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And 'gan to question him, and catechize
"The flies, my Lord! the flies, the flies!"
"Psha!" quoth the judge, half peevish and half pompous,
"Why, you're non compos;
You should have watched the bowl, as she desired,
And killed the flies, you stupid clown."
“The man's an ass! a pretty question this!
That stole the cream! Let me come near it."
And, aiming one of his sledge-hammer blows
Thomas Moore was born in Dublin in 1779, and was educated in the university of that city. He went to London in 1799 to read law, and the year after published his translation of Anacreon. His first original poems were published under the name of Thomas Little; they were grossly indelicate, and the poet, it is believed, was afterwards quite ashamed of them. He was soon after sent to Bermuda in an official capacity, and remained there over a year, during which time his pen was busy. On his return he wrote several pungent polit ical satires in the interest of the Whig party. Next appeared his best and most famous productions, the Irish Melodies, which are pervaded by an intense national feeling, and marked by an uncommon felicity of phrase, as well as by a strong musical rhythm. They were written for favorite native airs, and are now firmly established among the folk-songs of Ireland.
Lalla Rookh was published in 1817. It is full of Oriental learning,
with it, in fact,
but the story connecting the several parts is gracefully told, and there are many passages of great beauty and power throughout the whole poem. An occasional preference for tinsel, in place of bullion, easily passed over by romantic persons of a certain age, gives the maturer critic a twinge in reading; and it may be pretty safely assumed that in any house the copy of Lalla Rookh, in which the gray-beard once delighted, has now found its way into the book-shelves of the coming generation.
Moore made a visit to Paris in company with Rogers, and, two years later, travelled to Italy with Lord John Russell, at which time he visited Lord Byron in Venice. Returning, he stopped at Paris, and remained there until 1822. His subsequent works were, The Loves of the Angels, an Eastern story; the Life of Byron, and the Life of Sheridan, and The Epicurean. A complete edition of his works, in ten volumes, was issued in 1842. He died in 1852-dying, as Dean Swift said, like a cedar, from the top downwards. Moore certainly possessed many remarkable traits of mind; but he was animated rather than brilliant, fanciful rather than imaginative, prone to indulge in a tawdry excess of ornament, and in a juvenile exuberance of feeling which seems an affectation, whether real or not. But on his native soil his step was firm and his eye clear. His patriotic songs are not only the best in Ireland's history, but they may challenge comparison with those of any nation.
The poet was an amiable person, fond of society, and especially proud of his titled friends. His Memoirs, edited by Lord John Russell, from which much was expected, proved to be quite void of interest.
PARADISE AND THE PERI.
ONE morn a Peri at the gate
Through the half-open portal glowing,
"How happy," exclaimed this child of air,
'Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall:
One blossom of heaven out-blooms them all.
"Though sunny the lake of cool Cashmere,
And sweetly the founts of that valley fall;
How the waters of heaven outshine them all.
"Go, wing thy flight from star to star, From world to luminous world, as far
As the universe spreads its flaming wall; Take all the pleasures of all the spheres, And multiply each through endless years —
One minute of heaven is worth them all."
The glorious Angel who was keeping
From Eden's fountain, when it lies
"Nymph of a fair but erring line," Gently he said, "one hope is thine. 'Tis written in the Book of Fate,
'The Peri yet may be forgiven Who brings to this eternal gate
The gift that is most dear to Heaven.'
Go, seek it, and redeem thy sin :
Rapidly as comets run
To the embraces of the Sun,
And, lighted earthward by a glance
But whither shall the Spirit go
1 The blue campac.
Beneath the pillars of Chilminar ;1
I know where the Isles of Perfume are,
I know, too, where the genii hid
But gifts like these are not for the sky.
While thus she mused, her pinions fanned
But crimson now her rivers ran
With human blood; the smell of death
Mingled his taint with every breath
1 The ruins of Persepolis.
2 The banyan tree. 3 Mahmood, conqueror of India.
Maidens within their pure Zenana,
Alone beside his native river,
And the last arrow in his quiver.
False flew the shaft, though pointed well;
And, when the rush of war was past,
Of morning light, she caught the last, Last glorious drop his heart had shed Before its free-born spirit fled.
"Be this," she cried, as she winged her flight,
On the field of warfare, blood like this,
It would not stain the purest rill
That sparkles among the Bowers of Bliss. O, if there be on this earthly sphere
A boon, an offering Heaven holds dear,
'Tis the last libation Liberty draws
From the heart that bleeds and breaks in her cause."
"Sweet," said the Angel, as she gave
The gift into his radiant hand,