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Yet he was troubled by the thought of intruding too long on the hospitality of his new friends; and he said, in a hesitating manner
"Yes! but I must try how far "That you shall not do," interrupted the Baron. "The road is always bad, and in a thaw it is really dangerous. It would go against my conscience to allow you to risk it. Remain with us: we have no shoot
ing-match or ball to offer you,
"I shall not certainly regret either," cried Edward, eagerly.
Well, then, remain with us, Lieutenant," said the matron, laying her hand on his arm, with a kind, maternal gesture. "You are heartily welcome; and the longer you stay with us, the better shall we be pleased."
The youth bowed, and raised the lady's hand to his lips, and said
"If you will allow me-if you feel certain that I am not intruding-I will accept your kind offer with joy. I never care much for a ball, at any time, and to-day in particular"-He stopped short, and then added, "In such bad weather as this, the small amusement
from dreams, themselves, to their origin, on which subject he and the doctor could not agree; and Edward and his visions were left in peace at last. But when every one had departed, each to his daily occupation, Edward followed the Baron into his library.
"I answered in that manner," he said, "to get rid of the doctor and his questioning. To you I will confess the truth. Your room has exercised its mysterious influence over me."
Indeed!" said the baron, eagerly. "I have seen and spoken with my Ferdinand, for the first time since his death. I will trust to your kindness -your sympathy-not to require of me a description of this exciting vision. But I have a question to put to you."
Which I will answer in all candour, if it be possible."
"Do you know the name of Emily Varnier?"
"Is there no one in this neighbourhood who bears that name?"
"No one; it sounds like a foreign
"In the bed in which I slept I found this ring," said Edward, while he produced it; and the apparition of my friend pronounced that name.
"Wonderful! As I tell you, I know no one so called-this is the first time I ever heard the name. But it is entirely unaccountable to me, how the ring should have come into that bed. You see, M. von Wensleben, what I told you is true. There is something very peculiar about that room; the moment you entered, I saw that the spell had been working on you also, but I did not wish to forestall or force your confidence."
I felt the delicacy, as I do now the kindness, of your intentions. Those who are as sad as I am can alone tell the value of tenderness and sympathy."
Edward remained this day and the following at the castle, and felt quite at home with its worthy inmates. He slept twice in the haunted room. He went away, and came back often; was always welcomed cordially, and always quartered in the same apartment. But, in spite of all this, he had no clue, he had no means of lifting the veil of mystery which hung round the fate of Ferdinand Hallberg and of Emily Varnier.
THE following attempt to throw into metrical form, without departing from the southern Irish idiom, a legend of the troubles of '98, was written for a dear and gifted relative, and with a view to recitation, for which the author feels it to be much better suited than for presentation in cold type to a critical public. He relies, however, upon their good nature at least as much as he dreads their justice; and is also comforted by the following considerations: The friend whom he has mentioned gave a copy of the ballad to our fellow-countryman, Samuel Lover, immediately before his departure for America, and there, aided by those talents which make Mr. Lover's entertainments so delightful, its success was at once so flattering and decisive as to induce the author to place it at the disposal of his old friend, Anthony Poplar. It is unnecessary to say that had not the unlucky coincidence of the name of the hero and the subject of the ballad with certain incidents in the melancholy history of the last two years, made it unavailable, with propriety, for the purposes of public recitation in Ireland, the author would immeasurably have preferred sending the legend before his countrymen with the great and peculiar advantages it enjoyed at the other side of the water.
Such as it is, however, it is heartily at their service :—
Jist afther the war, in the year '98,
As soon as the boys wor all scattered and bate,
'Twas the custom, whenever a pisant was got,
To hang him by thrial-barrin' sich as was shot.
There was trial by jury goin' on by day-light,
And the martial-law hangin' the lavins by night.
It's them was hard times for an honest gossoon :
If he missed in the judges-he'd meet a dragoon ;
An' whether the sogers or judges gev sentence,
The divil a much time they allowed for repentance.
An' its many's the fine boy was then an his keepin',
Wid small share iv restin', or atin', or sleepin';
An' because they loved Erin, an' scorned to sell it,
A prey for the bloodhound, a mark for the bullet-
Unsheltered by night, and unrested by day,
With the heath for their barrack, revenge for their
An' the bravest an' hardiest boy iv them all
Was Shamus O'Brien, from the town iv Glingall.
His limbs were well set, an' his body was light,
An' the keen-fangèd hound had not teeth half so white.
