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Life is a duty, not a privilege;
A cup which must be drained, taste how it will;
A road which, rough or smooth, one has to travel.
Lament not, therefore, the approach of death,
But rejoice, rather, that the cup is drunk,
The road come to an end, discharged the duty.
Still thou lamentest? ah! thy life has been
A sweet cup, pleasant road, and grateful duty.
(RoSAMOND, RATHGAR ROAD, DUBLIN, June 15, 1860.]. -
MINE eye lights never on a bearded fop,
Sir Capel or Sir Lionel or Earl Vane,
Compound impertinent of ignorance
And little-mindedness and valorous seeming,
But I bethink me of the ditch - side weed
Which makes so great show with its yellow flower
And tall rank stalk in seed, and lion's fangs,
But in whose veins, instead of lion's blood,
Runs a weak, milky, and ignoble ichor,
And all whose ways are groveling and lowly,
And Piscialletto whose appropriate name.
(Rosamond, RATHGAR ROAD, DUBLIN, April 3, 1863.]
No cat has two tails, I have heard
· And steadfastly believe;
A cat has more tails than no cat,
Or people me deceive.
Now though it 's only one tail more
A cat has, than no cat,
A cat has thrée tails, I have proved;
You 'll surely grant me that. (RoSAMOND, Dec. 18, 1863.]
SHORTER, like the morning shadow,
Hope, gay. Hope grows, every moment;
Like the evening shadow, longer
Grows sad Memory, every moment;
Shorter Hope and Memory longer,
Longer Memory and Hope shorter,
Till Hope shortest, Memory longest,
Die together on the grave's brink
And in topple with their owner,
And one lóng night covers all three. [TICKNOCK (Co. DUBLIN), Dec. 18, 1863.]
KNOWLEDGE is nought, for whether thou know'st much,
Or whether little, thou must bow to Fashion;
Nay, less than nought, for he who knows the most,
Has most his nose wrung by the reigning Fashion. [Walking from RoSAMOND to DALKEY, Nov. 30, 1862.)
My old grandfather sported a very old wig;
My old grandmother thought it a trifle too big
Or a trifle too little, I don't well know which,
And away the old wig went pop into the ditch.
My old grandfather got a bad cold in his head,
And his nose went drip-drop, like the spout at the shed,
And he coughed and he wheezed, and he couldn't sleep at night,
And, with his red night-cap, all day looked a fright;
And no one who saw him but thought he would die,
And he thought so himself too, and bid us good bye.
But away my old grandmother trotted to town,
And laid out the siller she had saved for a gown,
To buy him a new wig and half pound of snuff,
And next day my old grandfather 's all right enough,
But has never stopped saying from that day to this,
The old wig was a fit, and the new one a miss;
Sometimes it 's too little, sometimes it 's too big,
And he'd rather, a hundred times, have the old wig.
[RoSAMOND, RATHGAR ROAD, DUBLIN, Dec. 17, 1863.]
“Al comparir del sol prendo respiro,
Al tramontar del sol finisco e spiro."
Motto on a sundial in Pino near Turin.
I 'm born
With the rising sun;
Each even, forlorn,
Die when day is done.
Together daily born, the sun and I
Together daily live and daily die.
With the sunrise I come in view,
With the sunset I bid adieu.
I WORK as long as Sol 's in the sky;
When Sol 's to bed, to bed go I.
Ith the sunrise, I rise and run;
With the sunset, my race is done.
Punctual I rise with every morning sun,
Punctual I set when my day's work is done
And Eos puts her evening mantle on. (Walking from PINO near TURIN to VILLA Nova, Sept. 18, 1864.]
Visiting the tomb of Beato Angelico, in the church of
Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, 1865.
With reverence tread; these are no vulgar stones;
Frate Giovanni here has laid his bones:
HIC JACET FRA GIOVAN DA FIESOLE.
If ever painter painted heaven, 'twas he;
If ever painter's spirit went to heaven,
Da Fiesole’s went, all trespasses forgiven.
So, if in heaven there 's painting, heaven beware
This earth of ours be not so passing fair
Painted, that angels discontented grow
With heaven itself, and yearn for things below.
SEE where in broad array the Wheaten host
Covers the field, each warrior at his post.
The same determined will pervades them all,
For home and fatherland to stand or fall;
Shrivel shall the heavens, the sun shall close his eye,
Ere from his post one stout Wheat heart shall fly.
Gare! gare! for yonder in the sunbeams glance
Bright weapons, and the Reaper troops advance.
"Forward !" 's the word, and, with their curved swords, low
Cutting beneath the knee, they charge the foe.
Prostrate the best of Wheaten Land are laid,
Ere set in rest a spear, or drawn a blade.