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He that brings fulsome objects to my view
On sure foundations let your fabric rise, And with attractive majesty surprise, Not by affected meretricious arts, But strict harmonious symmetry of parts; Which through the whole insensibly must pass, With vital heat to animate the mass.
Pride (of all others the most dangerous fault) Proceeds from want of sense or want of thought. The men who labor and digest things most, Will be much apter to despond than boast; For if your author be profoundly good, 'T will cost you dear before he 's understood. How many ages since has Virgil writ! How few there are who understand him yet! Words in one language elegantly used Will hardly in another be excused, And some that Rome admired in Cæsar's time, May neither suit our genius nor our clime. The genuine sense, intelligibly told, Shows a translator both discreet and bold. .
I pity from my soul, unhappy men, Compelled by want to prostitute their pen; Who must, like lawyers, either starve or plead, And follow, right or wrong, where guineas lead! But you, Pompilian, wealthy, pampered heirs, Who to your country owe your swords and cares, Let no vain hope your easy mind seduce, For rich ill poets are without excuse.
Of many faults rhyme is perhaps the cause; Too strict to rhyme we slight more useful laws, For that, in Greece or Rome, was never known, Till by barbarian deluges o'erflown: Subdued, undone, they did at last obey, And change their own for their invaders' way. Oh may I live to hail the glorious day, And sing loud pæans through the crowded way, When in triumphant state the British Muse, True to herself, shall barbarous aid refuse, And in the Roman majesty appear,
Which none know better, and none come so near.
J. O'DONOVAN ROSSA.
J. O'DONOVAN ROSSA was born in Rosscarbery in County Cork, September, 1831. His real name is O'Donovan, but he took the name of Rossa to distinguish himself from numerous others of the
He was probably one of the most uncompromising opponents of English rule in Ireland and early associated himself with the National party. He was arrested in 1865 on a charge of treason-felony, and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
He was released some time after, and has resided in this country ever since, where he has been connected with literature and journalism. He is the editor of The United Irishman in New York, and has written on prison life, and various poems, Irish and English, in different magazines.
The world is growing darker to me-darker day by day;
Liberty sits mountain high, and slavery hath birth
The gloomy way is brightened when we walk with those we love,
The heavy load is lightened when we bear and they approve;
The news of death is saddening even in festive hall,
But when 't is heard through prison bars, 't is saddest then of
Where there's none to share the sorrow in the solitary cell,
That whisper through the grating has thrilled through all my veins, "Duffy is dead!" a noble soul has slipped the tyrant's chains, 1 Irish patriot and fellow-prisoner, who died in an English prison.
And whatever wounds they gave him, their lying books will show,
How they very kindly treated him, more like a friend than foe.
For these are Christian Pharisees, the hypocrites of creeds,
Those Christians stand between us and the God above our head, The sun and moon they prison, and withhold the daily bread, Entomb, enchain, and starve us, that the mind they may control,
And quench the fire that burns in the ever-living soul.
To lay your head upon the block for faith in Freedom's God,
Still, sad and lone, was yours, Ned, 'mid the jailers of your race,
With none to press the cold white hand, with none to smooth the face;
With none to take the dying wish to homeland friend or brother,
To kindred mind, to promised bride, or to the sorrowing mother.
I tried to get to speak to you before you passed away,
I asked last month to see you-now I'll never see you more.
If spirits once released from earth could visit earth again, You'd come and see me here, Ned, but for these we look in vain;
In the dead-house you are lying, and I'd "wake"
you if I But they'll wake you in Loughglin, Ned, in that cottage by the wood.
For the mother's instinct tells her that the dearest one is dead
That the gifted mind, the noble soul, from earth to heaven is fled,
As the girls rush towards the door and look toward the trees, To catch the sorrow-laden wail, that's borne on the breeze.
Thus the path of life grows darker to me-darker day by day, The stars that flashed their lights on it are vanishing away, Some setting and some shifting, but that one which changes
The beacon light of liberty that blazes bright as ever.
MY PRISON CHAMBER.
My prison chamber now is iron lined,
But bars, and bolts, and chains can never bind
Beneath the tyrant's heel we may be trod,
And England's Bible tyrants are, O Lord!
Without a bed or board on which to lie,
"Rossa, salute the Governor," cries one,
The Governor cries out-" Come on, come on,"
The bolts are drawn, the drowsy hinges creak,
GEORGE W. RUSSELL ("A. E.").
Or that remarkable group of Irish writers who have done so much in Ireland in the past fifteen years to create an imaginative literature Irish in spirit and national in its very heart-beat and fiber, two men stand forth as the chief lyric poets writing in the English tongue. One of these is W. B. Yeats, and the other his friend and associate, who writes under the name 'A. E."
"A. E." is the pen-name of the poet-dreamer Mr. George W. Russell. He was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, in 1867, and was largely self-educated. For some time he was an art student in Dublin, and he is an artist of rare imagination as well as one of the most gifted of living Irish poets. He has drunk deep of the learning of the East, of the Vedas and the Upanishads, and has been a devoted student of Plato and of the mystical philosophers. Among more modern writers he has, like his friend W. B. Yeats, been an admirer and student of the works of the mystic William Blake and also of Emerson, Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. But his deepest study and best inspirations are the great epics and legends that make up the bardic history of Ireland. The wonderful deeds of Finn and Cuchulain and Ossian and Oscar and other Irish heroes have absorbed his thoughts and been a revelation to him of the real spirit of Ireland, the typical heroes of his race. For him Ireland, because she has been the mother of such heroes and because he feels as he wanders up and down her haunted hills and enchanting valleys that Tir-na-n'Ogue, the country of immortal youth, is still very near, peopled with the spirits of these mighty dead yet to him ever living ones, and also by forms young and beautiful with a shining and undying beauty-because of his belief in these things, Ireland is a holy land for him and the story of Ireland is the sacred book of his race-the book from which he has drawn his highest inspiration.
His first volume of poems was 'Homeward Songs by the Way' (1894), a priceless little volume of pure lyric joy, reissued with additional poems in the United States (1896) and republished several times since. His second volume of lyrics, The Earth Breath and Other Poems,' appeared in 1897, and his third and latest volume, 'The Divine Vision and Other Poems,' in January, 1904. A selection from all his lyrics, Nuts of Knowledge,' was published in October, 1903, at the Dun Emer Press, Dundrum, Dublin, and is in form and spirit one of the most beautiful books that ever came out of Ireland.
Not only is he a fine lyric poet, but he is the author of a few of the noblest essays written in Ireland in recent years. He contributed two short essays of great subtlety and imaginative insight -Literary Ideals in Ireland' and 'Nationality and Cosmopolitanism in Literature '-to a small volume of essays published in Dublin in 1899, which also contained essays by W. B. Yeats, "John Eglin