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pleasure of his patroness and the delight of her visitors; and when his sudden resolve to live the life of an itinerant bard was announced, Madame MacDermott provided him with horses for his journeyings and with a boy attendant to carry his harp. Equipped also with genius and reputation, he went forth after the fashion of his antetypes, on a round of visits to the neighbouring Irish gentry, to whom he was already known, and by whom he was already esteemed and appreciated. He did not play for hire; he was received as a friend and honoured as a welcome guest at the houses he visited in his itinerary ; and, in return for the profuse hospitality of the time and country, he played his own music and sang his own songs of love and of drink, to those who were in sympathy with music, who knew what love and drink were-and enjoyed all three.

"'Twas his in their mirth to entrance the throng,
Or soothe the lone heart of sorrow,'

as an eminent rival brother bard sang of him.

In his peregrinations, either impelled by a pardonable vanity to return as a person of some fame and honour to the place where as a youth he moved an insignificant school-lad, or attracted by her upon whose beauty, while yet light dwelt in his eyes, he had looked lovingly, he journeyed to Cruisetown in Longford, and visited his child-love, Bridget Cruise. Judging by his poems, it must have been love rather than vanity that directed his steps thither. She, like himself, could sing to her harpplaying. In fervid song and earnest prose he spoke his love, but was rejected. To her he says now or subsequently:

'Look on those eyes whence sleep hath flown,'

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and whence light had flown too. Poor eyes, punished by Providence, they might be spared punishment by her whose indifference drove sleep from them!

'My hopes, my thoughts, my destiny,
All dwell, all rest, sweet girl, on thee.'

And again, with blessings on his lips for her, he says:

'Life is not life without thee.'

He wandered away, and then, in truth, gave his whole heart and soul to his minstrelsy. He did not die, however, and though Bridget Cruise was always a fond memory with him, he found solace for the bitterness of his disappointment in dying poetically for others. For one, Peggy Browne, said to be an ancestress of the Sligo family, he is in equal love-throes, his heart-misery is equally ruinous and intense.

'Oh, dark are my days doomed to be

While my heart bleeds in silence and sorrow for thee;
In the green spring of life to the grave I go down,
Oh, shield me, and save me, my loved Peggy Browne !'

But Peggy was as obdurate to the amorous blind bard as Bridget; and yet he did not die—and other girls exercise as potent a charm over him. But he pours out his songs and his 'liquor of life,' and at length marries Mary Maguire, a well-descended lady whom he loves tenderly in spite of her wilfulness, haughtiness, and extravagance; gave up his wandering life for her; built a house at Mosshill, and became what is now described as a gentleman-farmer; lived gaily, and begot a numerous progeny; and, having spent all his possessions in lavish and promiscuous hospitality, thriftlessness, and extravagance, he lapsed into poverty, and took again to his harp and his wanderings. His wife remained at Mosshill

with the offspring until her death in 1733; an event that cast him into a profound melancholy, which beset him during the few years he survived her. The Lament, or Elegy, which he composed upon her death is sorrowful and pathetic in the extreme-even in a translation, which cannot be made to convey the pathos and plaintiveness of the original Irish. His after-life proves the sincerity of his grief.

'Alone I'll wander, and alone endure,

Till death restore me to my dear one's side;
And ceaseless anguish shall her loss deplore,

Till age and sorrow join me to the dead.'

He continued to roam from castle to castle, and having in 1738, five years after the death of his wife, visited Alderford, the home of his early patrons, he fell ill from excessive drinking and died there. He was buried amongst the MacDermotts, and his grave was in after years rifled, and his skull, which was carried away, found its way into the museum of Sir John Caldwell, of Castle Caldwell, in Fermanagh. His harp is now in the possession of The O'Conor Don-another, said also to have been his, is in the Royal Irish Academy-and the large chair, in which he was wont to sit at Alderford and play and sing and drink, still occupies its old position unremoved. He left six daughters and one son, who was subsequently a teacher of the harp in London.

There is a rough but sincere elegy on Carolan by one McCabe, a contemporary and friend, 'a wit but no poet.' Hearing that Carolan was at the MacDermott's, McCabe made haste to visit him, not having seen him for some years; and having arrived at Alderford, in passing through the churchyard, he accosted a peasant, and inquired after Carolan. The man replied by point

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ing to his grave. McCabe, shocked and overwhelmed, tottered to the mound and wept forth his sorrow. wrote the following elegy, detailing the circumstances, a tribute sad and sincere to the old blind bard:

'I came, with friendship's face, to glad my heart,
But sad and sorrowful my steps depart :


In my friend's stead a spot of earth was shown,
And on his grave my woe-struck eyes were thrown.
No more to their distracted sight remained
But the cold clay that all they loved contained;
And there his last and narrow bed was made,
And the drear tombstone for its covering laid.
Alas! for this my aged heart is wrung,
Grief chokes my voice, and trembles on my tongue;
Lonely and desolate I mourn the dead,
The friend with whom my every comfort fled!
There is no anguish can with this compare ;
No pains, diseases, suffering, or despair,
Like that I feel, while such a loss I mourn,
My heart's companion from its fondness torn.
Oh, insupportable, distracting grief!

Woe, that through life can never hope relief!
Sweet-singing harp-thy melody is o'er !

Sweet friendship's voice-I hear thy sound no more!
My bliss, my wealth of poetry is fled,
And every joy, with him I loved, is dead.

Alas! what wonder (while my heart drops blood
Upon the woes that drain its vital flood)

If maddening grief no longer can be borne,
And frenzy fill the breast with anguish torn!'


A memorial tablet has been erected in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, to Carolan's memory, on which is the following inscription, underneath a bas-relief representing in marble the old man playing on his harp:



The Last of the Irish Bards.

Etatis Suæ An. LXVIII.'

The scanty remnants of the life-work of Carolan, as a

poet and composer, which remain to us, extort a regret that so much, and possibly the best, of his songs and poems, and of his music, should be lost. His lovesongs, born of a passion strong and sincere for the time, even if fleeting, and his monody on his wife's death, prove him to have been a true poet. His 'Ode to Whisky' will immortalise him as a humourist of the true Celtic type; while his musical compositions, of which a representative one is that to which the song 'Bumper Squire Jones' is written and sung, will convince that he was entitled to the praise bestowed on him 'il genio vero della musica.' Goldsmith, capable to estimate and appreciate, was unstinted in his praise; he says that of all the bards Ireland had produced, 'the last and the greatest was Carolan the blind. His songs in general may be compared to those of Pindar, as they have frequently the same flight of imagination.' The few examples of his genius which are extant are the survivals of over two hundred songs-all of which, except one, were written in his native language, and sung to his own minstrelsy. He himself, too, is more than a shadow on the page of Time; he is a reality, and there is something to record in a biographical notice. His lowly birth; his school; the patronage, interest, and encouragement of Madame MacDermott; his blindness; his harpings; his pious pilgrimage to Patrick's Purgatory; his marriage; his convivial and extravagant hospitality; his house and home; his bankruptcy; his dear Mary's death—are all facts that we grasp and realise in this genius's life. Through all appears a heart large with a love for the girls and the whisky, which could extrude all doleful patriotic repinings.

The two ruling passions of his life-the passion for

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