But his face was as pale as the face of the dead,
And his cheek never warmed with the blush of the red;
An' for all that he wasn't an ugly young bye,
For the divil himself couldn't blaze with his eye,
So droll an' so wicked, so dark and so bright,
Like a fire-flash that crosses the depth of the night;
An' he was the best mower that ever has been,
An' the illigantest hurler that ever was seen.
In fincin' he gev Patrick Mooney a cut,
An' in jumpin' he bate Tim Malowney a fut;
For lightness iv fut there was not his peer,
For, by gorra, he'd almost outrun the red deer;
An' his dancin' was sich that the men used to stare,
An' the women turn crazy, he done it so quare ;
An', by gorra, the whole world gev it in to him there.
An' it's he was the boy that was hard to be caught,
An' it's often he run, an' it's often he fought,
An' it's many's the one can remimber right well
The quare things he done; an' it's often I heerd tell
How he freckened the magisthrates in Cahirbally,
An' escaped through the sodgers in Aherloe Valley;
An' leathered the yeomen, himself agin' four,
An' stretched the two strongest on ould Galtimore.
But the fox must sleep sometimes, the wild deer must rest,
An' treachery prey on the blood iv the best.
Afther many a brave action of power and pride,
An' many a hard night on the mountain's bleak side,
An' a thousand great dangers and toils overpast,
In the darkness of night he was taken at last.
Now, Shamus, look back on the beautiful moon,
For the door of the prison must close on you soon,
An' take your last look at her dim lovely light,
That falls on the mountain and valley this night-
One look at the village, one look at the flood,
An' one at the shelthering, far-distant wood.
Farewell to the forest, farewell to the hill,
An' farewell to the friends that will think of you still;
Farewell to the patthern, the hurlin', an' wake,
And farewell to the girl that would die for your sake.
An' twelve sodgers brought him to Maryborough gaol,
An' the turnkey resaved him, refusin' all bail.
The fleet limbs wor chained, an' the sthrong hands wor bound,
An' he laid down his length on the could prison ground.
An' the dreams of his childhood kem over him there,
As gentle an' soft as the sweet summer air;
An' happy remembrances crowding on ever,
As fast as the foam-flakes dhrift down on the river,
Bringing fresh to his heart merry days long gone by,
Till the tears gathered heavy and thick in his eye.
But the tears didn't fall, for the pride of his heart
Would not suffer one drop down his pale cheek to start;
An' he sprang to his feet in the dark prison cave,
An' he swore with the fierceness that misery gave,
By the hopes of the good, an' the cause of the brave,
That when he was mouldering in the cold grave
His enemies never should have it to boast
His scorn of their vengeance one moment was lost;
His bosom might bleed, but his cheek should be dhry,
For undaunted he lived, and undaunted he'd die.
Well, as soon as a few weeks was over and gone,
The terrible day iv the thrial kem on;
There was sich a crowd there was scarce room to stand,
An' sogers on guard, an' dhragoons sword-in-hand;
An' the court-house so full that the people wor bothered,
An' attorneys an' criers on the pint iv bein' smothered;
An counsellors almost gev over for dead,
An' the jury sittin' up in their box over head;
An' the judge settled out so detarmined an' big,
With his gown on his back, and an illigant new wig;
An' silence was called, an' the minute it was said
The court was as still as the heart of the dead.
An' they heard but the openin' of one prison lock,
An' Shamus O'Brien kem into the dock.
For one minute he turned his eye round on the throng,
An' he looked at the bars, so firm and so strong,
An' he saw that he had not a hope, nor a friend,
A chance to escape, nor a word to defend :
An' he folded his arms as he stood there alone,
As calm and as cold as a statue of stone;
And they read a big writin', a yard long at laste,
An' Jim didn't understand it, nor mind it a taste.
An' the judge took a big pinch iv snuff, an' he says,
"Are you guilty or not, Jim O'Brien, av you plase?"
An' all held their breath in the silence of dhread,
An' Shamus O'Brien made answer, and said,
"My lord, if you ask me, if in my life time
I thought any treason, or did any crime
That should call to my cheek, as I stand alone here,
The hot blush of shame, or the coldness of fear,
Though I stood by the grave to receive my death blow,
Before God and the world I would answer you, no;
But if you would ask me, as I think it like,
If in the rebellion I carried a pike,
An' fought for ould Ireland from the first to the close,
An' shed the heart's blood of her bitterest foes,
I answer you, yes, an' I tell you again,
Though I stand here to perish, its my glory that then
In her cause I was willing my veins should run dhry,
An' that now for her sake I am ready to die."
