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as the God that chastised the heathen, but would not cast off his people, or forsake his inheritance,' in this present life: when then appearances seemed contrary to this, the heathen were ready to say, Where is their God?: and Israel were ready to be ashamed of avowing their hope in him as to a resurrection from the dead, in a future state of things, which the 49th Psalm celebrated, when appearances in this present state were so contrary to their expectations, and their songs of hope, as they were, when in a house so crowded with inhabitants, that there should be ten men in it, all should perish by the gword, by famine or pestilence, so that not one should remain, was it not natural, that in such a state of things, he that searched through such a desolated house, should
say, at carrying away the last dead body for interment, Be silent, it doth not become us to make mention of God's care of Israel in hereafter raising us from the dead, in carrying them to the grave, when he is thus visibly abandoning his mercy towards his people? or, in the words of our translation, Hold thy tongue, for we may not make mențion of the name of the LORD.
The Bishop of Waterford, in his most laudable attempt to illustrate the Twelve Minor Prophets, which have so many obscure passages in them, thus translates this part of the verse,
'Ps. lxxix. 9, 10. “Help us, o God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name sake. Wherefore should the hea. then say, Where is their God ?" • Ps. xciv. 10.
! Ver. 14.
"Then shall he say, Be silent, “ Because they set not themselves to mention
« the name of Jehovah." And his comment on this verse, which he considers as obscure, represents this part of it as probably signifying, “Solitude shall reign in the house; and if one is left, he must be silent (see ch. viii. 3.) and retired, lest he be plundered of his scanty provisions."
It is certain that those afflictions of the Jewish nation were considered by the Prophet, as the effect of their forgetfulness of God; but the interpretation I am proposing will readily be acknowledged to be more pointed and lively, if it be admissible. Whether it be, or not, must be left to my reader to determine.
An Account of the Irish Caoinan, or Ancient
This subject may be farther illustrated by an account of the ancient Irish funeral solemnities, which, with many others of their customs, bear a very near resemblance to those in the East, and particularly to some mentioned in the Bible.
The body of the deceased, dressed in graveclothes; and ornamented with flowers, was
See the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy.
placed on some elevated spot. The relations and Caoniers ranged themselves in two divisions, one at the head, and the other at the feet of the corpse. The bards or croteries had before prepared the funeral CAOINAN. The chief bard or head chorus, began by singing the first stanza, in a low doleful tone, which was softly accompanied by the harp: at the conclusion, the foot semi-chorus began the lamentafion or ULLALOO, from the final note of the preceding stanza, in which they were answered by the head semichorus; then both united in one general chorus. The chorus of the first stanza being ended, the chief bard of the foot semi-chorus sung the second stanza, the strain of which was taken from the concluding note of the proceeding chorus; which ended, the head semi-chorus began the gol or lamentation, in which they were answered by that of the foot, and then, as before, both united in the general full chorus. Thus alternately, were the song and chorus performed during the night.
The genealogy, rank, possessions, virtues and vices of the deceased, were represented; and a number of interrogations were addressed to the dead person : As, why did he die ? If married, whether his wife was faithful to him, his sons dutiful, or good warriors ? If a woman, whether her daughters were fair, or chaste ? If a young man, whether he had been crossed in love? or if the blue-eyed maids of Erin had treated him with scorn?
Lhuyd, says, each versicle of the caoinan consisted only of four feet, and each foot was commonly of two syllables: the three first required no correspondence, but the fourth was to correspond with the terminations of the other versicles. Archaelog. Brit. p. 309.
After this account, follows in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, the whole funeral song or caoinan, set to music, in which we find an address to the corpse, then the first semi-chorus, next the second chorus, and then the full chorus of sighs and groans. All these parts are thrice repeated, but in different notes and expressions. The following is a translation of the addresses to the dead body of the son of Connal, which are found in this ancient piece :
“O son of Connal, why didst thou die ? Royal, noble, learned youth! Valiant, active, warlike, eloquent! Why didst thou die, alas, awail-a-day!
Alas, Alas! he who sprung from nobles of the race of Heber, warlike chief! of Connel, noble youth! Why didst thou die ? Alas, O! Alas!
« Alas! 0! Alas ! he who was in possession of flowery meads, verdant hills, lowing herds, rivers and grazing flocks, rich, gallant, lord of the golden vale! Why did lie die ? alas, awail-a-day!
“ Alas ! Alas! why didst thou die, O son of Connal, before the spoils of victory by thy warlike arm were brought to the hall of the
nobles, and thy shield with the ancient? Alas! Alas!
The music of the above, though ryde and simple, is nevertheless bold, highly impassioned, and deeply affecting. I have often witnessed it among
the descendants of the aboriginal Irish on funeral occasions. The ULLALOO of the Irish is precisely the same both in sense and sound with the aly, ooloolch, of the Arabians, which is a strong and dreadfully mournful cry, set up by the female relatives of a deceased person, the instant of his death, and continued, just like the Irish caoinan, at intervals during the night. Dr. Russell says, History of Aleppo, vol.i. p. 306, that “it is so shrill as to be heard at a prodigious distance.” From this word it is likely the 5 yalal of the Hebrews, the olcducco of the Greeks, and the ululo of the Romans, all proceed; as they have been used in their respective countries, to express the deepest grief, and especially on funeral occasions. Edit.
Lamentations of the Family of Houssain.
The passionate excess to which lamentations for deceased relatives are carried among the Asiatics, bears a striking resemblance to the preceding, and will appear still further by the following extract from the Tanzea, or lamen