
    Dispensary and workhouse own'd his care,
    An Antrim Presbyterian, short and spare,
    Quick, busy, cool; with lancet or with pill
    Acknowledged first in Aesculapian skill.170 
    Catholicism he openly despised,
    But ailing Papists cleverly advised,
    And men of every creed his talent prized.
    Him Bloomfield knew. For Ballytullagh's fall
    The Doctor's pity, Bloomfield found, was small. p.147175 
    “They lived in filth, perpetual sickness bred,”
    “Lazy of hand, and obstinate of head;”
    “Gave rent too much for all they really made,”
    “Being well-nigh savage in the farming trade,”
    “Too small for what they wasted and o'erran.”180 
    “At risk of bloodshed let another plan”
    “Improvement, lawful owner though he be,—”
    “Mere owner! what the devil right has he?”
    “Poorer, of course, they could not fail to grow;”
    “But humble, willing to be taught? O no!”185 
    “See vice and crime and folly now array'd”
    “Conspirators, in ragged masquerade;”
    Erin-go-bragh!—yet, scoundrels ten times worse,”
    “And more deserving the true patriot's curse”
    “Than these poor scurvy rogues, are some who claim”190 
    “With public voice the patriot's lofty name;”
    “That mimber, soaring on the rabble's yell;”
    “This journalist, his rotten page to sell;”
    “Or briefless barrister, whose frantic word,”
    “A cry for victuals, must and will be heard.”
  139.  p.148195 
  140. “Ireland, forsooth, a nation once again!”
    “If Ireland was a nation, tell me when?”
    “For since the civil modern world began”
    “What's Irish History? Walks the child a man?”
    “Or strays he still perverse and immature,”200 
    “Weak, slothful, rash, irresolute, unsure;”
    “Right bonds rejecting, hugging rusty chains,”
    “Nor one clear view, nor one bold step attains?”
    “What Ireland might have been, if wisely school'd,”
    “I know not: far too briefly Cromwell ruled.”205 
    “We see the melting of a barbarous race,”
    “Sad sight, I grant, sir, from their ancient place;”
    “But always, everywhere, it has been so;”
    “Red-Indians, Bushmen, Irish, they must go!”
  141. The Doctor harshly spoke; yet did his best210 
    To cure the sick, and comfort the distress'd;
    And tended Rosy kindly,—to whose aid
    A rill of Bloomfield's bounty he convey'd. p.149
    Those, too, with less to spare, and those with nought,
    To this poor girl their friendly succour brought.215 
    Here in a neighbouring house, but whence no noise
    Can reach her, some well-wishing girls and boys
    Have clubb'd their moneys, raffling for a shawl;
    Of Rose's other shreds the pawn has all.
    Three simple pence entitle to a throw;220 
    Down on a slate the names and numbers go;
    The wooden cubes mark'd with a red-hot wire
    (No better dice or dice-box they require)
    In old tin porringer flung rattling fast,
    A warmer interest watches every cast;225 
    “Follie' your han'!” “You're lucky, throw for me!”
    “More power!” “Tim Ryan has it—fifty-three!”
    Then silver, copper, mix'd, a bulky pound
    Makes haste to Rosy, feebly turning round
    With grateful smile; and back the shawl comes too,230 
    The winner swearing 'twas for her he threw.
  142.  p.150
  143. Meanwhile, no raffle ends without a dance:
    My boy, choose out a partner, and advance
    To ask the fiddler for her favourite tune,
    Slipping into his hand the penny boon;235 
    <title type="tune" TEIform="title">Polthoge</title>, or <title type="tune" TEIform="title">Washerwoman</title>, let him play,
    <title type="tune" TEIform="title">Heart of my Kitty</title>, or <title type="tune" TEIform="title">The Fields in May</title>;
    She makes a pretty quibbling with her toes,
    But he his agile power untiring shows
    In many a double-shuffle, stamp and fling;240 
    Nor slack in praises are the crowded ring,—
    “Success to both!—my boul' you wor'!—ay that!
    “Don't spare him, Peggy dear!—Hurroo for Pat!”
    They meet, change sides, the rapid steps renew,
    A second wind inspires the fiddler too,245 
    Till <title type="tune" TEIform="title">Colleen Dhas</title>, well-flush'd in cheek, but grave
    As courtly dames in minuets behave,
    Signals; when hand in hand the two give o'er,
    Bow to the music, and resign the floor;
    Where other pairs achieve with equal zeal250 
    The busy jig, or winding four-hand reel. p.151
    The dance-house, all the better for being bare,
    Its broken roof admitting fresher air,
    This poor and merry company befits;
    With jest and mimicry and clash of wits255 
    Con “Pastime” keeps them, laughing long and loud;
    Sweethearts draw close together in the crowd;
    Gay groups of damsels, gathered near the door
    Banter to death each awkward bachelor,
    And dart some flying jokes at Denis Coyle,260 
    Whose travell'd wit such weapons well can foil,
    For, do their utmost, Denis will not dance,
    And slips away upon the earliest chance.
  144. But all is not amusement. Near to these
    Stands one at watch; and ever when he sees265 
    A man expected, pushing through the line,
    By look or touch conveys a rapid sign.
    As Denis goes, the grip salutes his hand
    Which greets a Brother of the Midnight Band;
    And soon the whisper none may safely slight p.152270 
    Commands his presence on to-morrow night
    With hour and place; for Neal and Denis both
    Have sworn the Ribbonman's unlawful oath.
  145. The dark and lonely street young Denis treads,
    With mind confused, and fill'd with shapeless dreads;275 
    Where Doctor Larmour's lamp shoots forth a ray,
    He shuns the light, and slinks across the way.
  146.  p.153 p.154 p.155

    8. A Ribbon Lodge.

  147. At Lisnamoy, my friendly reader, deign
    To pick your steps along a narrow lane,
    And stop at Matthew Gorman's dirty door.
    A sow is lodger upon Mat's ground-floor,
    And grunts a welcome; follow me with care,
    I'll guide you up the dark, the shaky stair;
    And here is Matthew's schoolroom,—rather say
    It was, for now its glory's past away,
    Though still a night-school struggles to exist10 
    For boys of larger growth, a bearded list.
    Not merely copybooks are written there, p.156
    Not much for reading do the students care,
    Except the <title TEIform="title">Firebrand</title>, redd aloud by Mat,
    A lazy, pompous man, unclean, and fat;15 
    And oft goes round, when learning proves too dry,
    A jar that never met the gauger's eye.
    Big is the hearth, the fire is mostly small,
    Rough desks and benches range along the wall,
    The panes are patch'd with inky leaf and clout;20 
    A useful though unsavoury pile without
    May help again, as it has help'd before,
    Retreat more quick and private than by door,
    'Mong filthy narrow yards and tumbling walls.
  148. To Matthew's house to-night, as twilight falls,25 
    With passwords, from the lane, and grip of hand,
    By ones and twos arrive a secret band,—
    “Where are you from?” “South-aist.” “The night is dark.”
    “A star will shortly rise.” “You know the mark?”
    “Milesius must be ready.” “What's your sign?” p.15730 
    Lamh dearg an oughter!” “Tubbermore is mine:” 20
    “Pass, brother.” Past the sow, and up the stair,
    They grope through darkness into ruddy glare,
    The two old grimy windows, looking back,
    Being curtain'd for the nonce with plies of sack.35 
    The Lodge is filling fast; in various groups
    Lounge Captain Starlight's famed and dreadful troops;
    Two score in count at last, the most of whom
    Are young and brainless, fill the stifling room.
  149. Beside the door, a knot of “labourin'-boys”,40 
    The farmer these, and those the squire employs,
    Yawn wide and mope, till whiskey in their brain
    Kindle its foolish fire, with flashes vain
    Wrapt in dull smoke, to send them blundering back
    O'er field and fence upon their homeward track.45 
    From outhouse loft, at need, or barnfloor bed,
    The clumsy body and the stupid head p.158
    Escape, with matchbox, or with stick in fist,
    To burn or batter as their leaders list,
    With knife to mam the cows, or loaded gun50 
    To rake a peaceful window, and to run.
  150. A broken tradesman's aspect of disgrace,
    Torn coat, big eyes, and pale unwashen face,
    Shrink in a corner. Bold sits Bill McCann,
    The keen, small, withered, disputatious man,55 
    With spectacles on nose, and quid in jaw,
    Ready to argue histh'ry, po'thry, law,
    Religion, science, or the latest news.
    Bill earns his frugal crust by making shoes;
    Debate his recreation,—most of all60 
    With “Lordy” Mullan glad to try a fall. 21
    But now to <title type="periodical" TEIform="title">Dublin Firebrand</title> Bill gives heed,
    As Mat in solemn voice goes on to read:
    “Who plotted for a famine? who was gay”
    “To see the Celtic millions melt away,” p.15965 
    “Foodless and fever'd, while their native soil”
    “Outpour'd the wealthy produce of their toil?”
    “Answer, Lord Russell, answer!—King of Heav'n!”
    “Must Ireland's flocks and herds be always driv'n”
    “To glut the maw of England? must our corn”70 
    “To her huge bursting granaries be borne?”
    “And each hard penny saved from Paddy's rent”
    “On Indian corn and English ships be spent?”
    “While year by year the London Rulers count”
    “So many less in Ireland's gross amount”75 
    “Of human beings,—on the other score,”
    “So many thousand sheep and oxen more.”
    “England has no religion, has no heart;”
    “By force and fraud she plays a tyrant part;”
    “Fat in the purse, and torpid in the brain,”80 
    “Her prayer is pudding, and her God is gain;”
    “By all mistrusted, and abhorr'd by all;”
    “In power unblest—unpitied be her fall!”
    Some harken'd well; but others, growling round,
    The voice of Mat in rising murmurs drown'd.
  151.  p.16085 
  152. “It's grand, by japers!”—“But the night gets late.”
    “Is it for Coyle and Doran we must wait?”
    “I dunno', Barney; be du hust! see yonder—”
    “What can thim two be talkin' of, I wonder.”
    Captain and Delegate, in muttering speech,90 
    With cool but searching glances, each at each,
    Stand by the hearth. Big, elderly, and spare,
    With serious begging-letter-writer's air,
    Some thin locks train'd across his yellow skull,
    His features large, yet all the lines are dull,95 
    Small watery eyes, but not a watery nose,
    Huge fungoid ears, harsh skin befitting those,
    O'er many countries has the “Delegate”,
    Through by-paths foul, by unheroic fate
    Been hounded; greedy, discontented, coarse,100 
    Mean, bragging, cringing, full of bad resource;
    A man that never could have turn'd to good,
    (But might have been to harmlessness subdued)
    And to a base perfection rankly grew,
    A living lie, a falsehood through and through. p.161105 
    Alone by natural cowardice restrain'd,
    With blood no less his trembling hands are stain'd,
    By murderer, hangman, he in turn has gain'd.
    None trusts him less than he with whom he speaks,
    That light-built, long-neck'd man with “brocket” cheeks.110 
    Spoilt priest, attorney's extra clerk, and then
    Sub-tax-collector, handy with his pen,
    But self-conceited, and too sharp of tongue,
    Chance after chance Tim Nulty lost, while young,
    And now upon a farm (too dear at best),115 
    His brother's transfer when he sail'd out West,
    Tim poorly keeps a spouse and children five,
    And also keeps perpetual war alive
    With all above him, caring not the least
    For landlord, agent, lawyer, parson, priest;120 
    Yet talk with Tim, as any stranger might,
    You'd find him pleasant, lively, shrewd, polite,
    With liberal notions, and could scarcely guess
    The Ribbon Parish-Master,—Tim's no less.
  153.  p.162
  154. Who next among the various crowd are seen?125 
    That brisk old boy, distiller of potheen,
    A Connaught-man, mellifluous of tongue,
    Most plausible of cheating knaves unhung,
    Supple, inquisitive, and tough as wire.
    Son Jack, a heavy youth in coarse attire,130 
    Begotten by the evil in his sire,
    Sits next his father, resolute but tame;
    His mode of life adventurous in its frame,
    He's still no better than a lumpish clod,
    (As doth a mule through alpine passes plod)135 
    Well train'd on moonless nights to watch the still,
    When light peat-smoke upon the heathery hill
    Creeps among rocks and brambles from its cave,
    And o'er the dark world, silent as a grave,
    The sentry strains his ear for warning shout140 
    Or whistle shrill from valley-guarding scout,
    Till now the moment long-delay'd bids rush
    Their fiery liquor forth in fragrant gush,
    Full quickly tasted. All to-night shall taste p.163
    The recent venture. Roger cries, “Make haste!”145 
    A perilous ruffian, black-brow'd, strongly built,
    And through whose face the demon of his guilt
    With bulldog's winking eyes of sulky flame
    Scowls at the world, and knows not fear or shame.
    His voice, like all the man, is coarse and rough,—150 
    “Why bluranages, Mattha'! where's the stuff?”—
    “A lad or two that jined us t'other day,”
    “We're waitin' for.”—“Nail Doran?”—“So they say,”—
    “And Dinis Coyle.”—“To blazes wid the pair!”
    —“Doran,”—says one, “consated cub, I'd swear.”155 
    —“Larnin!” say others, “What is he to Dan?”
    “And sure he's grandson to a beggarman.”
    “See Phil—where are you, Phil?—descinded straight,”
    “Or crooked, from King Flanthach; what consate”
    “Has Phil at any time? he'll stand a trate” p.164160 
    “All roun' if he has money,—won't you, Phil?”
    —“We'll tache them better manners, so we will.”
    “Dan, whisper, are you bringin' down the jar?”
    “The divil saze them both!”—“Whisht! here they are.”
  155. Sharp-toned his voice, decision on his brow,165 
    With sudden gesture stepping forward now,
    Their Captain (“Order! silence!”) takes the chair,
    And keeps his hat, while other heads are bare.
    “All doors well-tiled and truly?—I declare”
    “The Lodge is open. Murty, call the roll.”170 
    “I'll punish all defaulters, by my soul!”
    “And now, reports: Young Pat Devanny saw”
    “Our friend the Scotchman, Alexander Shaw,”
    “Buying a gun in Lisnamoy last week.”
    “James Houlahan, the Bear, intends to seek”175 
    “For part of Tullagh; James must get a hint;”
    “Well write him on a coffin, in large print.”
    “Four boys will execute the sentence pass'd” p.165
    “On Jemmy Burke, convicted at our last”
    “Of sending in proposals for a farm”180 
    “At Meenabo; they'll do him little harm;”
    “Dry-beating only, this time. Next fair-day”
    “Help from beyond is coming down our way.”
    “Burke, with his two brown colts will stand the fair,”
    “You, Quigly, you, O'Toole, must both be there,”185 
    “To keep all day a cat's eye on your man,”
    “And put some whiskey in him if you can.”
    “You, Doran, that he won't suspect, must draw,”
    “With two strange lads (they're men you never saw)”
    “Alongside Jemmy, take him by the hand,”190 
    “Call out his name, you know, and make him stand,”
    “Until the boys are sure of Mister Burke;”
    “Then go your ways for once; they'll do the work.”
    Some brethren laugh'd, but all turn'd round to stare
    On Doran's face with keen and hideous glare.195 
    “This was submitted and approved. All's right.”
    “You'll get your passwords upon Tuesday night;” p.166
    “Next day at three o'clock attend the scout.”
    Say some, “He hardly likes the job, I doubt.”
    “Why, blood an' ouns, Nail Doran, you're afear'd!”—200 
    “Are you a stagg?”—and so they scowl'd and jeer'd.
    “No stagg!” says fiery Denis; “on my troth”
    “The word, Jack Farry, ill becomes your mouth.”
    “Who cares for you?” Jack Farry quick replies.
    “Be done, you blasted fool!” the Captain cries,205 
    “Attention! silence all!—I now declare”
    “The Lodge is closed. Be lively Mat, and share,”
    “The little drop of whiskey; glorious news
    “Next night, plase God,—and then we'll have a booze.”
    “What news,”—“Oul' Pigot's wages will be paid,”—210 
    “Ay, troth! well arn'd, and long enough delay'd.”
    —“When is it?” some one whispers. “Be du hust!” 22 p.167
    “The Grand Heads must approve it, so they must.”
    —“And what about young Larry?”—“Soon we'll hear.”
    “He's well-watched in the manetime, niver fear.”
  156. 215 
  157. The Captain show'd impatience, but the rest
    Would fain have lingered o'er the fiery zest.
    “Come, Dan, at all evints, a toast, a toast!”
    Dan Mullan being as orator their boast;
    A little man with shoulders set awry,220 
    Huge head, flat nose, a grey and furious eye;
    Lame in one leg, he limps upon a stick,
    Yet few with all their limbs can move so quick;
    Daniel's chief joy is hearing Daniel speak;
    Strong words are his, though utter'd in a squeak;225 
    And first he flings a fiery glance around,
    Like chief to warriors on the battle-ground.
    “Spake up, Dan!”—“Mount him on a chair!”—“Whirroo!”
    “Audience for Danel!” “Drink, ye pathriot crew,” p.168
    “Our frinds in sweet Ameriky an' France!”230 
    “To liberate us may they quick advance,”
    “An' with five hundre' thousan' Paddies bould,”
    “The Sunburst on their great green flag unrowl'd,”
    “Sweep every Englishman from say to say”
    “Into perdition!—O trice glorious day!—”235 
    “Immortal cause of Ayrin!—broadsoord, pike,”
    “An' faugh-a-ballagh,23 boys! we'll nobly strike”
    “For libertee, for—” So the shrill-voiced Dan,
    With furious gestures like a frantic man;
    When lo, the crazy chair whereon he stood240 
    (Which also felt oppress'd, although but wood)
    Resolving suddenly to bear no more,
    Demosthenes lay sprawling on the floor.
    His friends approved the soaring words employ'd,
    The speaker's downfall they still more enjoy'd,245 
    With shouts of laughter each prolong'd the fun;
    But shatter'd lay their glass, their only one. p.169
    A broken teacup soon supplied the want;
    Then oozed the mob away, as drink was scant.
    The Delegate, the Captain, and three more,250 
    Remain'd behind: they lock'd and barr'd the door:
    Wheels within wheels. The others into night,
    Some to the merry wakehouse took their flight,
    The crowded wake of Rose Muldoon, poor child,
    Whose face upon the pillow, pale and mild,255 
    On all her troubles now serenely smiled.
  158. Meantime the secret Five their business do,
    And quickly, for the Captain's words are few.
    He pulls a scrap of paper from his breast,
    And beckons round him, with a nod, the rest,—260 
    “Here is our answer, boys,”—(below his breath)
    Verdict approved on Pigot: sentence Death:
    “Ourselves to fix a proper time and way.”
    “Our spies, you know, are watchin' every day,”
    “Moreover, trusty help is close at hand;”265 
    The strangers are in town: you understand.” p.170
    “They only have a certain while to stop;”
    “First chance that comes, we'll take it at the hop.”
    “Meet the Fair-day, my boys, in any case;”
    “Pass number twenty—usual hour and place.”
  159. 270 
  160. The night before, when Rose was taken bad,
    “The crathur!” off her father ran like mad
    For Father Austin. “Blessed Saints!” they say,
    “He'll hardly overtake her!—that he may!”—
    “Och Wirrastrua!”—and this awe increased 24275 
    Moment by moment, till the grave young priest
    Arriving quickly, set their minds at rest.
    Alone with him, the dying girl confess'd
    Her slender sins; then touch'd with sacred oil,
    The timid soul from terror to assoyle,280 
    In Bridget's arms her weary head reposed,
    And Bridget's hands ere long her eyelids closed.
    All knew, all cross'd themselves with pious care,
    And help'd the parting spirit with a prayer. p.171
    The candles soon were lighted for the wake;285 
    The father saw the tedious morning break,
    With Bridget, and old women two or three,
    Who propp'd their eyelids with perpetual tea.
  161. But this night is the great night; throng enough
    In two small rooms, with pipes and plates of snuff,290 
    Laughter and conversation without end.
    Young Neal, and Denis Coyle his sturdy friend,
    Have separate chairs, in token of respect.
    Dan Mullan warms upon the sad effect
    Of landlords' and their agents' cruel sway295 
    In Rosy's early death,—“Look round, I say!”
    “A white and purty corpse she's lying there,—”
    “By these five crosses solemnly I swear” 25
    “The girl was murther'd!” Reason as you will,
    You could not have escap'd the sudden thrill300 
    Which all who heard, and Neal not slightliest felt.
    Yet cautiously his cooler judgment dealt, p.172
    While hasty rhetoric in confused debate,
    Heap'd on its bulky rubbish, of no weight.
    Their own affairs, he saw, they managed ill;305 
    Their chief proficiency, to lie with skill,
    Ev'n to each other. For this very wake,
    To which he gave his mite for Rosy's sake,
    Her lazy father, Doran knew full well,
    What came to hand would never fairly tell.310 
    “Bloomfield? who'd ax the tyrant's help!”—“My plan”
    “Would be to take it aff them where we can.”
    “Whisper!—he ax'd, and got it too.”—“How much?”—
    “What signifies it? aisy thing for such,”
    “Danderin' about the worl' wid pockets full”315 
    “O' what they niver arn'd, to sometimes pull”
    “Their han' out.”—“True enough; but don't ye think”
    “Muldoon is boun' to show a drop o' drink?”
    —“Av coorse he is, and that we'll make him do,” p.173
    “But later in the evenin'—thigemthu?”— 26315 
    Though Neal and Denis had thought well to come,
    They never tried to make themselves at home
    With this Muldoon, an idle craving sot,
    Complaining always of his self-made lot.
    View'd from above, the People, widely spread,315 
    Appear a vast and level plain, but tread
    The lower country, hill and vale are found,
    Brooks, thickets, fences, intersect the ground;
    The Many, if with careful eyes you seek,
    Among themselves show also class and clique;315 
    Nor fail'd the friends of Bridget to oppose,
    At first, her playing nurse's part by Rose.
  162. “I thought so,” said the Doctor. “Hum!—I see—”
    “You gave it, Mr. Bloomfield, on the plea”
    “Of burial charges; but it went astray.”315 
    “One can't believe a single word they say.”
    “Muldoon had quite enough for proper ends;” p.174
    “You made him drunk with all his mourning friends.”
    “The child was long upon my hands; and now”
    “I've plaster'd up the foolish father's brow,”315 
    “Who ran his useless head against a wall”
    “When staggering homewards from the funeral.”
    “Heed him no further; let him go his gate,”
    “And reach the workhouse, better soon than late,”
    “His lawful refuge, and his fitting fate.”
  163. 315 
  164. The corpse from door of poverty was borne,
    And yet, of funeral honours not forlorn.
    Although Muldoon himself was never sworn,
    There march'd the Lodge, from greatest man to least,
    Her coffin lifted, and would pay the priest.315 
    The heavy bell, which stopt the hearer's breath,
    At every boom loaded the day with death.
    His Curate on his right hand, Priest Adair
    Sprinkled the water, said the rapid pray'r.
    Clay fell on clay. Some knelt by cross or stone315 
    Before they too departed, leaving lone p.175
    The ruin'd cloisters, haunted of the wind,
    Low-murmuring secrets which no man can find.
    Tim Nulty hasted homewards, to compose
    A timely burst of dithyrambic prose,315 
    “Another Victim”; will he sign the letter
    “Eman-ac-knuck?” 27 would “Nemesis” be better?
    Proudly shall Tim behold his eloquent rage
    Emblazon'd on the <title type="periodical" TEIform="title">Firebrand</title>'s classic page,
    Already fierce on Ballytullagh's woe,315 
    And “Tiger Pigot” or “The Poor Man's Foe.”
  165.  p.176 p.177 p.178 p.179