Then the silence was great, an' the jury smiled bright,
An' the judge wasn't sorry the job was made light;
By my sowl, it's himself was the crabbed ould chap,
In a twinklin' he pulled on his ugly black cap.
Then Shamus' mother in the crowd standing by,
Called out to the judge with a pitiful cry,
“Oh, judge, darlin', don't, oh, don't say the word,
The crathur is young, have mercy, my lord;
He was foolish, he didn't know what he was doin'
You don't know him, my lord, oh, don't give him to ruin-
He's the kindliest crathur, the tendherest-hearted—
Don't part us for ever, we that's so long parted.
Judge, mavourneen, forgive him, forgive him, my lord,
An' God will forgive you, oh, don't say the word!"
That was the first minute that O'Brien was shaken,
When he saw that he was not quite forgot or forsaken;
An' down his pale cheeks at the words of his mother,
The big tears wor runnin' fast, one afther th'other.
An' two or three times he endeavoured to spake,
But the sthrong manly voice used to falther and break;
But at last by the strength of his high-mounting pride,
He conquered and masthered his grief's swelling tide,
An'," says he, "mother, darlin', don't break your poor heart,
For sooner or later the dearest must part;
And God knows it's betther than wandering in fear
On the bleak, trackless mountains among the wild deer,
To lie in the grave where the head, heart, and breast
From thought, labour, and sorrow for ever shall rest.
Then, mother, my darlin', don't cry any more,
Don't make me seem broken in this my last hour,
For I wish when my head's lyin' undher the raven,
No thrue man can say that I died like a craven!"
Then towards the judge Shamus bent down his head,
An' that minute the solemn death-sintence was said.
The mornin' was bright, an' the mists rose on high,
An' the lark whistled merrily in the clear sky-
But why are the men standin' idle so late?
An' why do the crowds gother fast in the street?
What come they to talk of? what come they to see?
An' why does the long rope hang from the cross-tree?
Oh! Shamus O'Brien pray fervent and fast,
May the saints take your soul, for this day is your last;
Pray fast an' pray strong, for the moment is nigh,
When sthrong, proud, an' great as you are, you must die.
An' fasther an' fasther the crowd gathered there,
Boys, horses and gingerbread, just like a fair;
An' whiskey was selling, an' cussamuck too,
And ould men and young women enjoying the view.
An' ould Tim Mulvany, he med the remark,
There was'nt sich a sight since the time of Noah's ark;
An' be gorra 'twas thrue for him, for divil such a scruge,
Sich divarshin and crowds was known since the deluge.
For thousands was gothered there, if there was one,
Waitin' till such time as the hangin' id come on;
At last they threw open the big prison gate,
An' out came the sheriffs and sodgers in state,
An' a cart in the middle, an' Shamus was in it;
Not paler, but prouder than ever, that minute.
An' as soon as the people saw Shamus O'Brien,
Wid prayin' and blessin, and all the girls cryin';
A wild wailin' sound kem on by degrees,
Like the sound of the lonesome wind blowin' thro' trees.
On, on to the gallows, the sheriffs are gone,
An' the cart an' the sodgers goes steadily on;
An' at every side swellin' around of the cart,
A wild sorrowful sound that 'id open your heart.
Now under the gallows the cart takes its stand,
An' the hangman gets up wid the rope in his hand;
An' the priest having blest him, goes down on the ground,
An' Shamus O'Brien throws one last look round.
Then the hangman dhrew near, and the people grew still,
Young faces turned sickly, and warm hearts turn chill;
An' the rope bein' ready, his neck was made bare,
For the gripe iv the life-stranglin' cord to prepare:
An' the good priest has left him, havin' said his last prayer.
But the good priest done more, for his hands he unbound,
And with one daring spring Jim has leaped on the ground;
Bang, bang! goes the carbines, and clash goes the sabres,
He's not down! he's alive still! now stand to him neighbours.
Through the smoke and the horses he's into the crowd,
By the heavens he's free! than thunder more loud
By one shout from the people the heavens were shaken-
One shout that the dead of the world might awaken.
Your swords they may glitter, your carbines go bang,
But if you want hangin', its yourselves you must hang;
To night he'll be sleepin' in Aherloe Glin,
An' the divil's in the dice if you catch him again.
The sodgers ran this way, the sheriffs ran that,
An' father Malone lost his new Sunday hat;
An' the sheriffs wor both of them punished severely,
An' fined like the divil, because Jim done them fairly.