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DANIEL O’ROURKE, AN EPIC POEM.
Letter from Captain SYMONDS.
(Private.) DEAR SIR, I HERE transmit you the Second Canto of Daniel O'Rourke. You see my friend is not pleased at the incorrectness of your typography in his first Canto. Entre nous, he is particularly displeased at your calling him Fagarty. All the blood of his family is up about it. He says you might as well call your publisher Blockwood. So be more careful. Your's &c. R. T. SYMONDS.
H. P. 52d. P. S.-You ought not to have published my private letter, but if you do so again, you may as well put my name at full length. I hate initials. Your capitals bring up sad recollections of A B C, and other curst school remembrances.
Letter from MR FOGARTY.
Blarney, Aug. 31st, 1820. MR EDITOR, HAVING had occasion to go to Cork on Wednesday evening last, I was delighted to find, that my attempt of embodying the story of Daniel O'Rourke in ottava rima had met with your approbation. Without looking over the poem, I immediately invited a party of my friends to the Crown Tavern, to enjoy with them a tumbler of punch and a laugh over your inimi. table Magazine. I invited my old companions, Jackson the flying quaker, Tommy Holt, George C. Beale, Bob Olden, and one or two other men of literature. After discussing a few oysters, (the first of the season,) some mutton kidneys, a couple of lobsters, and a few pots of porter, we ordered in our jorums of punch, and placed the flying quaker in the chair, to read aloud my epic stanzas. at was my astonishment, when at the very second verse we discovered a most appalling error. How was it possible Mr Editor that you made me rhyme " crew” to Juan,” and that you could alter the succeeding line so much from what I sent you, making nonsense thereof? I cannot divine the reason. My memory being rather faulty, I could not at the moment recollect the words of the original, so it was determined as soon as Tommy had finished the plate of crisped potatoes and butter, that he had ordered for himself to finish his supper with, he should set off to the top of Sunday's well, (about a mile distant,) where I had left the manuscript for the perusal of an old maiden lady, and fetch it to us. To this Tommy objected, but was ultimately overruled, and despatched on his errand. We discussed divers matters, and had a song or two in his absence, (I shall send them to you if you would wish it : they are original.) Master Tommy returned, puffing and blowing with the manuscript in one hand, and the straw hat in the other, and we proceeded. The lines that you have taken the liberty to alter, ran thus :
“ Heavens ! how unlike the riff-raff cockney crew, one
Finds praised in Scotch review the blue and yellow.” All exclaimed, this was too bad, that it could be no error of the press-Beale actually gloated with astonishment_Tommy sarcastically supposed that the fault must have been my own, as I write rather a pot-hook hand; Olden remarked he could throw no light on the mistake, it was beyond his comprehension; the flying quaker said it was quite inumportant; at last, it was agreed to go on with the poem. When we came to the twelfth verse it was worse and worse; the poor author is made to commit what, if the article was not an Irish one, would be considered a good blunder ; he says, “ darkness reigned here;" and in the same line that, “ the brilliant moon threw lovely lustre o'er the scene”-and all this blundering from carelessness in omitting the word not. I could scarcely contain myself at this mistake, and I saw the boys were
pig” for “s
laughing in their sleeves at me, but they were silent. We met other errors, such as arms” for “ arm,"
jug," “ ways" for wags,” but we let these pass without much comment. It was resolved however, to state to you our sentiments on the occasion, and I have thus done so. I now pulled from out my pocket the manuscript of the second canto, and read it to the company. They approved of it highly, but begged that I would make an alteration in the two last lines of the second verse. According to the advice of my friends, I have employed Ballydehob, a printer's devil, to copy my manuscript in a fair round hand, so that I hope we will have no more blunders. Our business being now over, we tackled to the punch, and after two or three more songs and a speech from Bob Olden, we adjourned ; promising to meet each other when the September Number of the Magazine makes its appearance in Cork, and sit in judgment on the second canto of Daniel. I remain Sir, Your humble Servant,
FOGARTY O'FOGARTY. P. S.-My Christian name is Fogarty, not Fagarty, as you have facetiously imagined. Have the goodness to pay especial attention to the correction of this, as it is by much the most important error you have committed.