    9. The Fair

  166. Ere yet the sun has dried on hedge and furze
    Their silver veils of dewy gossamers,
    Along the winding road to Lisnamoy
    The drover trudges and the country boy,
    With cows that fain would crop its fringe of sward,
    And pigs, their hindfoot jerking in a cord,
    And bleating sheep; the farmer jogs his way,
    Or plies his staff, and legs of woollen gray;
    The basket-bearing goodwives slowly move,10 
    White-capp'd, with coloured kerchief tied above,
    On foot, or in the cart-front placed on high p.180
    To jolt along in lumbering luxury;
    Men, women, pigs, cows, sheep, and horses tend
    One way, and to the Harvest Fair they wend;15 
    Jack Doran with the rest, with sorry cheer,
    Condemned at Pigot's Office to appear,—
    To him a place of awe, and doubt, and fear.
  167. 'Tis where the road-side rivulet expands,
    And every stone upon its image stands,20 
    The country maidens finish their attire,
    Screen'd by the network of a tangled briar;
    On grassy bank their shapely limbs indue
    With milk-white stocking and the well-black'd shoe,
    And court that mirror for a final grace25 
    With dazzling ribbons nodding round their face.
    Behold our Bridget tripping to the fair;
    Her shawl is splendid, but her feet are bare;
    Till, quick the little bundle here untied,
    The shoes come forth, the skirts are shaken wide,30 
    And Biddy enters Lisnamoy in pride; p.181
    Nor be it long ere Denis she espies,
    To read her triumph in his joyful eyes.
  168. But first of all, with calm submissive face,
    Beads in her hand, within the Holy Place35 
    She kneels, among the kneelers who adore
    In silent reverence on that mystic floor;
    Then with a curtsey, and with symbol meet
    On brow and breast, returning to the street.
  169. Crowds push through Lisnamoy, shop, street, and lane,40 
    Archway, and yard, corn-store, and butter-crane.
    Say, as we push, could anywhere be found
    A Town more ugly, ev'n on Irish ground?—
    With dwellings meanly low or meanly tall,
    With ragged roads, and harsh straight workhouse wall,45 
    With foul decrepit huts, and here and there
    A roof half-stript and smoky rafters bare;
    With churches that on rival mounts encamp, p.182
    One praised for neatness, one admired for pomp;
    This, which combines the gaudy and the mean,50 
    (Alas! the white old chapel on its green)
    With misplaced ornament that leads your eye
    To note the baldness, like a wig awry;
    That, less prodigious, odious not the less,
    All prim, and trim in tidy ugliness,55 
    A square box with a tall box at the end,
    While through the wall a stove-pipe's arms extend.
    What more? these gates are wide, the passing pray'r
    Finds when it will a solemn welcome there;
    Those gates are lock'd, the sexton lets you through,60 
    And shows for sixpence every empty pew;
    Here climbs a gilded cross above the roof,
    There turns a glittering weathercock aloof;
    Here, every day, the watchful power of Rome,
    The English rite on Sundays there at home.65 
    Clean police-barrack perch'd a-top the hill,
    At foot the dusty slating of a mill,
    Townhall betwixt, with many a broken pane, p.183
    A squat Wesleyan chapel down a lane,
    Make up the total—which, though you despise,70 
    Kindles admiring awe in rustic eyes.
    Mud hovels fringe the “Fair-green” of this town,
    A spot misnamed, at every season brown,
    O'erspread with countless man and beast to-day,
    Which bellow, squeak, and shout, bleat, bray, and neigh.75 
    The “jobbers” there, each more or less a rogue,
    Noisy or smooth, with each his various brogue,
    Cool wiry Dublin, Connaught's golden mouth,
    Blunt Northern, plaintive sing-song of the South,
    Feel cattle's ribs, or jaws of horses try80 
    For truth, since men's are very sure to lie,
    And shun with parrying blow and practised heed
    The rushing horns, the wildly prancing steed.
    The moisten'd penny greets with sounding smack
    The rugged palm, which smites the greeting back;85 
    Oaths fly, the bargain like a quarrel burns, p.184
    And oft the buyer turns, and oft returns;
    Now mingle Sassenach and Gaelic tongue;
    On either side are slow concessions wrung;
    An anxious audience interfere; at last90 
    The sale is closed, and whiskey binds it fast,
    In cave of quilting upon oziers bent,
    With many an ancient patch and breezy rent.
    This afternoon, within the largest tent
    Our Bridget sat, with Denis by her side,95 
    A burly boy in youth's full strength and pride;
    A froth of poetry his ale-cup bore,
    For Bridget's sake he fierier draughts forswore;
    Love over whiskey joying to prevail,
    She sipp'd a cordial, and he quaff'd strong ale.100 
    Her lover's trade was weekly to escort
    Dead pigs and butter to an eastern port,
    To glut the maw of England. “Could we keep”
    “All food at home, our food would then be cheap,”
    Dan Mullan cried in oratoric flow,— p.185105 
    “The very eggs we lay to England go!”
    But Denis meanwhile profited, and crept
    From less to more while patriots groan'd and slept;
    Three busy carts and horses of his own
    Along the fifty miles of road were known,110 
    And village after village on the route
    Heard his loud whip fire off a gay salute;
    Farmer and housewife trusted him to sell,
    He sold and traded for himself as well;
    A sturdy generous nature, noway mean,115 
    All saw in him—'tis ever gladly seen.
    Children love truth, and men, though train'd to lie,
    Confess the glowing power of honesty.
  170. Thus let them rest in comfort, happy pair,
    While pedlars, tinkers, gamblers, “work the fair”,120 
    Merchants of apples, cakes, and spoleen beef,
    Most eloquent old-clothesman, silent thief;
    And beggars, thrusting out a blind man's chin,
    Or hideous crooked arm or leg, begin, p.186
    “In Jesus', Mary's, and Saint Joseph's name,”125 
    “Bestow your charitee! I ax the same”
    “For your dear father's sowl, for your dear mother's,”
    “If they have parted you—and for your brother's”
    “And for your sister's sowl; and that it may”
    “Appear before the throne o' God this day”130 
    “To draw thim out o' Purgathory's flame!”
    “I ax it in the Holy Vargin's name!”
    “I pray that all your sins may be forgiven!”
    “And may the comfort and the light of Hiven”
    “Resave you and your people!”—few would miss135 
    For one poor ha'p'ny such a prayer as this.
    Murder, and love, and treason, chanted strong
    By voices hoarsen'd with perpetual song
    Draw each its group; and ere the rustic buys,
    With open mouth to catch the strain he tries,140 
    Then pushing in a rudely bashful fist,
    Crumples the ill-spelt paper. Who'll enlist?
    Make way! the Queen's recruiting party come,
    Red fluttering flag, assiduous fife and drum, p.187
    The haughty sergeant with drawn sword upright,145 
    And two bold swains, their caps with ribbons dight.
    Now pass the Showmen, with a stronger noise
    Of music, and a greater rush of boys,
    To mount anew the platform, and invite
    Our tardy pence with all their main and might;150 
    The small boy bangs the loud big drum again,
    The wheezy pipes renew their shrill refrain,
    The shining ladies waltz with wondrous grace,
    Loud laughs Tom Fool, and twists his painted face,
    Till Irish Damon and his Phillis do155 
    “Walk up” at last. In turn, well pleased, we view
    The Peepshow, Nut-gun, Loop, and Fortune's Wheel,
    We daff away young chapmen's fly-like zeal,
    Whips, pins, bootlaces, crying shrill and loud,
    And slowly penetrate th' increasing crowd,160 
    To that worst corner of the noisy Fair
    In which the furious Tinkers thump and swear.
  171. Who lays thick cudgel upon ass's hide? p.188
    Who shouting gallops, leg on either side
    Grazing the ground? his head behind is shorn,165 
    Thin curls the lean and cunning cheek adorn;
    Short coat of frieze, cord breeches to the knee,
    A low-crown'd hat, a shirt-neck flying free,
    Declare the Tinker, gipsy of our isle,
    Tramping with rude black budget many a mile;170 
    His tribe a partner yields; his donkey bears
    At need his children, furniture, and wares;
    Donkeys at many a fair he buys and sells,
    And here, among his like, swears loud and yells.
    Beyond them are the horses; there, sweet kine;175 
    There, flocks of sheep; there, fulsome-smelling swine.
  172. Observe Neal Doran. Two in pushing past
    Give signal due; the dreadful day runs fast.
    He knows the torture now which books reveal;
    Thus, thus it is that malefactors feel;180 
    Weak, angry, full of fears, condemn'd to know
    Himself his own inexorable foe. p.189
    In front he sees thick tempest, and behind,
    The sunny country of his peace of mind,
    As from dark billows a receding shore;185 
    The simple busy days, now his no more,
    The perfect slumber in a tranquil bed,
    The conscience free of guile and free of dread,
    The heart that look'd on every face with love,
    The soul that childlike turn'd to God above.190 
    With downcast or unquiet eyes he slinks
    Among the crowd; in tent and tavern drinks
    Unusual draughts; then to the Fair-green strides,
    Regardless of th' opposing human tides,
    To mark the bludgeon's victim, Jemmy Burke,195 
    Most Judas-like: “the boys will do their work.”
  173. The horse-fair Neal is bound for, and his road
    Lies through the tinkers, where to shout and goad
    The dullest ass his lazy hooves must ply.
    'Tis three o'clock; each noble tinker's eye200 
    Is wet; the trim shillelaghs wave on high; p.190
    Woe to the skull of him who now offends!
    In harsh and high-strung temper Doran wends
    Amid the tumult; jostled there, he smites
    The intrusive donkey; fervent word excites205 
    A sharp retort; all turn to watch the fun;
    “Come, hit me!”—'tis no sooner said than done.
    Our Youth ('tis all a dream) with rapid blow
    And cunning fence, stands foe at face with foe,
    Nor, peaceful though his life, unskill'd to wield210 
    The Paddy's wooden pistol, sword, and shield.
    With planted feet the men are in the lists,
    The blackthorns twirl around their nimble wrists,
    The meeting weapons play, crick-crack, crick-crack;
    Whilst all push forward, all exclaim “Stand back!”—215 
    More tinkers join; Neal's partisans pour in;
    A wider conflict rages; fierce the din,
    Loud the men's oaths, and sharp the women's screams;
    The general fair to this mad whirlpool streams. p.191
    At first the tinkers have it all their way;220 
    Till carman Denis flings apart like spray
    The clustering mob, and two tremendous blows
    Whirls right and left at Neal's two foremost foes;
    On either hand, to earth a tinker goes.
    Then shouted Doran's party, pressing on;225 
    Then shrunk the tinker band, their leaders gone;
    Nor had they not been routed, man and ass,
    Save for a new event that came to pass.
    Lo! the tall green-coat Guardians of the Law
    Wedge through the fight, which feels a sudden awe,230 
    And force away six prisoners to the cells,
    Deaf to entreaties, protestations, yells,
    Regardless of the mob whose stumbling paces
    Trot alongside with eager half-turn'd faces.
    One tinker's faithful wife pursues their track,235 
    A dirty baby on her dirty back,
    The bright tin porringers that round her cling
    Clashing and flashing gaily as they swing.
    She's used to scenes like this; but not so Neal p.192
    And Denis. What a black disgrace they feel,240 
    In marching thus along the public street!
    Their misery, for the moment, is complete.
  174. Since Neal is Pigot's man, the Justice sends
    For him; the brother Justice quick attends;
    Pigot is at his office in the town,245 
    And gladly comes, for reasons of his own.
    “Receive the tinkers' bail;—detain these two.”
    “I'll show you grounds enough for what we do.”
    —“Your Worship, why keep Denis Coyle and me.”
    —“Drunk, drunk, you're drunk, sir,” says the old J.P.250 
    “Lock, lock them up!” and jerks his bunch of seals.
    They go; th' untiring rabble at their heels.
  175. In Pigot's gig came Bloomfield to the fair.
    “Evictions please me little, I declare,”
    Says Pigot; “but if men won't pay the rent,”255 
    “Or fix conditions, forcing our consent;” p.193
    “Claiming, when once let in, a better right”
    “Than ours, for ever, in the law's despite;”
    “If still you find to cheat and overreach”
    “The study, the delight, of all and each;”260 
    “A servile, plausible, and lying brood,”
    “Devoid of honesty, of gratitude;”
    “If among people ignorant and misled”
    “Worse lawlessness begins to grow and spread,”
    “Till from chicane to murder they aspire,”265 
    “And all the foolish mass is catching fire;”
    “What then? are we to sit with folded hands,”
    “And yield ourselves to Captain Rock's commands?—”
    “Though Tullagh was a sad affair, I know,”
    “'Twill do great good. Your lands of Meenabo”270 
    “Must follow next. These Dorans, whom you praise,”
    “I once thought well of, till I knew their ways.”
    “I'll show you at the office now (as far”
    “As may be quickly shown) how these things are;”
    “A certain List you also shall peruse,” p.194275 
    “The which I only bide my time to use.”
    “To manage folk like these is hard indeed;”
    “'Tis well for you, sir, that escape the need!”
  176. Pigot's fast mare by thickening crowds restrain'd
    By slow degrees the office-door has gain'd;280 
    “Room!” cries the stable-boy, and backward tread
    Th' obsequious throng, hats fly off every head;
    But ere a tenant's foot may pass the door
    The private talk endures an hour or more.
    Outside, old Paudheen waits to say his say;285 
    A short thick man, with sleek head wiry-gray,
    Projecting underlip, and stunted nose,
    Whereon the huge horn-spectacles repose,
    When to the service of a writ he swears,
    Or “copy” with “original” compares;290 
    A sneaking, dauntless man, who disregards
    Menace or flattery, smoothly plays his cards,
    And might perhaps have soar'd, in wider sphere,
    Lord Chancellor, Archbishop, or Premier, p.195
    But now, victorious in a meaner form,295 
    Has built a nest, and works to line it warm.
  177. 'Tis Paudheen carries in the message sent
    By brother Justice. Bloomfield's ear is bent
    To Pigot's statements; and he understands
    This chiefly—plotting heads and violent hands,300 
    Mad folly, discontentment, fear and hate,
    In servile seeming, on their footsteps wait.
  178. In public-house, upon an upper floor,
    A thin keen watchful man and some few more
    Sit round their drink, but not with laugh or song.305 
    The Parish-Master's summons through the throng
    Is flitting darkly up and down the street,
    And one by one he sees his best men meet;
    The sign said urgent business. No delay
    A certain case admits of—not one day.310 
    “Let Jemmy Burke go home; far higher game”
    “Our sportsmen mark,—with license for the same,” p.196
    “The young bird promised fair and smooth at first;”
    “But he can't change things—won't, in case he durst.”
    “And now the old one's up—has all our names,”310 
    “The List lies in his pocket. Burning flames”
    “To bed the traitor!—that comes by-and-by.”
    Glasses were fill'd, refill'd, the quart ran dry;
    Then fist caught fist, and eye shot flame to eye,
    “Bail, too, for Coyle and Doran they refuse!”310 
    “If we're for action, there's no time to lose.”
    “Well said, my boys! for though the hazard's great,”
    “The ball's with Pigot if we hesitate.”
    “They came to Lisnamoy, but don't go home”
    “Together; Minor Bloomfield's horse is come.”310 
    “Bill keeps our friend in talk. I understand”
    “Grimes has his noble Honour's gig in hand,—”
    “Some twist—the patent axle to unscrew—”
    “A job 'twill take him just an hour to do.”
    “'Tis four at present. To your places, boys!”310 
    The whisper done, they vanish without noise.
  179.  p.197 p.198 p.199

