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Deelish! Deelish! my woe for ever that I could not sever coward
flesh from fear. His chair I put aside when the young cock cried, and I was
afraid to meet my dear.
THE PRIEST'S BROTHER.
Thrice in the night the priest arose
From broken sleep to kneel and pray.
And I a mass for your soul may say.”
Thrice he went to the chamber cold,
Where, stiff and still uncoffined,
And, “ Rest, poor spirit, rest,” he said.
Thrice lay the old priest down to sleep
Before the morning bell should toll;
The crying of his brother's soul.
All through the dark, till dawn was pale,
The priest tossed in his misery,
The voice of that ghost's agony.
At last the red cock flaps his wings
To trumpet of a day new-born;
Into the bosom of the morn.
The priest before the altar stands,
He hears the spirit call for peace;
“O Father, grant this soul's release.
“ Most Just and Merciful, set free
From Purgatory's awful night
And rest for ever in Thy sight."
The mass is over-still the clerk
Kneels pallid in the morning glow.
He said, “ From evils of the dark
Oh, bless me, father, ere you go.
“ Benediction, that I may rest,
For all night did the banshee weep." The priest raised up his hands and blest
“Go now, my child, and you will sleep."
The priest went down the vestry stair,
He laid his vestments in their place, And turned-a pale ghost met him there,
With beads of pain upon his face.
“ Brother," he said, " you have gained me peace,
But why so long did you know my tears, And say no mass for my soul's release,
To save the torture of all those years ?”
“ God rest you, brother," the good priest said,
“No years have passed—but a single night.” He showed the body uncoffined,
And the six wax candles still alight.
The living flowers on the dead man's breast
Blew out a perfume, sweet and strong. The spirit paused ere he passed to rest
“God save your soul from a night so long."
GEORGE SIGERSON, M.D., F.R.U.I., was born at Holyhill, close to the town of Strabane, in 1839. The family is of Norse extraction. George Sigerson's early lessons in classics were received from the Rev. William Hegarty, who died P.P. of Strabane. He afterward attended a school in Letterkenny taught by Dr. Crerand, a man of exceptional ability and culture ; and subsequently he was under the tuition of two brothers named Simpson, in Derry.
His college course was chiefly pursued in Paris, where he studied under Claude Bernard, Duchenne, Charcot, Ranvier, Ball, and Béhier, all master minds in the medical world. Duchenne inspired his first effort as a writer on medical subjects, and Charcot's Diseases of the Nervous System'found in him an able translator and editor. His biological work interested Charles Darwin, and Professor Tyndall considered that his · Microscopic Researches on the Atmosphere,' (Dublin, 1873) revealed the true nature of the organisms whose presence he himself had detected. His medical and scientific works, too numerous to mention here, have won for him recognition from learned societies on the Continent as well as in England. In Dublin, where he resides, besides having a large medical practice, he holds the chair of biology in the Catholic University College, and is a fellow of the Royal University of Ireland.
But it is not as a master of medicine, however distinguished, that Dr. Sigerson is known to most of his countrymen. They know more of him as a trenchant leader-writer on the old Irishman, to which Isaac Butt also contributed ; as a powerful land reformer in his masterly study of 'Land Tenures and Land Classes of Ireland' (read by Mr. Gladstone in proof, and having some of its principles embodied in the Land Act of 1870) ; as translator of the music of the old Gaelic tongue into modern verse ; and as an original poet of great power and charm.
Dr. Sigerson married a Miss Varian of Cork, herself a poetess of considerable merit.
To · Two Centuries of Irish History,' edited by the Right Honorable James Bryce, Dr. Sigerson contributed a study on the work of the independent Irish Parliament. Having, when a student, given some versions of the Munster poets (second series), he in 1897 produced an Irish anthology, ‘Bards of the Gael and Gall : Done into English after the Modes and Meters of the Gael.' He has also prepared an analysis, with metrical examples, of the Carmen Paschale' of Sedulius, the first Saint of Erin and her only epic poet. Other work-professional, scientific, and literary-has appeared in periodicals. He is President of the National Literary Society.
"As an original poet," says Dr. Douglas Hyde in A Treasury of Irish Poetry,'“ Dr. Sigerson is perhaps most distinctly a lyrist, as is natural to one who has come under the native Irish spell. Many of his songs are written, like the Gaelic ones, to Irish airs, and most of them lend themselves naturally to music. The noble characteristics of Irish verse, which he has acquired from his life-long acquaintance with the Gaelic poets, tinge his own verses very appreciably—especially the smoothness, the desire for recurrent or even interwoven vowel sounds, and the love of alliteration, and when wholly natural and devoid of any obtrusiveness, as they are here, possess in themselves a subtle charm which is very Irish."
THE LOST TRIBUNE.
TO THE MEMORY OF ISAAC BUTT.
Farewell! the doom is spoken. All is o'er.
One heart we loved is silent; and one head,
A Man of the few foremost Men is dead.
With giant might of mind and mold of form
He towered aloft; with mightier love he bowed :
To brave the haughty, and rebuke the proud
But strong to weep, to heed an infant's care,
To gather sorrow to his heart; nor scorn
A weight of woe to which he was not born.
The secret of his greatness, there behold!
More truly there than in th' unrivaled fence,
And all the power of peerless eloquence!
Mark yonder peasants who, in dumb despair,
Kneel down to kiss the ruins of their home,
Then turn to face the salt Atlantic foam;
See, where yon massive dungeon walls surround
The pale confessors of a country's cause,
Their name, their honor, branded by the laws
These were his clients. Their defender he
Whose genius, wielding justice as a glaive,
And these from prison gyve and felon grave.
One chiefly served he, with chivalric faith;
One chiefly loved he, with devoted soul;
His life was spent to save her life from dole.
Her fallen banner from the dust he raised,
And proud advanced it, with uplifted brow,
Whose was that Standard ? Answer, Erin, thou!
Farewell to all of personal joy that came
Of seeing, 'mid these common days, a man
Whose immortality on earth began;
Of that enlargement which the mind receives,
The wider range, the deeper, subtler sense,
When near us moves a great Intelligence.
But not farewell to him who hath outgrown
The confines of mortality; he survives
Long as his country loves, long as his Nation lives!
THE VISION OF VIANDS.
From the Irish of Aniar Mac Conglinne 1 (Twelfth Century).
In a slumber visional,
Sudden shone on me: 1 “The Vision of Mac Conglinne,' edited by Professor Kuno Meyer and David Nutt. London: Nutt, 1894. The Irish meter is reproduced. This curious poem evidently suggested passages in The Land of Cokaigne.' Compare the first two stanzas with these verses :
“Up a river of sweet milk
Where is plenty great of silk,
Both with oares and with steere."
" There is a well fair abbey
Of white monks and of grey :