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SONG OF O'RUARK,
PRINCE OF BREFFNI. I
THE VALLEY LAY SMILING BEFORE ME.
AIR-The Pretty Girl milking her Cow.
THE valley lay smiling before me;
Yet I trembled, and something hung o'er me,
These stanzas are founded upon an event of most melancholy importance to Ireland; if, as we are told by our Irish historians, it gave England the first opportu nity of dividing, conquering, and enslaving us. The fol lowing are the circumstances, as related by O'Halloran. « The King of Leinster had long conceived a violent affection for Dearbhorgil, daughter to the King of Meath, and though she had been for some time married to O'Ruark, Prince of Breffni, yet could it not restrain his
I look'd for the lamp which she told me,
I flew to her chamber-'twas lonely
While the hand, that had waked it so often,
passion. They carried on a private correspondence, and she informed him that O'Ruark intended soon to go on a pilgrimage, (an act of piety frequent in those days) and conjured him to embrace that opportunity of conveying her from a husband she detested to a lover she adored. Mac Murchad too ponctually obeyed the summons, and had the lady conveyed to his capital offerns.>> The monarch Roderic espoused the cause of O'Ruark, while Mac Murchad fled to England, and obtained the assistance of Henry II.
« Such,« adds Giraldus Cambrensis (as I find him in an old translation,) « is the variable and fickle nature of woman, by whom all mischiefs in the world (for the most part) do happen and come, as may appear by Man cus Antoninus, and by the destruction of Troy.>>
There was a time, falsest of women!
When Breffni's good sword would have sought That man through a million of foemen,
Who dared but to doubt thee in thought!
Of Erin! how fall'n is thy fame!
Already, the curse is upon her,
And strangers her vallies profane ;
OH! HAD WE SOME BRIGHT LITTLE ISLE OF OUR OWN
AIR-Sheela na Guira.
On! had we some bright little isle of our own,
And the bee banquets on through a whole year of flowers.
Where the sun loves to pausć
With so fond a delay,
That the night only draws
A thin veil o'er the day;
Where simply to feel that we breathe, that we
Is worth the best joys that life elsewhere can give!
There, with souls ever ardent and pure as the
We should love, as they loved, in the first golden
The glow of the sunshine, the balm of the air, Would steal to our hearts, and make all summer there!
With affection as free
From decline as the powers;
And with Hope, like the bee,
Living always on flowers;
Our life should resemble a long day of light, And our death come on holy and calm as the night!
FAREWELL !--BUT, WHENEVER YOU WELCOME THE HOUR.
FAREWELL! but, whenever you welcome the
That awakens the night-song of mirth in you!