    10. Pigot

  180. Alas, you count me a prosaic bard,
    Good reader! Think what Horace says, how hard
    It is to sing of every-day affairs.
    More willingly by far the minstrel dares
    Three flaming dragons than a single pig;
    Knights in full armour, giants church-tower big,
    Are easy folk to handle, by the side
    Of one policeman. I have sometimes cried,
    “Afford my verse a little touch of aid,”10 
    “Thou grave, good-humour'd, venerable Shade,”
    “Who once Comptroller of the Customs wast,”
    “Edwardo Rege!” but my pray'r is lost; p.200
    For though our modern telegraph extends
    Into that Other World's extremest ends,15 
    Old Chaucer deigns no syllable to say,
    And I must only do the best I may.
  181. Bloomfield is also Justice of the Peace,
    But has not used his power, but for increase
    Of knowledge; he lets Pigot go alone20 
    To hear this case, its merits not yet known;
    And meanwhile in the office musing sits,
    Or glancing towards the Ribbon Roll by fits;
    Yet, as it sometimes falls that when we meet
    Some wondrous thing, the quest of high conceit,25 
    See, touch, possess, we hardly care to look,
    To other paths his thought itself betook;
    And still the spy's Black List he chose to hold
    As Pigot gave, unloosen'd from its fold.
    What he must do, determined,—Bloomfield now30 
    Perplex'd is puzzling over “when?” and “how?” p.201
    The careful faces of the tenant throng
    Sank with new sense of pity and of wrong
    Deep in his heart, their anxious courtesies,
    The timid movements of their watchful eyes,35 
    Their air of suffering, which was no pretence,
    Their piteous lack of manly confidence;
    And most of all, Jack Doran's toilworn face,
    Who knows that he has lost his Agent's grace.
  182. Tight has he clung to that poor spot of earth40 
    Which, sixty years since, saw his humble birth.
    This patch first yielded to his father's spade;
    Those barren hills his life's horizon made;
    To this, a poor, and yet a happy home,
    His kindly Maureen, fair young bride, had come;45 
    Their children here were born, here long reposed
    His mother's age, and here her eyes were closed.
    Content with constant toil and slender gain,
    If he and his might there in peace remain,
    Old Jack has trudged this morning to the town p.20250 
    To meet bad news; his heart is sore cast down.
    Jack had been “noticed;” 'twas a usual thing,
    Familiar as a dash of hail in Spring;
    A mode of keeping tenants under thumb:
    To-day he hears his fate; his turn is come.55 
    In short three weeks, Black Paddy tells him so,
    The Mighty Man has will'd it,—he must go.
    In vain the tenant asks to learn his crime,
    In vain seeks hope at least of winning time;
    Paudheen is mild, and shakes his cunning pate,60 
    “You'll see himself,”—and sad old Jack must wait
    In crowded hall, through many weary hours,
    His mind, deserted now by half its powers,
    Struggling to set itself in some array.
    What can he do? first, what to Pigot say?65 
    If every other hope and chance should fail,
    May plea, perhaps, for longer time prevail?
    Not wholly bare, as some do, must he fly,
    Yet, seasons have been bad and taxes high,
    Wasting away their little store; let all p.20370 
    Be gather'd, and 'tis pitifully small.
    Not much has half a century's labour giv'n
    This prudent man, who well has watch'd and striv'n,
    Industrious, patient, peaceful; in a land
    Less cruel to her sons, his strenuous hand75 
    Had won some better comfort for old age;
    The tedious fight he well knew how to wage
    With wind and flood, with stubborn rock and clay;
    But selfish men are fiercer foes than they.
  183. Poor useful wrestlers with the rugged soil,80 
    Children of narrow poverty and toil,
    Who spread the waving plenty o'er the land,
    And give the sumptuous palace room to stand.
    How much ye do and suffer, to supply
    Some easy man with careless luxury!85 
    The wife, the babes, that Heavenly Bounty gave
    Increase his load of fetters on the slave;
    His sweat absorbed into a patch of earth,
    His life-long labours held of little worth, p.204
    Dependent hourly on a rich man's whim,90 
    Whose busy idleness regards not him.
    No foot of ground, however wild, he owns,
    Till in the graveyard rest his weary bones,
    Too happy if beside his fathers laid,
    Nor coldly cover'd by a poor-law spade.
  184. 95 
  185. O Ireland! home of hardship! why do yet
    Thy children cling to thee? thin cheeks are wet,
    Hearts long opprest with care feel poignant woe
    As hence from gloom to brighter climes they go.
    To each the country of his birth belongs,100 
    Its landscapes, seasons, faces, memories, songs,
    And he to it; removed to foreign scene,
    Though fat in purse, his life is poor and lean;
    Forget the past, and flourish as he may,
    An exile now, his home is far away.
  186. 105 
  187. Shall Jack to Bloomfield speak?—a tempting thought, p.205
    Dismiss'd with, terror; what could thus be wrought
    But swift destruction of his every hope?
    'Twere dragging tight around his neck the rope;
    High-treasonable conduct, merely mad;110 
    Training, experience, custom, all forbade.
    No, the young Landlord neither would, nor could:
    —If Jack had only guess'd his Landlord's mood!
    So there the Tenant stands disconsolate,
    There sits the sturdy Bailiff, big with fate,115 
    Within, the Landlord, thinking; all await,
    These and the rest, their Agent's quick return,
    With various minds, and faces sad or stern.
  188. But Bloomfield hears a whispering in the hall,
    An exclamation, and a sudden fall,—120 
    “'Tis oul' Jack Doran fainted, 'cause his son”
    “Is taken up on Ribbon business.” None
    Was quick enough with help when th' old man's brain,
    Quite overtroubled, strove no more in vain;
    Anxiety, fatigue, and frugal fast p.206125 
    Had worn him; then this new blow, and at last
    From all his limbs the vital vigour fled,
    And on the flagstone smote his grey unconscious head.
  189. Strange was the sight before the tenants' eyes:
    Young Bloomfield, kneeling on the hall-floor, ties130 
    His handkerchief, a bloodied bandage now,
    To staunch the wound on old Jack Doran's brow;
    Then to an arm-chair helps him; soon convey'd
    To neighbouring house, where in a bed he's laid;
    While Bloomfield calls to audience Paddy Dhu135 
    In private, which was also something new.
  190. When Pigot's eyes met Bloomfield's, instantly
    Each felt a moment come, they knew not why.
    What's accident? Aware or unaware,
    We to a verge have drawn, reposing there,140 
    Or balanced fine; until a moment flashes—
    Down from its level seat firm custom dashes; p.207
    Broken, destroy'd,—imprison'd powers escape,
    And lo! our life is in a different shape.
    “These two young men?”—“Are on that Ribbon List.”145 
    —“Much better proof, a lawyer would insist,”
    “Were needful, ere we clapt them into jail;”
    “The present charge is trifling, take their bail.”
    —“Full informations will be laid to-night.”
    —“So be it—meanwhile, do them legal right.”150 
    Pigot, his landmarks of a sudden lost,
    His mind with novel perturbation tost,
    Consented to a message of release;
    When more his rage and wonder to increase,
    With quiet voice and look, but grave and steady,155 
    Bloomfield spoke thus, and held his papers ready,
    “All things considered, it perhaps were best”
    “This tenant Doran be not dispossess'd,”
    “Nor any men of mine, in fact, but three,”
    “And those are—” “Mr. Bloomfield, pardon me,” p.208160 
    “I cannot be half-agent for your lands.”
    “Unless you leave such business in my hands,”
    “Allow me to resign the whole to you.”
    “This I have long, indeed, desired to do.”
    —“I take your offer.” Half an hour is flown,165 
    And Pigot in his gig has left the town;
    While Bloomfield, with his tenants face to face,
    Sees hope and joy, unwonted in that place,
    Alive in every look. They warmly felt
    When by the poor old man their landlord knelt;170 
    'Tis known that Neal and Denis are set free;
    And Pigot's gone,—dismissed?—but that could never be!
    If Bloomfield were an angel from the skies
    They could not hunger more with ears and eyes.
  191. “I am your Agent and no other man.”175 
    “I'll try to do you justice if I can.”
    “Easy for me to live abroad, content” p.209
    “To see of my estate the half-year's rent;”180 
    “But with the help of Heaven I'll take in hand,”
    “As mine it is by law, this piece of land,”
    “Think first of men, think second of the soil,”
    “Discourage lies and sloth, back honest toil,”
    “The good folk ranged on my side, let me trust,”185 
    “At war with knaves and fools, if so we must.”
    “If threatening letters fly as thick as snow,”
    “If murderers dog me every step I go,”
    “They shall not turn me from a settled course,—”
    “Unless I fall, and then you may have worse.”190 
    “Here are the names, within this folded sheet,”
    “Of Ribbon Lodge Two-Sixty, all complete.”
    “I have not redd it—I'm not fond of spies—”
    “Now! see it burn: in ashes there it lies.”
    This paper is my list of tenants' names,”195 
    “Their families, their holdings, debts, and claims.”
    “Slowly we must proceed; but with good will”
    “We may, perhaps, together climb the hill.”
  192.  p.210
  193. Pigot of late, in health or soul deprest,
    Had felt a frequent wish for change or rest200 
    As pictured by his wife, but would not yield
    To her, still vanquish'd in discussion's field.
    He will not own what sometimes he suspects,—
    “'Tis but my wife's timidity infects.”
    “Hard work these hyppish fogs will soon dispel;”205 
    “I know my business, and I do it well.”
    “Let others please their fancy and their taste,”
    “Let others fling their idle days to waste,—”
    “This is no more than fog, by sleep or dinner chased.”
    Yet sometimes, in his own despite, began210 
    The shrewd, experienced, unromantic man,
    Since now the newness of success was fled,
    And years were numbering thickly on his head,
    And sense of power had lost its pungency,
    To say, what profits it? what comes to me?215 
    What is indeed accomplished by my life?
    The fears and sad forebodings of his wife, p.211
    Renew'd by every tale of peasant crime,
    Struck heavier on his spirit time by time:
    “Throw off this yoke—we've money and to spare,”220 
    “Come, let us travel, pitch our tent elsewhere,”
    “And for our children and ourselves enjoy”
    “A wider world, a life without annoy.”
    Still, Pigot knows, though discontentment lurk,
    He's most at ease in his habitual work,225 
    Within his line, courageous, strong, and tall,
    Beyond it, even timid, weak, and small;
    His narrow education, flowerless mind,
    By no artistic faculty refined,
    Are then exposed, himself can partly see.230 
    Like ancient groom or stableman is he,
    At home on horseback, spite of prance and bound,
    A waddling cripple, place him on the ground.
  194. And now—a vile vexation, bitter sting!—
    He, both of landlords and of tenants King,235 
    Intending by-and-by to abdicate, p.212
    With fitting dignity, his power and state,
    For private wealth and ease—O sudden shame!
    Dismiss'd by one he thought so mild and tame;
    Dismiss'd, discharged, ejected as it were240 
    On shortest notice—this was hard to bear.
    Himself, no doubt, had in a moment's heat
    Flung out the startling hint, but self-conceit
    Expected never such response to meet.
    Long years he has been shaping to his mind245 
    The Harvey-Bloomfield properties combined:
    Now all his plans are snapt, with bitter sense
    Of broken power—of standing on defence.
    True, the Young Man, with cautious words and kind,
    Which well announced a gravely settled mind,250 
    Left to his easy choice the time and mode:
    But, all things alter'd, and with guard and goad
    Tormenting him, can Pigot trace the threads
    Of that intricate web that round him spreads,
    And disengage it smoothly? well aware, p.213255 
    Amid his mind's perturbed and formless care,
    Of many questions asking quick replies,
    Of many dubious doings that arise
    From dusty corners where they lay forgot.
    Small days of judgment bring forth many a blot.
  195. 260 
  196. Yet here too came experience to his aid,
    And whisper'd, this confusion once allay'd,
    To-morrow's light a clearer path will show,
    And all go well enough, as such things go.
    “Come up, old mare!” with cheery voice he cried;265 
    And Doyle the under-bailiff, by his side,
    At Pigot's moody silence wondering much,
    Felt comforted; as, to the light-thrown touch
    Of whip and voice, the bay mare quickly stept,
    And from the high-road to the bye-road swept.
  197. 270 
  198. Pigot had seen his fine new house arise,
    With promise of an earthly paradise,
    Amidst a broad, well-cultivated plain, p.214
    Trimm'd off with new plantation, fence, and drain;
    Window and door in city-villa taste,275 
    With stucco-ornaments and columns graced,
    Square spacious rooms, fill'd full of splendid things,
    Bright rosewood tables, gilded curtain-rings;
    But, ten years old, the place shines rawly still,
    Th' instinctive touch of strong yet tender skill280 
    Quite absent, which we name artistic sense;
    Glaring the want, for glaring the pretence;
    Harsh lights upon discordant colours fall,
    Large, costly, dull engravings deck the wall;
    Chair, ottoman, by some unlucky doom,285 
    Door, window, fire, stand wrong in every room;
    Lawn, green-house, garden, wear no magic beauty,
    Shrub, flower-bed, border, stand as though on duty;
    Best thing the farm-yard, practical and neat,
    With swine, calves, poultry, stacks of hay and wheat;290 
    With huge farm horses, and sleek, patient cows,
    Byres, sheds, and new machines, carts, tools, and ploughs.
  199.  p.215
  200. See at the window Mrs. Pigot stand,
    The latest empty novel in her hand;
    A fading woman, but she once was fair,295 
    Whose wealth and pride have many a thorn of care;
    A full-dress visit to receive or pay,
    Her chief engrossment,—'tis a chalk-white day
    That gives a chance to study well the style
    Of Lady Harvey's toilette, tone, and smile.300 
    Her servants plague her; and her children vex,
    Tearing their clothes, imperilling their necks.
    On shaggy Sheltie in and out through trees
    Flits Percy at full gallop; now she sees
    Bold Jem and little Ulick at the pond305 
    Sailing forbidden ships; then looks beyond,
    With sigh at such perversities, to catch
    (Behind the time a full hour by her watch)
    The coming gig. Her husband's jolly face,
    Fond of his Bess, his children, and his place,310 
    Good-humoured and indulgent for the most,
    Nor tender pleasure from his glances lost, p.216
    Still makes for her the sweetness of her life;
    In short, he is her husband, she his wife;
    Whatever teasing troubles they endure,315 
    The gentle bond is always firm and sure.
  201. To Newbridge House the pretty bye-way goes,
    'Tween scarlet-berried hawthorn and wild rose,
    Rowan and woodbine; the dark-fruited briar
    Beads to its bordering grass, through which aspire320 
    The yellow hawk-weed and blue scabious-ball;
    Grass full of grasshoppers, and flies, and small
    Innumerable things. You sometimes hear
    A distant voice, or warbling near and clear
    Poor-Robin's plaintive melody, at one325 
    With the mild glory of the sinking sun,
    Which now, completing this autumnal day,
    Looks from the great world's end with parting ray,
    O'er all the golden landscape with its sheaves,
    And through the curtain of the wayside leaves.
  202.  p.217330 
  203. Across the road a new-cut holly lay.
    Doyle must alight to drag it from their way.
    Through Pigot's heart and brain a sudden gush
    Whirl'd all his life to fever: mad thoughts rush.
    Around their burning prison: “I am caught!”—335 
    And hasty fingers his revolver sought.
    One terrible moment—courage all drawn dry
    To earthquake-ebb—and ere the wave pour high
    Returning, from the hedge beside him broke
    Two sharp explosions, two white puffs of smoke;340 
    The mare leap'd round, and gallop'd off pell-mell,
    But heavily to earth her master fell.
  204. No longer Mrs. Pigot bears to wait;
    She sends a horseman by the lower gate;
    Who rides not far. A man came running fast;345 
    'Twas bailiff Doyle, pale, breathless, all aghast;
    “He's shot! they've kill'd him!”—and the servants found,
    Three furlongs distant, prostrate on the ground p.218
    Amidst a pool of blood, James Pigot's form,
    A dreadful burden, lifeless, though still warm.
  205. 350 
  206. James Pigot's race is run: and shall we call
    This man a victim, or a criminal?
    Or one who with men's natures coarsely dealt,
    Drew out their evil, and its fury felt?
    He did so; but not his alone the blame.355 
    Elsewhere he might in peace have lived the same,
    And breathed away at last a quiet breath,
    No worse than most men in his life and death.
    But where the subtle powers of Circumstance,
    Multiplex operations that advance360 
    Out of the boundless Bygone World, and make
    The Present with the flitting forms they take,
    Are in an evil seethe like wizard's pot,
    Who stirs the same, 'tis now and then his lot
    To catch the spurted venom. Where one dies,365 
    Hundreds escape; and danger ever tries p.219
    To wear a mask of innocence; no less,
    They cook and finger a strong poison-mess.
  207. Fair-evening as it was, no friendly hand
    Lifted the dead; the people chose to stand370 
    Far-off, or take the fields, or else turn back,
    But not to follow on the murderers' track;
    Not one made haste to give policemen word;
    By special message first the news was heard.
  208. For many weeks from every wall and gate375 
    Stared “MURDER” and “REWARD” in letters great,
    Two Hundred Pounds the Lord Lieutenant's bribe,
    One Thousand which the gentry round subscribe,
    But all in vain; for, his employer dead,
    The Spy took mortal fear to heart, and fled.380 
    Few even dared to read the bills, and they
    Walk'd off in silence; if they said their say,
    'Twas said with caution and in secrecy.
    A huge converging crowd of low and high p.220
    Had swell' d the costly funeral, and flow'd385 
    In solemn pomp, outstretch'd along the road.
    The native press was vocal, and the <title type="periodical" TEIform="title">Times</title>
    Anew said something old on Irish crimes.
  209. And meanwhile, bringing softly night and day,
    The round Earth roll'd on her appointed way,390 
    With dead and living, 'mid the starry quire,
    Brimm'd with material and celestial fire,
    And to and fro, with emmets' briskness, ran
    The shifting, multifarious brood of Man.
  210.  p.221 p.222 p.223

