rose the day star ’mid the smiles of Heaven,
And nature’s flowery garb bedeck’d the
Each bending spray with dew-drops thickly gemmed—
The opening blossoms sent forth rich perfume—
When thus I strayed, reckless of earth-born cares,
the proud summit of Slievegallin fair—
Mountain renowned in song—by me adored—
Where beauty’s richest works profusely swell
With varied scenes, that boast unequalled grandeur.
There, ’midst the flow of all my boyish thoughts,
o’er the mighty days gone by,
When Erin’s bards awoke their native strain,
And touched the chord of sainted melody,
Whilst from the harp, in dulcet numbers flowed
The soul of music, wafted on the breeze.
as I wandered o’er the daisied banks,
I cast my eye tow’rds that loved Cot below—
Home of my childhood—seat of blissful hours:
But now that home’s no more, nor inmates dear,
Nor blissful hours—for gone’s my every
sad the thought!—how painfully severe
With memory now to range, and re-survey
The sunny moments of my school-boy days—
When oft I lightly brushed the morning dew—
And, with the friends then dearest to my bosom,
the sweet primrose from the thorny hedge—
Or sauntered by the purling brook, to see
The speckled trout dance in the solar beam—
Or with the maid I loved, whose glowing cheek
And sparkling eye, and manners mid, inviting—
walked, whilst rapture filled my soul,
And pulled the lily from the flowery plain—
An offering for my love—as slow we moved
Tow’rds that famed Fort,*
the pride of Tullinagee— [Page 210]
Fit seat for gods—and long the loved abode
sages and immortal bards.
Ye fairy dreams of bliss!
where are ye now?
Where now the dear companions of my youth?
And where is she, that made this earth a heaven,
And blessed me with her smiles—or with a look
that chased away the gloom of care,
And made me more than happy—more than blest—
Carrying my soul to highest ecstacy!
Has Heaven thus proved severe, and ruined all?
Crushing my hopes, just in their morning bloom—
flower, ah! nipped before its sweets were shed!
Yes, Heaven has proved severe—what have I
Oh! Heaven forgive—nor let my anguish keen
Inspire one thought rebellious ’gainst thy
The chain is snapped—yea,
snapped the tender chain
linked me to this earth—and every finer tie
Is burst asunder—nor can summer’s eve,
When youths light-hearted dance upon the green,
Longer delight—nor aught of rural sports.
Tell me, my soul—ah! can I e’er forget
afflictive day I sought the Tomoch’s brow,
To gaze upon the boiling surge below,
Where foaming billows beat the hoary cliffs
On Erin’s shore—and view the bowers
The ivied turrets—seats of classic lore—
tomb, where slept all life made dear to me!
This done, I shed the big and parting tear,
And sighed to that loved spot a last farewell! [Page
This Fort, called by the Irish Forth, is
a standing monument of Danish ingenuity—and
for beauty and grandeur perhaps not excelled in
the British Empire. It is beautifully situated close
to my native village, in the romantic townland of
Tullinagee, in the county of Londonderry.
From this latter place the greatest statesman that
ever adorned the British Cabinet derived his title.