The Huron Chief, and Other Poems

by Adam Kidd


 

A FUGITIVE GARLAND,

TO BE STREWN ON THE STRANGE GRAVE OF GEORGE F. COOKE, THE “IRISH ROSCIUS.”


Non ego te meis Chartis inornatum silebo.
Tolve tuos patiar honores impune, carpere lividas obliviones.
                                                                        HORACE.


Here have I come, with reverential tread,
    O’er many a grave that throngs this sacred spot,
To seek thy Tomb, among the unknown dead,
    Who sleep around—unmourned—and long forgot.

And there’s a feeling—such as hearts like mine

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    Alone may feel—comes trembling through my frame,
While now I trace the Demon-defaced line
    That bears, oh COOKE! thy much insulted name!

But though some impious hand has dared to touch
    The marble block thy FRIEND erected here— [Page 180]
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 There is a pyramid to thee—and such
    As pale-faced envy never can come near.

That pyramid is Fame’s—and her great hand
    Displays the banner Genius o’er thee hung,
When, in obedience to her high command,
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    Nations were captives to thy magic tongue!

Yet, I’ve a hope, that ere a distant day,
    Some spirit, prompted by indulgent heaven,
Will safely to that Isle thy bones convey,
    Where first the mountain-breeze of life was given.

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And this exotic plant*—this lonely one—
    Sole verdure, budding on this naked mound, [Page 181]
I will translate—that, e’en when I am gone,
    It may, to deck thy future grave, be found—

Where it will flourish long in honoured rest—  
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    No foot to bruise or soil its tender frame—
Nor folded reptile slumber on its breast,
    But freshly bloom with COOKE’S undying name! [Page 182]  
 

* The only verdure I could find on the hallowed grave of COOKE was a solitary Shamrock, which seemed to have taken shelter close by the corner of the monument, as the faithful representative of the tragedian’s country. Unwilling, therefore, that it should be exposed to such wreck and abuse as some foul hands have already inflicted on the monument, I have deprived St. Paul, of New York, of this respected emblem of St. Patrick, by conveying it to my own temporary abode, and shall finally plant it on the green summit of the flowery mantled Slievegallin, in the county of Derry—where it may once more imbibe the dew of a friendlier sky, and spread forth its little blossoms to the fairy breezes of its native mountains. [back]