    11. Lord and Lady

  211. Virgil, Tom Tusser after him, have sung
    The rules of farming with melodious tongue;
    And shall my Muse make venture? not afraid,
    If need there were, to call a spade a spade.
    Too oft, neglecting fashion, she incurs
    The public's coldness and the publisher's;
    Yet now she will not rival Martin Doyle
    On farms, and drains, on light and heavy soil,
    Clod-crushing, ploughing, and rotation meet10 
    Of grass, potatoes, barley, turnips, wheat,
    Ovine and bovine breeds—Thou youngest Grace! p.224
    Dear Maiden of the shy and eager face
    In drooping darkness framed, or ripply gold,
    And spirit like the fresh bud half unroll'd15 
    To morning's light!—Boy of many dreams,
    Through sacred woods and by enchanted streams
    Far wandering forth in reverie divine!—
    Ye cannot love such dismal verse as mine.
    Sweet friends, forgive me! I have sung for you20 
    Erewhile, if but a little song or two;
    For you I dearly hope to sing again;
    Though now, perhaps, with labour all in vain,
    Striving to melt and mould of stubborn stuff
    (It could be rounded, were there fire enough)25 
    A living shape harmonious, part and whole
    Completed fitly by th' informing soul.
  212. And yet I will not rival Martin Doyle,
    Mechi, or Stephens; 'twere a thankless toil.
    For, every rule and detail strictly given30 
    Whereby our Laurence in his course has thriven, p.225
    (With labour, and with stumbling, and mistake,
    And disappointments and defeats, that break
    The fragile purpose, but confirm the strong)
    Another man were scarcely help'd along,35 
    Who deals with different people, different facts.
    Mere sons of action, piecing up their acts
    Of work and life, incalculable deem
    The soul, or quite omit it from their scheme,
    Or, like Napoleon, use it, while they scorn:40 
    A miracle as true as birth of morn,
    As simple as the imperial sun's broad light
    Bathing earth's planet; with as vast a might
    It works in silence on the spaces vast
    And crowds of things within its influence cast.
  213. 45 
  214. Bloomfield had plunged, as though into the sea;
    But soon recover'd equanimity
    Amidst the new demands and powers unknown,
    Nor any force to help him save his own.
    Confused, and dim, and dangerous appeared p.22650 
    His enterprise, but soon the prospect clear'd:
    Most men can do as much for duty, gain,
    Opinion, pleasure; call it a campaign
    At worst, but that's too serious; travel brings
    More toil and risk; or fifty other things.55 
    Arithmetic's plain rules his purse shall guard,
    And every lesser luxury he'll discard
    Till this of playing king be fairly tried.
    Of Indolence, for ever at our side,
    Subtlest of demons, Laurence knew full well60 
    The sleepy goblet, drugg'd and dregg'd with hell,
    And hung upon his neck the counterspell
    Of daily work sufficient for his force,
    And so set bravely forward on his course,
    With much to hinder, but with nought to stay,65 
    Finding undreamt-of help along the way.
    For still to him who on himself depends
    The lumbering, veering world its succour lends;
    The bold are help'd by poison, storm, and fire,
    Against the weak, flow'rbuds and lambs conspire.
  215.  p.22770 
  216. Thus, when young Bloomfield had survey'd his ground,
    He certain chances in his favour found.
    No legal right existed but his own,
    He was the State, like Lewis, he alone,
    Or rather raised to an autocracy75 
    Temper'd with murder, as in Muscovy;
    There, sole, stood he, there lay his subject lands,
    To do, or not do, resting in his hands.
    Moreover, if the Celt be rash and wild,
    Quick, changeful, and impulsive, like a child,80 
    He looks with somewhat of a childlike trust
    To those above him, if they're kind and just;
    Be tender to his moods, allow a whim,
    No surly independence lurks in him;
    Content with little, easy to persuade,85 
    The man who knows him speaks and is obey'd.
    If sprung from history, circumstance, or race,
    Or all together, Bloomfield well could trace,
    With aid from childhood's memory, manhood's thought— p.228
    And into every plan his knowledge wrought—90 
    A special Irish character. With those
    Of higher station, harder to oppose,
    His even temper, frank and courteous speech,
    And true unselfishness, with all and each,
    His firmness and concession, sped him well;95 
    His sense and knowledge soon began to tell;
    Till all who dealt with public plans descried
    The need to weigh him, on whatever side.
  217. To men and books an open ear he lent,
    He studied silent Nature much, and went100 
    With careful tireless footstep after hers;
    The cheer which knowledge flowing in confers
    Was his, and then the artist's joy, to find
    The rugged world take pressure from his mind.
    His rental, even, to his own surprise,105 
    Reach'd its old mark, and then began to rise;
    A sort of proof he could have done without,
    Yet good firm hold against the twitch of doubt.
  218.  p.229
  219. Look round from Croghan Lodge, and not in vain
    You seek the records of a seven years' reign;110 
    So long have Laurence and his Queen borne rule,
    The smoky hovel with its fetid pool
    Has disappeared—poor Paddy's castle-moat,
    Which kept the foulness, let the use run out;
    White walls, gay rustic gardens meet your eyes,115 
    Trim gates and fences, haggarts, barns and styes;
    Down the wet slope a net of drainage spreads;
    The level marsh waves wide with ozier-beds;
    Among the barren folds of windy hills,
    Bound solitary loughs, by rock-strewn rills,120 
    And up to crags that crown the heathery steep,
    Larch, pine, and sycamore begin to creep;
    Old bog and scraggy moorland, parcell'd out,
    Have busy hands at work,—no fear or doubt
    To dry up half their strength, for Bloomfield chose125 
    The likeliest people, lent waste ground to those,
    “The first year so much done—so much in five—”
    Push onwards, win the battle, you shall thrive p.230
    “Rent-free so long—so long at little rent—”
    “And then a lease that makes us both content.”130 
    New roads run round the hills, and to the shore;
    By-lanes engulf the hapless wheel no more;
    While certain paths defended tooth and nail
    By Pigot, often sending men to jail,
    Without another word of wrong or right135 
    Lie free as air is to the swallow's flight.
  220. Broad open too lies Bloomfield's own domain,
    Park, fields, and wood, from mountain-top to plain;
    The lough's green isles in wavy silver set;
    The cool crypts of the rocky rivulet.140 
    Sunk fence, light paling, leave the prospect free:
    Fair run the road and path, by sward and tree;
    No churlish prison-wall defeats your eye,
    Robs of the landscape every passer-by,
    Shuts up the great horizon in a box,145 
    Boon Nature's beauty in a harem locks
    For one rich Turk; no board devoid of shame p.231
    Tickets the world with one poor selfish claim;
    For no proud porter must you ring and wait;
    The stile is low, and easy swings the gate;150 
    The devious wood-walk, far-commanding hill,
    The ferny dingle, these are yours at will;
    Or in that high fir-temple would you be,
    Which makes perpetual music like the sea,
    And on the sunset lifts its pillars black?155 
    Across the lough, across the plain look back.
    Look back: no single cottage-roof is there
    In Bloomfield's charge, that knows not Bloomfield's care.
    In spots the best for landscape or for shade
    You find the solid rustic-benches laid;160 
    And on the highroads, also, weary feet
    Approach with grateful haste the new stone seat,
    Here, nigh a well, or there, with slanting shed
    To guard from rain or sun the traveller's head.
  221. In Croghan Hall, when new, the famous Dean, p.232165 
    Upon his journeys, moody guest hath been.
    Well-built at first, but mouldy with neglect,
    Young Laurence as his own chief architect
    Chose out the shrewdest workmen that he might,
    And made the mansion safe and weather-tight,170 
    Improving all, yet zealous to retain
    Each stone and tile, each form, each weather-stain.
    His own true touch alive on every part
    Gave without cost the luxury of Art,
    Which foolish Wealth on ostentation set175 
    Can dearly pay for, but can rarely get.
    'Tween lough and mountain, grove on either hand,
    A solid, stately House you see it stand,
    Of broad, low stairs, and windows deep recess'd;
    In front, a boundless prospect to the west,180 
    In rear, a terraced garden. Order reigns,
    But not with costly and elaborate pains,
    A disproportion of the means and end,
    Whereby so often wealthy homes offend,—
    With vile adornment oft offending worse, p.233185 
    Slapping across our teeth a heavy purse.
    Good sense, refinement, naivety, reconcile
    Man's work and nature's, and the genial smile
    Is brotherhood's, not condescension's, here;
    No bitterness flows in, but strength and cheer190 
    From every aspect; 'tis a kindly place,
    That does not seem to taunt you with its grace,
    But, somehow, makes you happy, stray or stay,
    And pleased to recollect it when away;
    For manners thus extend to house and field,195 
    And subtle comfort or discomfort yield.
  222. Enter: you find throughout the spacious rooms,
    If bright, or mellow'd with delicious glooms,
    Instead of gaudy paper, silk, and paint,
    Statues and pictures, books, wood-carvings quaint,200 
    Dim-splendid needlework of Hindostan,
    Grave solid furniture of useful plan;
    Here a soft blaze of flow'rs in full daylight,
    There, ivied casement, shadowing aright p.234
    The mournful relics of the secret Past,205 
    Waifs, liftings, from that ocean deep and vast,
    The thought and work of many a vanish'd race;
    The life of ancient Erin you may trace
    In Druid's torque, moon-shaped, of thinnest gold,
    Square bell that to St. Patrick's preaching toll'd,210 
    Cups, coins, and fibulae, and ogham-stones,
    Spear, axe, and arrow-heads, of flint or bronze.
    Whatever knowledge (at the best but small)
    Of such is extant, Laurence knows it all,
    And sometimes to his neighbours far and near215 
    Imparts a modest lecture, short and clear,
    On things Hibernian, chiefly those around,
    The Giant's Grave, the Fort, the Fairy-Mound,
    The crumbling Abbey-wall, the Round-Tower grey,
    Still rising smooth and firm as on the day220 
    Its taper cap received the topmost stone;
    The mountain Cairn, to distant counties shown;
    The Norman-English Keep on river brink;
    His light firm hand connecting link with link p.235
    Of Irish history, so that none complain225 
    To find it gall them like a rusty chain.
    This large room is for music; violin,
    Piano, voice, at times the merry din
    Of Bloomfield's rustic band, its echoes wake,
    And rustic hearers oft an audience make.
  223. 230 
  224. Nay, all with ears to hear, with eyes to see,
    To every sight and sound have welcome free.
    To make our costly luxuries right and fair
    All human beings who are fit must share.
    So Bloomfield said, was laugh'd at, yet he tried,235 
    Found all come easy, nor the rule too wide.
  225. But haste we!—'Tis that merry time of year,
    Once more brought round upon our whirling sphere,
    (The days of darkness and of snow gone past,
    Of chilly sunbeams and the freezing blast),240 
    When eager skylarks at the gate of morn
    Keep singing to the sower of the corn p.236
    In his brown field below; the noisy rooks
    Hold council in the grove-top; shelter'd nooks
    Bring forth young primroses and violets;245 
    The woodland swarms with buds, the ash-tree sets
    Dark lace upon his bough,—with tenderest green
    The larch-spray tufted, pallid leaflets seen
    Unfolding and uncrumpling day by day.
    Nigh Croghan Hall the herons lean and grey250 
    Hover and float upon those wide-spread wings
    Around their lofty cradles, with the Spring's
    Breath rocking slowly; braird is pushing through;
    The clever mavis and the soft cuckoo
    Untiring sing their olden songs anew;255 
    In fields of freshest grass the bold young lambs
    Jump lightly round their anxious bleating dams;
    And little Mary Bloomfield, blithe as they,
    Greeting a happy morn of holiday,
    The sunshine glittering on her golden head,260 
    Runs races through the lawn with brother Fred
    (“He's but a child,” says Mary; he is four, p.237
    His comrade and protectress two years more,)
    Among the clumps of yellow daffodils.
    Light blows the breeze, a vernal freshness fills265 
    The morning sky, green plain, and dappled hills,
    As run the merry babes with floating hair,
    Watch'd by their parents. After morning pray'r
    And breakfast, and while busy hands complete
    A children's banquet-hall with flow'r and sweet,—270 
    “What say you, Jenny, young folk, shall we drive?”
    “'Tis four long hours before our guests arrive.”
    Smoothly the simple carriage speeds along
    Behind two chestnut ponies brisk and strong,
