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haunting Ellen MacCarthy, and its every note woke an echo of gladness in her heart. But she said not a word. The Countess praised the air and asked what it was called. Florence answered that it was a Spanish serenade air, mentioning the name at the same time.
"Will you not play that air again, Florence?" whispered Lady Ellen.
Not only that air, but many others, Irish and Spanish, did Florence play, and the echoes answered, as the boat floated down the stream again towards the broad expanse of the Lower Lake. As it rounded the sharp headland at Otter's Point, and glided along under the dark woods of Muckruss toward the ancient Abbey of Irrelagh, the accomplished minstrel changed the lively strain he had last played to a wild and mournful air that thrilled every heart -it was the funeral march of the Clan Caura, whose timehonored burying-place they were approaching.
For a brief space the boat stopped when the abbey was in sight, solemn and mournful in the silence and decay to which the ruffian barbarism of English soldiers had consigned it for evermore.
Grand and stately was the music and full of woe, and as the oarsmen rested on their oars, and the gallowglasses raised their barrads in honor of the noble sleepers within the ruined pile, it seemed as if the voices of the dead MacCarthys rose, hollow and plaintive, from amid the tall ancestral trees that had for ages sheltered their last repose, joining in the solemn and familiar strain.
"Ellen," said Florence MacCarthy, laying down the lute, as the boat sped on again over the bright waters of Castle Lough Bay, where a castle of the MacCarthys stood on a small island, flinging its shadows far out into the bay; "Ellen, it is there, before the ruined shrine of Irrelagh, over the ashes of our fathers, that I should wish to plight my faith to the fairest daughter of Clan Caura. Say, shall it so be?"
"It is a strange thought, Florence," replied Ellen, softly, "yet I mislike not the plan. But methinks it were well, before you talk in such wise, to speak with my lady mother anent the matter."
"I leave that to you, fair lady mine," said Florence pleasantly, and he laughed low to himself.
Two days after, when the moon was again shining on the desolate abbey walls in the last hours of night, a bridal party stood before the ruined shrine of Muckruss, where the altar still stood, defaced and broken. The light of day might not witness, in those evil times, the marriage of MacCarthy More's daughter to the son of one MacCarthy Reagh and the stepson of another-himself the lord of broad ancestral domains!
Few were the witnesses of that marriage, that in other times would have gathered together princes and chiefs, and lords and ladies, from more than one of the four provinces of Ireland. O'Sullivan More, MacFinan, the seneschal, and another young officer of the Earl's household, who was the Lady Ellen's foster-brother-these, with the Countess and Una O'Leary, were alone present. The friar, the Earl's chaplain, a man of venerable age, who said Mass and performed the ceremony, was one of those who, in the direful days of Henry the Eighth, was expelled from the abbey at the sword's point. It was, truly, a solemn and picturesque scene, suggestive of many a mournful reflection.
No bard played, no clairseach1 sounded, no clansman raised his joyous cheer, when the daughter of the MacCarthys and the Geraldines wedded her equally noble kinsman; no banner waved, no spear or battle-axe gleamed; only the pale moonlight streaming through the roofless aisle, and the sickly ray of two small tapers on the altar, illumined the strange scene. Amid the ghostly shadows of the ruined fanes, in silence and in mystery, where their lordly fathers slept beneath, Lady Ellen became the wife of Florence MacCarthy.
1 Clairseach, harp.
JOHN SAVAGE was born in Dublin in 1828. After taking some part in the '48 movement he emigrated to America in that year and adopted the profession of journalism. He joined the staff of the New York Tribune and became the proprietor of The States, the organ of Stephen A. Douglas.
In 1879 he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from St. John's College, Fordham. He published several volumes of poetry: 'Lays of the Fatherland,' 1850; 'Sybil,' 1850; Faith and Fancy,' 1864; 'Poems,' 1870. He also wrote Ninety-Eight and Forty-Eight,' and a 'Life of Andrew Johnson.' He died in New York in 1888.
SCENE.-Before Dublin Castle. Night. A clansman of Shane O'Neill's discovers his Chief's head on a pole.
Is it thus, O Shane the haughty! Shane the valiant! that we meet
Have my eyes been lit by Heaven but to guide me to defeat?
Thy wrathful lips like sentinels, by foulest treachery stung, Look rage upon the world of wrong, but chain thy fiery tongue.
That tongue, whose Ulster accent woke the ghost of Columbkill;
Whose warrior-words fenced round with spears the oaks of Derry Hill;
Whose reckless tones gave life and death to vassals and to
And hunted hordes of Saxons into holy Irish graves.
The Scotch marauders whitened when his war-cry met their
And the death-bird, like a vengeance, poised above his stormy cheers;
Ay, Shane, across the thundering sea, out-chanting it, your tongue
Flung wild un-Saxon war-whoopings the Saxon Court among.
Just think, O Shane! the same moon shines on Liffey as on Foyle,
And lights the ruthless knaves on both, our kinsmen to despoil; And you the hope, voice, battle-axe, the shield of us and ours, A murdered, trunkless, blinding sight above these Dublin towers!
Thy face is paler than the moon; my heart is paler stillMy heart? I had no heart-'t was yours, 't was yours! to keep or kill.
And you kept it safe for Ireland, Chief-your life, your soul, your pride;
But they sought it in thy bosom, Shane-with proud O'Neil it died.
You were turbulent and haughty, proud and keen as Spanish steel
But who had right of these, if not our Ulster's Chief, O'Neill, Who reared aloft the "Bloody Hand" until it paled the sun, And shed such glory on Tyrone as chief had never done?
He was 66 the foe;
turbulent" with traitors; he was "haughty" with
He was "cruel," say ye, Saxons! Ay! he dealt ye blow for
blow! He was 66
rough " and "wild"-and who's not wild to see his hearthstone razed?
He was "merciless as fire"-ah, ye kindled him-he blazed!
He was "proud "-yes, proud of birthright, and because he
Your Saxon stars of princedom, as the rock does mocking spray.
He was wild, insane for vengeance-ay! and preached it till Tyrone
Was ruddy, ready, wild, too, with "Red hands" to clutch their
"The Scots are on the border, Shane!" Ye Saints, he makes no breath;
I remember when that cry would wake him up almost from death.
Art truly dead and cold? O Chief! art thou to Ulster lost? "Dost hear-dost hear? By Randolph led, the troops the Foyle have crossed!"
He's truly dead! He must be dead! nor is his ghost about—And yet no tomb could hold his spirit tame to such shout:
The pale face droopeth northward-ah! his soul must loom up there,
By old Armagh, or Antrim's glynns, Lough Foyle, or Bann the Fair!
I'll speed me Ulster-wards-your ghost must wander there, proud Shane,
In search of some O'Neill, through whom to throb its hate again.
BREASTING THE WORLD.
Many years have burst upon my forehead,
Years of gloom and heavy-freighted grief,
Yet if all the world had storm and sorrow,
You, moon-like, lit the way I struggled o'er.
Though as a cataract my soul went lashing
Itself through ravines desolate and gray,
And with your presence diamonded the spray.
Then, Lenore, though we have grown much older,
And heart to heart, above the world yet!