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Anon, a change came o'er his dream.
Fierce Battle stalked in iron might
Throughout the land.

Thick lay the slain, till every stream
Ran red with blood all day and night
On either hand!


It was the glowing eventide :

A light flashed from the west afar ;
And swiftly came,

Careering up the mountain-side,
A serried phalanx, like one star
Of purple flame!


And, heading this combined array,

A CHIEFTAIN rode, whose headlong course Nought could withstand. With giant might he upheld the fray, And drove the invading foreign force From Erin's land !...


Soon as the ruddy morning brake

Finn published this to all his bands;
The Fenian Lords,

And, with prophetic power he spake-
(Let him who reads and understands
Weigh well his words !)


"The mystery of the dream," said he,
"I thus unveil :-in after-time
A Chief shall rise-

King Brian, son of Kennedy,

A mighty Prince, of soul sublime,
Great, brave, and wise.


"Long prosperously this King shall reign;
His golden throne shall stand in fair
Kincora's hall ;-

But, woe-the-day! he shall be slain,
And, four-fold misery and despair!
His house shall fall!


"And, tenfold woe to Innisfail!

A people shall o'errun her lands,
Bad, fierce, and strong.
And Fate shall overcome the Gael
By crafty councils, ruffian hands,
And fraudful wrong!

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"And Tara and Kincora both

Shall lie through centuries desolate ;
And Force and Guile

Shall tower to a gigantic growth,

And alien Tyranny and Hate
Shall rule the isle !". . . .


But Erin's life-blood yet is warm,
Yes! in this world of joy and woe
GOD wills that Bloom

Should chase Decay, and Sunshine Storm;
And Freedom's torch at length shall glow
Through Erin's gloom!


So, too, spake Fifin :-" A Chief," he said,
"Of Brian's line shall yet appear,
Whose mighty arm

Shall raise the land as from the Dead,
And drive afar, like hunted deer,
The Stranger-swarm!


"Long after Brian's day and sway
A Nut shall grow of dazzling gold
Upon his Tree !"-

Thus far the Seer. O, Turlogh! say,
Say, stalwart Chief, do I behold
That Nut in thee?


O, Raileann's King,* of lineage high,
How may I hope that Victory's wreath
Shall deck thy brow?

Lo! glancing up, I still descry

The Spoiler on the hills of Meath;
But, where art thou?


O! should we not remember, We,

Clontarf's great Day? If Men will dare-
And we are Men!-

They will be and they must be free!
Can we not conquer here, as there,
And now, as then?


O Prince! beware the pent-up Wrath
Of long-borne Serfdom! Let its flood
Sweep Battle's plains,

Even as the Storm sweeps Ocean's path!
I know that Teige's and Turlogh's blood
Burn in thy veins !

Raileann lay in the south-west of Munster, and was one of the ancient seats of the monarchs of that province.

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It is from Cas, the son of Conall, that the Dalcassians derive their origin. The Earl O'Brien, the hero of our poem, was the twenty-eighth chieftain in descent from this great prince.

† King of Ireland from A. D. 125 to 142. His daughter, Sabina, was the wife of Oilioll Olum, king of Munster, from whom the O'Briens derive their descent.

Up, then, and recognise thy place,

And bare the Avenging Sword once more,
And take thy stand!

Our second poem embodies a Panegyric on the life and achievements of Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormond, and son of the Earl James Butler, who died in England, in 1545. Thomas received his education in England, but subsequently came over to Ireland for the purpose of taking his father's place. He was the champion of Queen Elizabeth's power and interests against all her opponents in Ireland, but more especially against the great, but unfortunate, Geraldines of Desmond. He died in 1614, at a very advanced age. The idea of the poem would appear, if we may judge from the opening stanzas, to have been suggested by a sight of the Earl's banner, hung up, after his death, in the seignorial hall.

The Panegyric of Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormond,



I greet the Earl's high Flag with blended feelings
Of pride and sorrow for the illustrious Dead-
Broad-waving Flag, rich-bordered, crimson-red,
Which oft amid the battle-trumpet's pealings

Flashed panic through the foe.


The variegated Banner, often planted,

With its resplendent Cross, that Shield of Shields !
The Dragon of a hundred gory fields,
Far-travelled, Talisman, charmed and enchanted
From harm or overthrow!


Within thy walls, O fair and famed Kilkenny,

Droops now THE HATCHMENT, stirless, deathlike, lone.
Yet, oh, what life it witnessed years agone!
What fierce campaigns-what marchings long and many!
What nights and days of blood!


In combat after combat o'er the island,

How rose and flamed that Ensign year by year,
Illuming, meteor-like, the CHIEF's career,
Through darkling glen and over purple highland,
And lighting plain and flood!


And never through Dishonor or Disaster,

Long as it fluttered o'er the Lord of Thurles,

Was that proud standard lowered! No hand unfurls

To-day a Banner whose renown is chaster,

And purer from all stain !


How shall I chant that Conqueror always glorious?
For THOMAS BUTLER ever scorned to yield,

Though piles on piles of Slaughtered heaped the field;

His burning bravery bore him on victorious.

He could not-He, be slain!

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