    By Laurence guided: he looks older now,275 
    But bears his candid, smooth, and open brow
    Uncreased with petty cares, fine mouth unseam'd
    With policy; the ripening years have spread
    His tall and goodly frame; free lifts his head
    Its brownish clusters. By him sits Queen Jane.280 
    No queen?—look closer—she deserves to reign.
    How is she drest? Madam, in shawl cream-white, p.238
    Straw bonnet, trimmed with purple, if I'm right.
    She is not tall, and rather dark than fair,
    Her forehead fitted close with soft black hair,285 
    Brows sloped the right way, over eyes so true,
    Eyes darkly clear, I cannot tell their hue,
    That faith and courage kindle where they gaze,
    Earth is not vulgar, lighted with those rays;
    Fine ear, a nostril flexible and thin,290 
    Lips mildly proud, a full but gentle chin,
    Compact and firmly-moulded foot and hand,
    Gesture and look accustom'd to command,
    Or rather to be willingly obey'd
    As having never o'er the boundary stray'd295 
    Of others' rights and feelings,—such is she;
    A trustier human creature cannot be;
    Mild, gracious, and undaunted, every line
    Of soul and body nobly feminine.
    Instinctive wisdom, humour swift and gay,300 
    A simple greatness, sure to do and say
    The best, belong to her, and in her voice p.239
    A tone to make the dullest heart rejoice.
    No marvel if the servants of her home
    Are humble friends, if cordial blessings come305 
    To every peasant's lip that forms her name,
    If my poor stumbling pen forebears for shame.
    O happy Husband!—happy Wife no less!
    In perfect mutual trust and tenderness.
    Whatever joys await the Blest above,310 
    No boon below like happy wedded love.
  226. Down the park-slope, Lough Braccan full in view,
    Boss'd with green islands floating on the blue,
    Through well-kept farms, by neat white cottages,
    Boglands reclaimed, new belts of rising trees,315 
    Paddock and croft, with many a feather'd brood,
    Lambs, calves and foals, (life everywhere renew'd)
    That send their voices on the lightsome air,
    And of the vernal day enjoy their share,
    Gay speed we. That's the steward's house,—his name320 
    Neal Doran (he's the same, and not the same); p.240
    His wife and he are up at Croghan Hall,
    Best aids to trim our little festival.
    There's Lisnamoy church-spire, and further down
    The Romish steeple; midway in the town325 
    Stands up the clock-tow'r, whose melodious tongue
    Calls noon, a civic voice to old and young
    To draw them in a circle, voice of Time
    To each and all—O hearken! says the chime:
    Reckless, who will now and then respect330 
    That preaching, if all others they neglect.
    There, to new Market-place a pipe conveys
    A cold perpetual water-vein, which plays
    All day and night with cheerful soothing tone,
    Falling into its shallow tank of stone335 
    In curving crystal fringed with showery spray;
    Where sometimes, doubtless, girls and dames delay
    With rested pitchers, till a warning stroke
    Cuts short at last the gossip and the joke.
    Carved shamrocks, mixt with field-flow'rs, grass, and corn, p.241340 
    The stone rim of the dial-lace adorn;
    Atop, a sleeping infant, left and right
    Stout peasant-man and woman, holding tight
    A sickle and a basket; rudely true,
    The sculpture to a rustic hand is due345 
    And Bloomfield's brain, who, whilst his neighbours smiled,
    With jutting balcony and roof red-tiled,
    Built his Town-hall at less than half the cost
    (The which in sooth impress'd his neighbours most)
    Of Pigot's plan, in classic British taste,350 
    With sequences of scroll and bracket graced.
    Each year the town receives improvements, plann'd
    By no expensive, by no vulgar hand;
    New house with window'd gable to the street,
    Ruin displaced, and ragged wall made neat,355 
    Good drains, and whitewash, footwalks, and young trees;
    The change in Lisnamoy each traveller sees,
    And almost sings aloud with joy to win
    “The Bloomfield Arms” a clean and cosy inn, p.242
    Where Denis Coyle and Bridget welcome you;360 
    Not as the dismal “Royal” wont to do,
    With shabby waiter, old and drunk, proud host
    And sluttish chambermaid, poor fare, high cost.
  227. We drive through Lisnamoy. Who bows so low?
    Father Adair: but well does Bloomfield know365 
    Of Bloomfield's favourite School the deepest foe.
    There stands the building, comely brick and stone,
    A little backward from the causeway thrown,
    Flower-beds and paths in orderly array,
    And greensward for the noon's half-hour of play;370 
    All empty now, for eldest child and least
    Must share at Croghan Hall the Vernal Feast.
    The School has prosper'd, and is prospering still,
    Though absent every clergyman's good-will,
    Who each would make a primer of his creed,375 
    Since now the vulgar must be taught to read,
    The bigot duly with the scholar train,
    Weed out man's brotherhood from breast and brain, p.243
    Twist every thought and feeling as they grow,—
    Neighbour baptized to live his neighbour's foe.380 
    Rome's churchmen seized the new scholastic dower,
    Secure to swell by just so much their power,
    While haughty shepherds of the legal rite
    Declared this vulgar partnership a slight,
    And loud demanding separate purse and place,385 
    Flung a big Bible in the statesman's face,
    Who handed back the volume with a bow.
    So wrath was kindled, and is burning now,
    In minds too Christian or perhaps too proud
    To fill the legal hour for them allow'd,390 
    Since Popish pastors that same right enjoy'd
    With their own lambs, nor left it unemploy'd.
    But now the people's alphabet in turn
    Must from its first supporters feel the spurn.
    How, for one day, could we, shrewd Men of Rome,395 
    Forget th' experience, now again brought home,
    That Knowledge acts as poison, if 'tis not
    Cook'd in the black ecclesiastic pot, p.244
    From cardinals' and bishops' high discourse
    Down to the abc of babes at nurse?400 
    As Spain puts garlic into every mess,
    So must the sacred flavour more or less
    Be mix'd in every atom of the food,
    To dye the bones and circle with the blood;
    Arithmetic the one true Church must own,405 
    And Grammar have its orthodoxy known;
    Or else, keep free from learning's dangerous leaven,
    Guided, in blessed ignorance, to Heaven.
    But well the People know how great the boon:
    We must not drive, but lead and coax them: soon,410 
    Whene'er the wind political turns fair,
    Help'd by our foes, who also seek their share,
    We pull the pagan system down perforce,
    Its wealth and strength made chiefly ours, of course.
    Meanwhile, wherever possible, let schools415 
    In strict accordance with our holy rules,
    With every fitting gesture, form, and phrase,
    Supplant these others, yet no war-cry raise.
  228.  p.245
  229. Pigot, who did but little know or care,
    Was wrought upon by Father John Adair,420 
    Slighted the “National” and had almost
    (For keeping with the clergy was his boast)
    Promised the “Christian Brotherhood” a site.
    But Bloomfield came, and alter'd things outright,
    Obtain'd a Model School for Lisnamoy,425 
    Built other schools, and saw that girl and boy
    Who might go, did go, for he knew his ground,
    And soon the People in his party found;
    Whereon Adair, the smooth and patient man,
    Howe'er he felt, lock'd up his favourite plan,430 
    And neither bann'd nor bless'd the Model School,
    Paying due visits, as by legal rule.
    The parish was improved, his income raised;
    He oft (perhaps sincerely) Bloomfield praised.
  230. Inn, fountain, clock, we pass, and quit the town435 
    Close by the Workhouse, where with Isaac Brown
    Hath Bloomfield many a tedious battle fought, p.246
    And many a good reform full slowly wrought;
    For weekly there, sat once a Guardian Board
    To guard the landlords' purse from pauper horde,440 
    To guard the bed where age and sickness lie
    From touch of comfort—let them live or die,—
    What matter how their drop of life runs by?
    To guard poor children, trembling little slaves,
    Cast on our pity by misfortune's waves,445 
    From spade and needle, watching lest they learn
    The skill that might a scantest living earn,
    Using, faith, hope and charity being dead,
    Political-economy instead,
    Training with anxious negligence a race450 
    To live their country's burden and disgrace.
    Sad without guilt, and punish'd without crime,
    Those joyless children dragg'd their weary time,
    Or issuing from their prison two by two
    Distress'd the road with cheeks of ghastly hue,—455 
    Unlike the brisk though tatter'd urchins there,
    Not highly fed, but free from Guardians' care. p.247
    Now much is alter'd: it were long to tell,
    But now both young and old are nourish'd well,
    The Master's not a drunkard or a fool,460 
    No roguish dunce pretends to teach the school,
    Each boy or girl receives an honest trade,
    And starts in life with small sufficient aid.
    Nor is it found to swell the pauper list:
    The Board on steady discipline insist,465 
    Make all those work who can, and seldom fail
    Where punishment is due. 'Tis worse than jail
    For all the bad and lazy; but the child,
    The sick, the hoary head, meet liberal hand and mild.
  231. Next the neat Vicarage gate we swiftly reach,470 
    Where Reverend Mr. Jones's little speech
    Upon the weather gives a moment's pause,
    Deliver'd sweetly with due hems and haws.
    The gout one day despatch'd old Vicar Boyd;
    Whereon—since craft had vainly been employ'd475 
    To draw from Laurence Bloomfield what he meant, p.248
    For he, lay-rector, could his choice “present,”
    And two far cousins of the reverend class,
    And ten times more their lady wives, alas!
    Had loathed each other on this ground for years—480 
    Behold an aguish time of hopes and fears.
    “What will you do, then?”
    “Nothing!—”with a smile.
    “I leave it with the Bishop.” (Is this guile,
    Or idiot folly, or unfeeling jest?)
    “With him, entirely,—Bishop must know best.”485 
    His Lordship sent a parson mild and tame,
    Glad of the glebe; and when his Lordship came
    On confirmation tour, with whom was he
    So cordial as with Bloomfield, or so free?
    At Croghan Hall, too, did the great man dine,490 
    And made himself delightful o'er the wine.
  232. But now for home. Our merry wheels forsake
    Close hedgerows for the margin of the lake,
    Edged with these water-gnawn fantastic stones p.249
    That show its winter level, white as bones.495 
    The unimprison'd eye skims, miles on miles,
    The silver distance, and the verdurous isles
    That slumber on their shadows in the smooth,
    And back to where fine lipping ripples soothe
    Its nearer beach. High snort the ponies proud,500 
    Fish leap, young Fred and Mary laugh aloud
    For very joy of life. We quit the shore,
    Wind up the hill, and halt at Croghan door.
  233. At two all's ready. Gathering, trooping fast,
    Bright happy faces, all are here at last;505 
    Clad, boy and girl, blue, red or duffel-grey,
    In homespun garments most, a trim array.
    Their entertainers greet them, recognise
    One here, one there: now break we, and devise
    All merry games among the grass and trees,510 
    “Tig,” “Hide & Seek,” “High Windows”—what we please;
    Till, like a bee-drum, sounds the welcome call
    To tea and dainties in the music-hall; p.250
    Nor music silent, of the rustic band;
    Laurence and Jane with friendliest eye and hand515 
    To each in turn attentive. Banquet done,
    Forth draws them once again the westering sun,
    Some dancing in the many-circled mound,
    Thick with primroses, others seated round;
    And there they sing in chorus, till the light520 
    At last begins to fade. Lo! rushing bright,
    A culminating rocket bursts aloft
    In gold and crimson meteors, drooping soft;
    Another follows; wondrous wheel and gyre
    Spin on the grovy background shapes of fire;525 
    A blue ecstatic splendour, mildly strong,
    Bathes tree and mansion, mound and gazing throng;
    Then dusk, as of a sudden, wraps the scene,—
    All memory now; remembered well, I ween.
    In careful cart and wagon home are sent530 
    The smaller children, sleepily content;
    The rest, drawn up in order at the door,
    March with their trusty Captains as before. p.251
    “All children can be govern'd: with the best”
    “Much may be done; and something with the rest.”535 
    “Of men, to help you or be help'd, choose first”
    “The best you know of; and avoid the worst:”
    Thus Bloomfield,—though, like Dunstan, he could dare
    To pinch the Devil's nose, if need there were.
    He found, being active yet averse from strife,530 
    'Twas not so hard to live a manly life;
    Or call it godly life, and thereto read
    The learn'd and holy necromantic Swede;
    Wildest and wisest of the dreamers he.
    All dream, but foolish visions most men see.
  234.  p.252 p.253 p.253 p.254 p.255