An Epic Poem, in Six Cantos.
BY FOGARTY O'FOGARTY, ESQ. OF BLARNEY.
THE MOUNTAIN DAISY.
סגְרַאֵלֶה בְּיַן שְׁנוּ וּבַעֲבָר תָּעוּ
Isaiah, xxviii. 7. They also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way."
« Now my own delights I make,
At thee, sweet Daisy !-WORDSWORTH.
With streams of dazzling lustre at his feet;
Whose bright career, tho' glorious, was but fleet;
Parts sorrowing friends in hope again to meet,
In splendour rivalling his setting ray,
Will thro' his son, still bear the palm away:
Soon will return to greet its well-known bay,
Waiting most anxiously for Mr Dan,
The milk-white froth again o’ertop the can.
To say the truth, our Paddy could not take
His drop alone-but, as the story ran,
And sad forebodings darken’d Paddy's brow,
He pictured to himself some ruffian row,
Fellers alike of Christian and of cow,
For these marauders prowl about no more,
From wretches' backs the bleeding fibres tore ;
And oped the rustic portal-slowly in
His breast was in close contact with his chin;
While his whole face is coil'd into a grin,
A good full anker"-" Hush !-I'll tell you all,
To get a drink first,--we will have a haul
The sailors tell me-stop you there, I'll call
Brought forth a stool to prop the anker on,
Our worthy pair-the giant cheese upon
To bear the knife while ever and anon,
Carder, shanavest, caravat, as well as white-boys, in the last verse, are all names of parties in Ireland. I have not time to write notes to describe what were their principles. Vide Musgrave or Plowden, or any other of the heavy historians of Ireland. I can only say, that they had, in general, a tendency to Whiggism.
+ See Darwin's Zoonomia, Lavater's Physiognomy, and Bell's Anatomy of Paintingmighty pretty books, by the bye.
On my way here, (quoth Dan) had cross'd the green,
And scarce had got half way down Con's boreen, *
Tapp'd on my shoulder ;-Turning in alarm,
A sailor-chap, who told me, if I'd go
Than I could drink, or bear away in tow;
The smuggler's liquor I worked hard to stow,
And take to what is purer and much stronger,
We'll stick together aye, or even longer. I
Since such we've tasted, -Give us now a song, or
What mischief now you're doing to your stomach,
From drams that seem as mild to you as some hock;
And you'll toss, turn, and tumble on your hammock,
It mounts so quickly to the captious brain,
It speeds like lightning till you reel again ;
Two jolly bumpers may be safely ta’en,
(Hold-I must not anticipate my story),
Most sober livers ; from the man that's hoary
A lane, Hibernice. A rustical sort of wynd. † A rock so called from its shape, below it are caves, said to be the haunt of mermaids. On this point I shall not dwell, but I am pretty positive th are the haunt of smugglers. * Burn's says something to the same effect:
It is the moon, I ken her horn,
She's blinkin' o'er the lift sae hie,
But by my sooth she'll wait a wce.
To the young babe, such poisonous stuff is nice ; *
Your soldier sometimes will it help to glory,
Fit for all folks-I therefore would not lack
To lawyers I would give the sharp Bar-sac,
To doctors vin de Grave, (they like the smack,)
The soldier--Tent, and noisy Muscatel,-
And dandies-lots of Cape love mighty well;
Declining Hoc-warriors in sack excel;
And from the anker drew their mellow store;
'Mid merry song, and laugh, and boisterous roar;
For Dan ne'er felt such happy hours before ;
His head was not so steady as it ought ;
The furniture quite civil, too, he thought,
And the low candle into two was wrought;
* The female part of the lower orders of the population of Ireland, do actually hold (like Count Fathom's mother) that it is good to suckle babes with alcohol-vulgarly called whisky.
+ In the lost verse, (we have not time at present to explain how it was lost) Daniel appears to have left the Mountain Daisy. Editor.