The Huron Chief, and Other Poems

by Adam Kidd


 

RANGLEAWE—THE ROVING BARD.


 

From the cot of my father, as day-light descended,
    And Sol dipped his rim in the far distant wave,
O’er the hills of Slievegallin my lone steps I bended,
    Where the heath-bell nods gently o’er RANG’S* silent grave.     [Page 199]

There calmly in sleep rests the Bard, famed in story,
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    Who oft from his lip would wild melody pour,
When of Erin he sung, and her long faded glory,
    While his harp the soft numbers repeated Gillore.

But that harp now no longer its sweet tones awaken,
    To gladden the heart with each soft melting thrill—
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Ah, no! every chord slumbers sadly forsaken,
    And the lip that breathed o’er them now hushed on the hill.
    [Page 200]

To the past days of sunshine fond memory bore me,
    And pictured the joys that no longer appear—
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She marked out the spot, where the Bard slept before me—
    That spot which the children of Erin revere.

His tomb shall be decked with the ever-green heather—
    The shamrock and daisy around it be spread—
And the sweet smiling daughters of Erin shall gather
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    The loveliest flowers to garnish his bed.

Then farewell, loved minstrel—although thy harp slumbers,
    Some true kindred spirit may yet wake its tone,
And touch with pure finger the soul-breathing numbers
    That liberty kindles in hearts like our own.
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Yes—freedom restored to the green hills of Erin,
    Shall proudly display her own banner again—
While the Demon of party in torture’s despairing,
    And tyranny conquered shall writhe in her chain. [Page 201]



* As there are few of the Irish people to whom the writings and character of RANGLEAWE, (Francis Dowling,) are not well known, it is enough to say, that his poetic and extemporaneous effusions, together with a copiousness of that ready wit which is so truly the characteristic of Irishmen, rendered him an object of the greatest respect, and always procured for him, wherever he went, the “Cead mile fuille duit,” hundred thousand welcomes.—Like most other poets, he was particularly fond of celebrating the pretty girls of his day. The greatest favourite that he ever had was MISS DOWNY, whose lovely form and features are still clear to my recollection. I never saw her but once, and that when I was but very young. She was then on a visit to a friend, in my own little village, Tullinagee—and curiosity led me to see the lady whom our old bard had so highly celebrated. With rude boyish gaze, I strictly surveyed the fading form of her who once could inspire the lover and the poet. There was an indescribable something in her look and manner that I thought surpassed all I had ever seen, and made such an impression on my mind, that it still is, and ever shall be, unmoved by the operations of time. [back]