    12. Midsummer

  235. Whilst early sink away the starry Twins,
    Pursuing sunset, eastern heaven begins
    To lift Arcturus, with that Coronet
    Upon the brow of Summer glittering set;
    And rich the country now, with shady roads
    And hollow lanes embank'd with fern; white loads
    Of fragrant hawthorn-bloom, but when this bloom
    Grows fainter, bramble-roses in its room;
    And sunny paths for milkmaids, winding through10 
    The grass thick-set with yellow flow'rs and blue,
    Millions of little blue and yellow flow'rs;
    Rich are the warm, long, lustrous, golden hours, p.256
    That nourish the green javelins of the wheat,
    The delicate flax, the tufted clover sweet,15 
    And barley's drooping beard, and speckled oats.
    The yorlin's 28 trembling sigh of pleasure floats
    On sultry wind; the landrail's hoarse crake-crake
    Still keeps the meadows and cornfields awake
    When two clear twilights mingle in the sky20 
    Of glowing June. A broad white margin dry
    Around Lough Braccan, yet our four-oar'd boat
    At this long jetty's end lies well afloat.
    Your hand, fair London girl; your hand, my Jane;
    Lord Camlin lifts wee Molly; Fred is fain25 
    Of Pictor's hand, the glowing P.R.B.
    Two elder guests embark more leisurely,
    Grave William Downing, an official man,
    George Roe, as grave, but on a different plan,
    Our Irish antiquary,—both exact,30 
    Elaborate and minute, but every fact
    Turns here to poetry, and there to prose. p.257
    Bloomfield himself is steersman: off she goes,
    Cleaving the glassy flood; blue summer smiles
    Above, below; green headlands, wooded isles35 
    Shift past them; and the mountain's royal folds,
    With shadows such as purple velvet holds.
    A softer landscape and a fairer sky
    Around the moving boat in mirror'd beauty lie.
    Bloomfield and Camlin talk, old friends and dear,40 
    Of much; of horses, flax-mills, home-brew'd beer;
    Of London; of Ned Stanley, said to be
    Lazy and blasé in sublime degree;
    And of elections. Laurence said, “You know,”
    “My rebel grandsire, sixty years ago,”45 
    “With Grattan gave his vote in College-green,”
    “Or else Lord Lisnamoy I might have been.”
    —“Stand for the county, Bloomfield.”—“So I might.”
    “Under what banner would you have me fight?”
    —“They ask'd you?”—“Yes, with watchword Tenant-right:50 
    “But what had I to promise? All my lore” p.258
    “Leaves this a darker matter than before.”
    “Tory I'm not; yet have no pocket plan”
    “To re-divide the world. Besides, a man”
    “With place and solid work, had better stay”55 
    “And do what comes to hand the best he may.”
    —“You have done much.”—“To make good tenants sure,”
    “And weed away the bad; attempt a cure”
    “Of sloven habits, ignorance, and waste,”
    “(All step by step, for such things bear not haste;)”60 
    “To teach the children; to forbear to mix”
    “With Church affairs, or party politics—”
    “The simple programme, less or more fulfill'd.”
    —“And here you are, not ruin'd yet, nor kill'd.”
    —“So has it happened. Still, I never saw,”65 
    “Nor yet can see, foundation for a law,”
    “Amidst our manifold complexities,”
    “Perplexities, (and what a web are these!)”
    “But here alone: waste and indebted lands”
    “Being wisely bought into the nation's hands,” p.25970 
    “You might thereon create a novel class”
    “Of Irishmen, to leaven all the mass”
    “With hope, and industry, and loyalty,”
    “(My favourite crotchet—well, so let it be)”
    “Small Owners, namely. North, south, east, and west,”75 
    “I'd plant them, and they'd surely do their best;”
    “With great and permanent results, if slow.”
    —“I wish it had been thought-of years ago!”
    —“I mean to try it now, on petty scale.”
    “Dysart's estate was brought at last to sale”80 
    “A week since, and one good-sized lot is mine,”
    “Which, parcell'd out with care, I shall assign”
    “To various peasant purchasers. 'Tis plain”
    “Already that I shall not lose but gain”
    “On the mere bargain. Money must be paid,”85 
    “But part may on the land itself be laid.”
    “No burdensome conditions I inflict,”
    “And all on both sides shall be clear and strict.”
  236. Downing has listen'd; his dry cautious mind p.260
    Can many doubts and difficulties find.90 
    “Ireland and England, make the two as one.”
    —“May Heaven forfend, in case it could be done,”
    Says Roe, and gently shakes his silver'd head;
    And Bloomfield, “As some measure England's thread,”
    “(Do nations last for ever?) 'tis a date”95 
    “For closer partnership a day too late!”
    Quoth Downing, “What can Ireland singly do?”
    —“Nothing as yet: to-morrow's always new.”
    “Small nations to conglomerates I prefer;”
    “Ireland has individual character;”100 
    “But with her very rudiments to learn”
    “Of self-command. Blind Fortune's wheel must turn”
    “In vain, till much be alter'd. I for one,”
    “Save my own task, see nothing to be done.”
    —“No patriotism?” says Camlin.—“Fire and sword”105 
    “In a fool's hands! Could Ireland now afford”
    “One footplace for Astraea? Will our Age”
    “On ground like this her noblest battle wage?”
    “We suffer; powerful England suffers too;” p.261
    “Hot writhing France has still her work to do.”110 
    “Regard the nations; name them one by one;”
    “More pregnant time than ours th' all-seeing Sun”
    “Has not beheld. But Ireland—what of her?”
    “She's nothing by herself: amidst the stir”
    “Flung under foot or bandied to and fro,”115 
    “What comes at last?—Our grandsons, they may know.”
    “Scarce worth a struggle now to re-arrange”
    “What's old, effete, departing,—let it change!”
    “I would that Irishmen could Ireland rule.”
    “They cannot—Irishmen are still at school;”120 
    “Their master, England, unbelov'd 'tis true,”
    “But can we find a better one? can you?”
    “Things must (in Pistol's words) be as they may,”
    “Time and the hour wear out the longest day,”
    “We'll do our best, because the best is best,”125 
    “(The only reason) and let slide the rest.”
  237. “From grassy slope the Round Tower springs aloft,” p.262
    With grey and orange lichen tinted soft,
    Like some huge tree-trunk; its long shadow falls
    Across the rough and ruin'd Abbey-walls,130 
    And creeps o'er headstone, cross, and weedy mound,
    The dial of this consecrated ground;
    While near the shining margin of the lake,
    Where crooked elder-shrubs an arbour make,
    (Grotesquely stuck with many-coloured rags135 
    By grateful devotees, as pilgrim-flags)
    At noon its finger finds the Holy Well,
    Nature's pure hermit of a rocky cell.
    To this in few days more, with one consent,
    Throngs of devout, of sick, of penitent,140 
    Will come to do their prayerful pilgrimage,
    As hath been since the good Columba's age.
    “Much longer,” guesses Roe; “for Pagan shrines”
    “Were Christianized—old bottles held new wines.”
    “Forms—faiths,” Lord Camlin murmurs, “old and new?”145 
    “See,” exclaims Pictor, “how that mantle's blue” p.263
    “Comes out against the grey-green shrubs and rocks.”
    “A Pilgrim surely!” cries fair Goldylocks,
    And claps her pretty cockney hands for joy.
    It is indeed a woman, with a boy,150 
    A ten-year baby, pined in face and limb,
    Whose mother many a mile has carried him,
    And now bends low in pray'r, her sick one laid
    Gasping and white within the elder-shade.
    “Let's go,” says Bloomfield, and they turn away.
  238. 155 
  239. Great awe to see a human being pray
    Had Laurence; but in thought and word and deed
    He stood aloof from every stated creed;
    Aloof, yet, if you question'd, fairly dealt,
    Had thought your thoughts, had felt as you have felt,160 
    And many men were cheer'd at inmost heart
    That some-one dared an independent part.
    The vulgar Scripture-Reader, meddling Priest,
    One could not argue which he loved the least;
    Subscription-lists of theologic kind, p.264165 
    Whatever their party, found him deaf and blind;
    No wish he harbour'd to convert the Jews,
    Turks, Russians, Catholics, Chinese, Hindoos,
    Cared not a pin for High Church or for Low,
    Nor by what various names Dissenters go.170 
    At last the world made up its mind to say:
    “An odd man truly!—he must have his way,”
    For thus old habitudes themselves protect,
    As our own body, failing to eject,
    Sheathes an intrusive particle.—“What plan”175 
    “With Irish Priests?”—“Why, talking as a man,”
    “I say, avoid them. But a statesman might”
    “Have in his calculations found it right”
    “To yield them a less humble place at home;”
    “Since now they're nothing save as part of Rome.”180 
    Bloomfield to Downing thus: and Roe agreed,—
    “Of countries Catholic we find indeed”
    “Ireland most Popish; poor and trodden-down,”
    “She claims the glories of the Triple Crown,” p.265
    “The famous temple of Saint Peter shines,”185 
    “For head-cathedral of her humble shrines.”
    —“Ireland,” said Bloomfield, “too much tends to cast”
    “Her thought upon the distant and the past,”
    “Amidst intangibilities to live,”
    “Her sad imagination scope to give”190 
    “In longings, in regrets, to make her boast”
    “Of fine things due or coming, fine things lost”
    “That once were hers, and hers would still be found”
    “If but the rolling world had kept its ground.”
    —“And yet,” sigh'd Roe, “'tis gentle heart that clings”195 
    “To hope's and memory's fond ideal things.”
    “Poor Erin with her harp!—This very night”
    “The ghosts of immemorial ages light,”
    “From Howth to Connemara, Donegal”
    “To furthest Kerry, for their festival,”200 
    “On every hill and head a mystic flame.”
  240. The time of evening-conversation came p.266
    With new and various talk. A question starts
    Of Meyerbeer's stage-cunning, and Mozart's,
    For Jane's a good musician feminine,205 
    A connoisseur Lord Camlin, skill'd and fine;
    Of Scotch and Irish music, whereof Roe
    Doth more than any living mortal know;
    The modest, mild, and gravely cheerful man,
    Who with the race of statisticians can210 
    Converse as well. The “facts” for which they care,
    His mind will group, distinguish, blend; as air
    And light do landscapes. Now we shoot a glance
    Into the heart of Poland, China, France,
    America,—or aim at least; return215 
    To handle Ireland, yet no fingers burn.
    Amelia thinks Pre-Raphaelites are wrong,
    Complains of Robert Browning's knotty song,
    And Pictor, hot in cheek, confutes the fair,
    But soon forgives her for her gold-red hair.220 
    The voice of Bloomfield—“Search the world around,”
    “Where are you safer than on Irish ground?” p.267
    “No burglar reconnoitres your abode,”
    “No footpad dogs you on the lonely road,”
    “No ruffian's arm or cowardly garotte,”225 
    “Walk where you please, is flung across your throat;”
    “No pistol-pointing mask, with stealthy light,”
    “Across your slumber stoops at dead of night;”
    “No friendly neighbour, spouse, or next of kin,”
    “Mixes your glass, to drop the powder in;”230 
    “Confess, when you have search'd the wide world round,”
    “You're nowhere safer than on Irish ground.”
    “We Paddies, Downing, you must understand,”
    “Count England as a dangerous heathen land!”
    —“I own, though we of Irish things complain”235 
    “Your native manners are of gentler strain.”
    “Your Scotch and English settlers still I find”
    “Of boorish bearing and slow stubborn mind.”
    —“Yet these, per contra,” Bloomfield must admit,
    “Are loyal, truthful, though of sluggish wit.” p.268240 
    “I like them, sturdy, sulky, jealous tribe,”
    “Though to their Orange Hall I can't subscribe.”
    —“And Ribbonism?”—“How much I used to hear”
    “Of Ribbonism,—the landlord's hourly fear!”
    —“And you have quell'd it—'twas a noble task!”245 
    —“I know not if I have; I never ask.”
    “It sometimes said, Take Notice, I took none,”
    “And what we plann'd was resolutely done;”
    “My own folk saw me willing to be just”
    “And something more; I told them, 'I intrust”250 
    “My life to you.' When any lost his land,”
    “'Twas mildly managed; all could understand”
    “The need; and so on.”—“Would you not be loth”
    “To trust a man who took the Ribbon oath?”
    —“Men's lives, and human character, are such,”255 
    “Perhaps it puzzles most to know too much;”
    “I ask no questions.” No: but Laurence knew
    Some things unsought, as frank men always do.
    Whilst yet his reign was but a few weeks old, p.269
    The Doran's lifelong heartburn he consoled260 
    With much-desiderated lease, and more
    Of moorland joined to what they had before.
    Warmly towards their youthful king they felt,
    Who also his especial favour dealt
    To Neal, but knew not what a burden lay265 
    On the boy's mind. Neal told the truth one day.
    “A Ribbonman am I,—send me to jail,”
    “Or where you will, sir.” Laurence heard his tale,
    And sent him round by Ailsa Craig, to watch
    Awhile how Sandy farms, and learn broad Scotch.270 
    Much happens in a year. A spy betray'd
    The poteen-still, and by the heels was laid
    The cunning Connaughtman, who in his turn,
    Enraged and ruin'd, thought it well to earn
    The public money, not indeed for blood,275 
    He could not prove enough; but much he could,
    Which sent Tim Nulty, and five other men,
    To fifteen years of punishment, and ten,
    And broke the Lodge in pieces, with dismay p.270
    And heavy dread, not passing soon away.280 
    First Bloomfield's folk, then nearly all the rest,
    At “God's Tribunal” now their sin confess'd, 29
    And from their oath absolved, with penance due,
    Felt thankful great relief, and started new;
    Some, if not all, upon a wiser course.285 
    Of these was Denis; who with generous force
    His gratitude to generous Laurence gave,
    And Laurence liked the sturdy man and brave,
    Steadfast to Bridget, made at last his wife
    When Neal return'd to prop the old folks' life.290 
    Since Laurence built his Inn, the bustling pair
    With honest pride are host and hostess there,—
    Small show, much comfort, and each liquor's name
    The one it has authentic right to claim;
    No vitriolic whiskey, fit to sear295 
    Your vitals up, no sour malignant beer.
    Poor Paddy of all Christian men I think
    On basest food pours down the vilest drink; p.271
    But not in Bloomfield's kingdom; long did Jane
    Endeavour, and at last not all in vain,300 
    That wives and daughters should know how to cook.
    Upwards, they both say, bid the humbler look;
    Appropriate wishes breed not discontent;
    For strength's renewal petty hopes are lent;
    So live we, so improve. A tidy cottage,305 
    Garb of stout homespun, mess of savoury pottage,
    Such grows the fashion; him that duly tries
    His Honour helps with all goodwill to rise.
    “And what then,” Downing ask'd, “is Ribbonism?”
    —“A morbid sign, a proof of social schism.”310 
    “No one can tell you is it widely spread;”
    “All tails I guess it, and without a head;”
    “A sort of stinging zoophite, that breeds”
    “In rotten places, and from vagrant seeds.”
    —“Well, comfort and contentment hand in hand”315 
    “Grow strong or feeble over every land:”
    “And your folk are contented?”—“Why, so far” p.272
    “As Sons of Erin may, perhaps they are.”
    “But common evils which to life belong”
    “Patricius will account a personal wrong;”320 
    “Suckled on grievances, his mind is bent”
    “To charge on others all his discontent;”
    “Half curses England when his tooth-ache stings,”
    “Half blames th' Established Church for frosty springs”
    “And rainy summers; thinks it passing hard”325 
    “From any joy of life to live debarr'd,”
    “As though the English, French, or German poor”
    “Lead plenteous lives, with nothing to endure.”
    —“What's this!” said Jane; “O yes they are, I'm sure,”
    “Contented.”—“Well, perhaps they are, my dear;”330 
    “As much as may be; yet I always hear”
    “The human discontent in murmuring motion”
    “Round every limit, like the murmuring ocean.”
    “Come, let us go. The bonfires are alight.”
    “I'll hold you safe from Captain Rock to-night.”335 
    “Now, Miss Amelia;—” From the fir-grove mound p.273
    They view the shadowy country, leagues around,
    Spotted with fires; upon the mountain ridge
    One like a rising star; and one a bridge
    Of quivering gold across the dusky lake;340 
    Successive torches, like a fiery snake,
    Wind creeping through the foliage, in and out,
    With black figures athwart, whose muffled shout
    Hurts not the whispering airs that come and go
    Among the fir-boughs and warm grass below.345 
    Now by sweet-scented path they take their way
    Between the dusky swathes of new-mown hay,
    Down to the cross-roads' patch, enclosed with trees
    And flower-girt walls of peeping cottages,
    To find the nearest Bonfire—crumbled wide350 
    In glowing ruins, and on every side
    The women snatching ruddy coals, for fear
    Their hearth should miss good luck throughout the year.
    But quickly now approach, with clamorous noise,
    The torches, in a mob of men and boys,355 
    Who draw to Bloomfield's gazing group, extend p.274
    The loose array to left and right, and bend
    All round them, not too closely, in a ring,
    From which the huge reed-flambeaux towering fling
    Wild flare upon the crowd, with shadows wild,360 
    And on the trees' dark wall above them piled.
    Amelia shrinks to Jane's courageous arm,
    Who smiles away her pretty friend's alarm.
    Forth steps a torch-man. “Hats off, boys! be ready!”
    “God bless his Honour, and his darlin' Lady!—”365 
    “God bless the two fine childre', that's not here!”—
    Cead millia faltia, noble guests!”—a cheer 30
    Thrice o'er the glimmering lake swells out and dies.
    Faint echo from the mountain-land replies.
  241. Gaze from the Hall: the fires are well-nigh dead,370 
    But in the clear dark summer vault o'erhead
    A mild three-quarter moon and stars a few
    Burn quenchless, and the heav'n is lighted through
    With faintest daylight, whereof none can say p.275
    If that it be the old or newborn day.375 
    Alas! the year has touched its height of hope,
    And lessening day on day begin to slope
    To gloomy winter. All, we know, must die:
    But when we feel it, who forbears to sigh?—
    To bed, to bed! amidst the doubtful gleam;380 
    And mingle Past and Future in a dream.
  242. Says Downing, brought by Bloomfield round the land
    Next morning,—“Now at last I understand.”
    “I knew your liberal notions, never knew”
    “How you contrived to raise your rental too.”385 
    “I see you have, as groundwork, study made,”
    “Close, persevering, of the farmer's trade.”
    “Hard work, no doubt, at first.” “Plans fail'd, beside,”
    “And many cheated, more to cheat me tried;”
    “All has work'd round by slow and sure degrees,”390 
    “To something doubtless,—but one never sees”
    “His hope come true; in daylight disappear” p.276
    “The vision's glories. ... Let me show you here”
    “A solid thing enough. Seven years ago”
    “With gorse above, and plashy bog below,”395 
    “This was a dreary wilderness and wide,”
    “With one poor cottage on the moorland-side”
    “Twelve little households now possess a place,”
    “And each the centre of a widening space”
    “Of useful ground. Besides their work at home,”400 
    “The men and youths to farming labour come”
    “In Spring or Harvest on the neighbouring lands,”
    “But not as once, with slavish hungry hands,”
    “Toiling for husks, and as they toil'd the more,”
    “More helpless, pinch'd, and poorer than before.”405 
    —“Wages are higher?”—“Yes, I gladly say,”
    “And far more work too finish'd in a day.”
    “Every day-labourer, if worthy found,”
    “Ere long obtains a cheap small bit of ground;”
    “Help with a house; with more ambitious eyes,”410 
    “May look to win a waste-plot if he tries;”
    “But first probationary powers must show,” p.277
    “And on the list with all his rivals go.”
    “There should be, as the soldiers have in France,”
    “In humblest work an opening to advance.”415 
    “Best government gives every man his chance.”
    “That's justice,—but still more the weak may claim,”
    “And merely justice in the strong were blame.”
  243. “This house is Doran's, who was pioneer”
    “Amid the waste, and lived in constant fear”420 
    “Of those above him. He and his at length”
    “To other shores had turn'd their heart and strength:”
    “But here remain the old man and his wife,”
    “A healthy couple still, of easy life.”
    “A year ago their son, so things befell,”425 
    “Essay'd my stewardship, and does it well.”
    “Their daughter, married, lives at Lisnamoy,”
    “Fair hostess of the Inn; her six-year boy”
    “Lives mainly with the old folk, who employ”
    “A sturdy youth's assistance for their land,”430 
    “And keep their place, you see, with tidy hand.”
  244.  p.278
  245. Trim on its farm the little mansion stood,
    Amidst, e'en yet, a seeming solitude
    Of craggy hills above, brown bog below.
    Cheap all-enriching ivy (sure to grow435 
    Where Bloomfield's likings are a law of love)
    Clasping the gable, show'd its sprays above
    White wall and well-kept thatch; field, fence, and lane,
    Once vile as beggar's garb, now carried plain
    The look of thrift and hopeful industry,440 
    Proud, not ashamed, to toil successfully.
    A regiment of young trees stood well in rank,
    To guard from swooping gale an open flank,
    And here and there, with due entrenchment round,
    Green larches held the rugged bits of ground.445 
    They entered: rows of dish and cup shone bright
    Along the dresser; and a warm delight
    Made Maureen's good old face more shining still
    As Bloomfield shook her hand with right good-will;
    While grandson Johnny timidly must creep p.279450 
    And sidle off, and round a corner peep.
    Would they sit down?—And, oh it was too much,
    But could their Honours any one thing touch?
    “Your bunya-rowa to my friend I've praised,” 31
    And each the milky bowl rejoicing raised.455 
    They saw the garden, with its homely space
    Of onions, parsley, cabbage, catching grace
    From bordering marigolds, high hollyhocks,
    Tufted queen-daisies; under mossy rocks
    Stood beehives ranged along its upper end,460 
    And willows to a bow'r were taught to bend;
    Then passing to the door were met by Jack,
    A sturdy toiler still, though bow'd in back,
    Who show'd his fields and methods, old and new,
    Yet with a lingering touch of caution too.465 
    With humble cough he prefaced each reply,
    And glanced at Downing with suspicious eye.
  246. Next to Neal Doran's house, in central site, p.280
    Warm brick emboss'd with roses red and white.
    His wife, a comely, smiling little dame,470 
    Was busy with her baby when they came;
    And soon arrived the Steward, young and stout,
    With face of active boldness looking out
    Through calm intelligence; his words but few,
    Respectful, grave, and confidential too.475 
    Master and servant lived in mutual trust.
    How sweet is life when men are kind and just!
    “A fortnight hence we go, Neal,—must prepare,”—
    And so they talked of this and that affair.
  247. The guests are gone. Midsummer time is past.480 
    Laurence and Jane a longing wish have cast
    To Thor and Odin's land, resolved to see
    (Bold travellers they in many a far countrie)
    The rough and jagged edge of Europe, where
    White Sulitelma looks through purest air485 
    Over pine-forests, cataracts, deep still fiords;
    And Gulbrandsdal hath for its peasant-lords p.281
    Maintain'd their old inheritances; each.
    Warm in his fir-built palace, out of reach
    Of winter and the wolf, on those long nights490 
    That arch the waste of snow with mystic lights.
    A country poor and perilous; yet kind,
    As Gamle Norge's grateful children find.
  248. Mary and Fred to Jane's good sister go,
    In Dublin; one whose marriage fails to know495 
    The joy of blest maternity, but scant
    In no good office that becomes an aunt.
    Sir Ulick's house the children seldom see;
    Infirm in body and in mind is he;
    My Lady Harvey, as a woman can,500 
    Makes wretched all around her. On her plan
    One daughter's married; one remains to fret;
    Richard, her eldest son and former pet,
    Has mingled wormwood in her bowl of life
    By choosing for himself a charming wife.505 
    Dick, when he comes, of Bloomfield's talk is fain, p.282
    And Mary Harvey bosom-friends with Jane.
    Meanwhile the old régime creaks lumbering on,—
    A crawling flattering creature, hight Malone,
    Once clerk to Pigot, now for agent placed;510 
    Some think a cheat, and sure to be disgraced.
  249. Sir Ulick's younger daughter, so they say,
    Was jilted by Lord Crashton—well-a-day!
    I mean the young Lord, when the old Lord died.
    He to the last on Satan loudly cried,515 
    And cursed his only son with parting breath,
    A son right joyful of his father's death.
    The young Lord's ways 'tis wisdom not to know;
    The firm in Dublin, meanwhile, smoothly go
    From year to year with all his bonds and lands,520 
    Which rest completely in their skilful hands;
    And Phinn and Wedgely well their secrets keep.
    A slice is theirs of every ox and sheep,
    Or, some think, lion's share. For good or harm,
    This broad estate is one huge grazing farm.
  250.  p.283525 
  251. How fare the other neighbours of our Squire?
    Dysart, sold up, to Dublin will retire,
    And live there, Heaven, or else the Deuce, knows how.
    O'Hara died at Rome: trustees have now530 
    His large bequest, to found a nunnery,
    And college, when convenient; squeezing dry
    The land and tenants meanwhile. Finlay, cold
    And hard at all times, now is too-too old,
    Is turn'd a very walking icicle,
    From which no sun or fire can coax one rill,535 
    One drop of kindness. With his silent spouse
    And cloddish sons he keeps a dismal house,
    Bargains at every fair, and has not thought
    How he is with his cattle sold and bought.
    Tough Isaac Brown, because the times grew bad,540 
    Much conflict with his petty tenants had,
    And, beef and mutton rising every day,
    Drove men and women by the score away;
    Some on the Union (his Division) came,
    Which vex'd him. Twice his rick-yard roar'd in flame. p.284545 
    He thinks assassins on his footsteps wait,
    And four policemen live beside his gate.
    His wife, long-lingering, dead, this tough old Brown
    Soon made a young and florid lass his own;
    And for the purse-strings they have many a fight.550 
    His son enlisted; daughter Nell took flight
    With stolen money, and a labouring lad.
    Old Isaac's temper now is bitter-bad;
    Ghoul-greedy grows his appetite for gain;
    Some think him softening, not in heart but brain.
  252. 555 
  253. Has Bloomfield mov'd these men? Small sign appears.
    They learn but little from the days and years.
    “I thought,” said he to Jane, “that by degrees”
    “Persuasive reason would have wrought on these”
    “To join for some good ends: with what disgust,”560 
    “What rage they always listen, if they must,”
    “To mere proposals for the general good!”
    “A stupid rich man's gross tyrannic mood” p.285
    “Enrages one in turn, and goads to fight,”
    “And some wrong things have thus been twisted right”565 
    “With weary work. What pleasure (here's reward)”
    “In one's own limits to make some accord”
    “Of wish and fact, with aidance always near”
    “From speckless mind and loving heart, most dear! ...”
    “How little can be done, my Jane, at best!”—570 
    “The landscape here is noble; shall we rest?”
    Thus on Croghmore said Laurence, just a day
    Before they started on their northern way.
    Two mountain ponies bore them up as far
    As that grey limestone crag, with rift and scar,575 
    Which keeps the summit like a castle-wall,
    Titanic, dreadful. Sunshine over all
    The world was spread, and on a knoll or crown
    Warm-scented with wild thyme, these two sat down.
  254. The verdant mountain slopes from stair to stair;580 
    A cottage whitely nestling here and there; p.286
    Atop stands built the dizzy limestone ledge;
    Below, smooth curves embrace the water's edge,
    And round the clear lough, gemm'd with islands green,
    Rise lower crags, with darkling glens between,585 
    Thick-grown with nut and fern and rowan-spray,
    Through which the falling streamlets find their way.
    Far-distant, clothed in soft aerial blue,
    A peaky summit bounds the wider view,
    A brother mountain, swept by ocean-gales,590 
    Where fishers' roofs are hid in wider vales;
    Mountain to mountain looks, as king to king,
    And embassies of clouds high message bring;
    Great thunders roll between, when storm-eclipse
    Shuts either landmark from arriving ships;595 
    The starry dome suspended high aloof
    Bows on these pillars its perennial roof.
    But now, bright sunshine broods upon the world,
    With silence; save the boom of bee uncurl'd
    From bed of thyme; or when a marvellous thing,600 
    Horns, beard, and yellow eyes, with sudden spring p.287
    Cresting some fragment like a hippogriff,
    Is gone, its goat-bleat echoing from the cliff.
  255. They see the lake and islands mapp'd below,
    Through broad green plains the river's glittering flow,605 
    Partition'd farms, and roofs where men abide,
    The Town's light smoke, on grovy hill descried;
    Corn-fields and meadows, rocky mounts they see,
    Dale, sheep-walk, moorland, bog, and grassy lea;
    But all, from mountain-skirts to distant coast,610 
    In one expanse and one impression lost;
    A wavy ten-league landscape, light and large,
    Lonely and sad, on Europe's furthest marge.
    “'A plenteous place of hospitable cheer'”
    “'Is Holy Ireland!'—often did I hear”615 
    “That song in Gaelic from my nurse. Poor land!”
    “'There's honey where her misty vales expand.'”
    “Her sons and daughters love her; yet they fly”
    “As from a city of the plague; and why?”—
    “Poor Madge herself, when I was still a boy,” p.288620 
    “Sail'd westward, beyond search: at Lisnamoy”
    “I could not find one creature of her race.”
    “The people flee by myriads, and their place”
    “Knows them no more. On whom or what to blame”
    “We disagree, and struggle without aim.”625 
    “Some wish us joy; we're losers all the same.”
    “Yet would I merely stop the current? No.”
    “How many I myself have help'd to go.”
    “'Tis best for them—and sad it should be so.”
    —“But, Laurence, you in this desponding mood!”630 
    “Who've done your land and people so much good,”—
    “In joy of work accomplished,—on this eve”
    “Of happy holiday!”—“'Tis sad to leave”
    “One's home, on gayest journey: Shall we find”
    “Again the very things we've left behind? ...”635 
    “But past our bounds my thought o'er Ireland flew,”
    “And only saw a dreary dismal view.”
    “This mild green country in the western sea,”
    “With guardian mountains, rivers full and free,” p.289
    “Home of a brave, rich-brain'd, warm-hearted race,”—640 
    “This Ireland should have been a noble place.”
  256. “It will be,” Jane replied. And so they left
    Their purple couch, and clomb a rocky cleft,
    Steep, narrow, known to mountaineers, and stood
    On the bare summit,—kingly solitude,645 
    Apart, yet public to the earth and sky.
    Drunken with bliss, the proud exulting eye
    Swept o'er the billowy hills, cloud-shadow'd, roll'd
    Like spotted sultan-serpent, fold on fold;
    Faint violet valleys; specks of burning gold650 
    On brook or tarn; a world below spread fine
    Of delicate rainbows, to the far-off shine
    Intense but dim of Ocean, like Heaven's gate;
    All over-canopied with pomp and state
    Of clouds, pure gulfs, and glowing light profound655 
    Wherewith the sun o'erflow'd th' horizon round.
  257.  p.290
  258. Their bosoms with a wordless rapture swell'd,
    Grazing upon these glories. Laurence held
    The wifely hand, with little ring wherethro'
    Her life-stream coursed in wandering veins of blue,655 
    And press'd it to his lips with perfect love.
    A psalm was in their souls to GOD above.
    Earth, ocean, spreading round them, and on high
    The regions of the everlasting sky.

Document details

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Title statement

Title (uniform): Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland

Title (extended): Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland; or the New Landlord

Author: William Allingham

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber

proof corrections and encoding by: Mike Clark and Beatrix Färber

Edition statement

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent: 53300 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: 2008

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

CELT document ID: E850006-002

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Notes statement

The version used in preparing the electronic text was published as “a new and cheaper issue, with prefece”, in 1869.

Source description

Allingham's Works

  1. William Allingham, Poems (London: Chapman & Hall 1850).
  2. William Allingham, Day and Night Songs (London: Routledge 1854).
  3. William Allingham, Peace and War (London: Routledge 1854).
  4. William Allingham, The Music Master (London: Routledge 1854).
  5. William Allingham, The Ballad Book: A Selection of the Choicest British Ballads [Golden Treasury Series] (London: Macmillan 1864).
  6. William Allingham, Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland: A Modern Poem (London: Macmillan 1864, 1869; reprinted New York: AMS 1972).
  7. William Allingham, Fifty Modern Poems (London: Bell & Daldy 1865).
  8. William Allingham, In Fairyland: A Series of Pictures by Richard Doyle with a Poem by William Allingham (London: Longmans, Green 1870).
  9. William Allingham, Songs, Ballads and Stories (London: George Bell & Sons 1877).
  10. William Allingham, Evil May-Day (London: David Stott 1883).
  11. William Allingham, Ashby Manor: A Play in Two Acts (London: David Stott 1883). [Historical drama].
  12. William Allingham, The Fairies (London: De La Rue 1883).
  13. William Allingham, Blackberries: Picked Off Many Bushes, by D. Pollex and Others; Put in a Basket by W. Allingham (London: Philip & Son 1884).
  14. Rhymes for the Young Folk. (London: Cassell 1887).
  15. William Allingham, Irish Songs and Poems, with Nine Airs Harmonised for Voice and Pianoforte (London: Reeves & Turner 1887).
  16. William Allingham, Flower Pieces and Other Poems (London: Reeves & Turner 1888).
  17. William Allingham, Life and Phantasy (London: Reeves & Turner 1889).
  18. William Allingham, Thought and Word, and Ashby Manor (London: Reeves & Turner 1890).
  19. William Allingham, Blackberries. Revised (London: Reeves & Turner 1890).
  20. William Allingham, Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland. Revised (London: Reeves & Turner 1890).
  21. William Allingham, Varieties in Prose (London: Longmans Green 1893). [Collected Prose].
  22. William Allingham, Sixteen poems by William Allingham, selected by William Butler Yeats. (Dundrum: Dun Emer Press, Dundrum 1905.) Published by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats. [Photo-lithographic reprint published 1971 by IUP.]
  23. William Allingham: A Diary, ed. Helen Allingham and Dollie Radford (London:Macmillan 1907).
  24. William Allingham, Poems of William Allingham, selected and arranged by Helen Allingham. (London: Macmillan 1912).
  25. William Allingham, By the Way: Verses, Fragments, and Notes, ed. Helen Allingham (London: Longmans, Green 1912).
  26. William Allingham, William Allingham's diary; introduction by Geoffrey Grigson (London: Centaur 1967).
  27. The poems of William Allingham, ed. with an introduction by John Hewitt. An Comhairle Ealaíon Series of Irish authors. (Dublin: Dolmen 1967).

Secondary Literature

  1. Hans Kropf, William Allingham und seine Dichtung im Lichte der irischen Freiheitsbewegung. Inaugural-Dissertation (Biel 1928).
  2. J. Lyle Donaghy, 'William Allingham'. In: Dublin Magazine 20:2 (1945) 34–38.
  3. P. S. O'Hegarty, A bibliography of William Allingham. [Reprinted from the Dublin Magazine of Jan–March and July–Sept. 1945] (Dublin: A. Thom & Co. 1945).
  4. William Irwin Patrick McDonogh, The life and work of William Allingham. [Unpublished PhD Thesis, Trinity College Dublin 1952, Dept. of English.]
  5. Hugh Shields, 'William Allingham and folk song'. In: Hermathena 117 (1974), 23–36.
  6. Patricia Mary England, The poetry of William Allingham. [Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Birmingham 1976, Dept of English.]
  7. Alan Warner, William Allingham: an introduction. (Dublin: Dolmen 1971) [Includes a selection of Allingham's poems.]
  8. Alan Warner, William Allingham. (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press 1975).
  9. Alan Warner, 'William Allingham: Bibliographical Survey.' Irish Book Lore 2 (1976): 303–307.
  10. Samira Aghacy Husni, William Allingham: an annotated bibliography. Beirut, Lebanese Establishment for Publishing & Printing Services, c 1984.
  11. Mark Samuels Lasner, 'William Allingham: some uncollected authors lvi. Part 1'. Book Collector 39 (Summer 1991) 174–204.
  12. Mark Samuels Lasner, 'William Allingham: some uncollected authors lvi. Part 2'. Book Collector 39 (Autumn 1991) 321–349.
  13. Mark Samuels Lasner, 'William Allingham: a bibliographical study. (Philadelphia: Holmes 1993).
  14. Malcolm McClure, 'Biographical note: the Allinghams of Ballyshannon' [An interim report]. Donegal Annual 52 (2000) 87–89.

Literary Background

  1. Letters to William Allingham, edited by H. Allingham (London: Longmans 1911), reprinted (New York: AMS Press 1971).
  2. G. B. N. Hill, ed., The letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William Allingham, 1854–1870 (1897).

The edition used in the digital edition

Allingham, William (1869). Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland‍. 2nd ed. x + 292 pp. London: MacMillan &Co.

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

  title 	 = {Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland},
  author 	 = {William Allingham},
  edition 	 = {2},
  note 	 = {x + 292 pp.},
  publisher 	 = {MacMillan \&Co.},
  address 	 = {London},
  date 	 = {1869}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

Text covers the new preface on pp iii–x and the poem on pp 3–290. Pages which contain no text, but only headings, are indicated.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has been proof-read twice and parsed.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text.

Quotation: Direct speech is tagged q unless there are overlapping hierarchies. In this case ist is rendered by inverted commas.

Hyphenation: Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (and subsequent punctuation mark) crosses a page-break, this break is marked after the completion of the word (and punctuation mark).

Segmentation: div0=the poem; div1=the chapter. Line-groups are marked lg; lines of verse are marked l. Page-breaks are marked pb n="".

Standard values: Dates are standardized in the ISO form yyyy-mm-dd.

Interpretation: Names are not tagged.

Reference declaration

A canonical reference to a location in this text should be made using “chapter”, eg chapter 1.

Profile description

Creation: c.1863-1864

Language usage

  • The text is in English. (en)
  • Some words are in Irish, however in anglicised spelling. (ga)
  • Some words and phrases are in Latin. (la)
  • Some words are in French. (fr)
  • Two words are in Norwegian. (no)

Keywords: literary; poetry; 19c

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2008-09-18: File validated, SGML and HTML versions created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2008-09-18: Whole file checked; some more content markup applied; preface proofed (2), errata incorporated, chapters 6-12 proofed (2). (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2008-09-06: Introduction and chapter 5 proofed (1); structural and content markup applied. Chapters 6-12 integrated into file; header created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2008-07-09: Chapters 1-4 proofread (1); their structural and content markup finished. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2008-07: Chapters 6-12 proofread (1); structural and content markup applied. (ed. Mike Clark)
  6. 2008-06-09: File captured. (data capture Beatrix Färber)

Index to all documents

Standardisation of values

CELT Project Contacts



For details of the markup, see the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

page of the print edition

folio of the manuscript

numbered division

 999 line number of the print edition (in grey: interpolated)

underlining: text supplied, added, or expanded editorially

italics: foreign words; corrections (hover to view); document titles

bold: lemmata (hover for readings)

wavy underlining: scribal additions in another hand; hand shifts flagged with (hover to view)

TEI markup for which a representation has not yet been decided is shown in red: comments and suggestions are welcome.

Source document


Search CELT

  1. creels, panniers. 🢀

  2. kemp, a meeting of girls for sewing, spinning, or other work, ending with a dance. Kayley, a casual gathering of neighbours for gossip.  🢀

  3. ]whins, gorse. 🢀

  4. camuns, sticks bent at one end. 🢀

  5. nagg, wooden ball. 🢀

  6. loy, a half-spade 🢀

  7. beetling, thumping clothes with an truncheon (beetle) 🢀

  8. brogues, rough shoes. 🢀

  9. Paudheen Dhu, Little Black Paddy. 🢀

  10. duty, observance of the rules of the Church, especially as to Confession. 🢀

  11. stagg, informer. 🢀

  12. sack, overcome in argument. 🢀

  13. shanahus, old stories. 🢀

  14. 'Sallies' or sallows (salix.) 🢀

  15. Curragh, or coracle, a little boat of hide stretched on wicker. 🢀

  16. Crom, a pagan deity 🢀

  17. glibb, the natural hair grown in a thick mass. 🢀

  18. murneen, darling. 🢀

  19. fareer gair! bitter grief!. 🢀

  20. Lamh dearg an oughter, the red hand uppermost; Tubbermore, the Great Well. 🢀

  21. Lordy, a hunchback. 🢀

  22. Be du hust, be silent. 🢀

  23. faugh-a-ballagh, clear the way. 🢀

  24. Wirrastrua! Mary who art merciful! 🢀

  25. five crosses—made by laying together the fingers of both hands. 🢀

  26. thigemthu, do you understand. 🢀

  27. Eman-ac-knuck, Ned of the Hills, an Irish brigand. 🢀

  28. yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella). 🢀

  29. “God's Tribunal,” the confessional. 🢀

  30. “Cead millia faltia,” a hundred thousand welcomes. 🢀

  31. bunya-rowa, thick milk. 🢀


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