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Rev. Dr. Murray.


Fair was that eve, as if from earth away

All trace of sin and sorrow Pass'd, in the light of the eternal day,

That knows nor night nor morrow.

The pale and shadowy mountains, in the dim

And glowing distance piled!
A sea of light along the horizon's rim,

Unbroken, undefiled !

Blue sky, and cloud, and grove, and hill, and glen,

The form and face of man
Beam'd with unwonted beauty, as if then

New earth and heaven began.

Yet heavy grief was on me, and I gazed

On thee through gushing tears, Thou relic of a glory that once blazed

So bright in bygone years.

Wreck of a ruin ! lovelier, holier far,

Thy ghastly hues of death,
Than the cold forms of newer temples are-
Shrines of a priestless faith.

In lust and rapine, treachery and blood,

Its iron domes were built ; Darkly they frown, where God's own altars stood,

In hatred and in guilt.

But to make thee, of loving hearts the love,

Was coin'd to living stone ; Truth, peace, and piety together strove

To form thee for their own.

And thou wast theirs, and they within thee met,

And did thy presence fill; And their sweet light, even while thine own is set,

Hovers around thee still.

'Tis not the work of mind, or hand, or eye,

Builder's or sculptor's skill;
Thy site, thy beauty, or thy majesty-

Not these my bosom thrill.

'Tis that a glorious monument thou art,

Of the true faith of old,
When faith was one in all the nation's heart,

Purer than purest gold.

A light, when darkness on the nations dwelt,

In Erin found a homeThe mind of Greece, the warm heart of the Celt,

The bravery of Rome.

But O! the pearl, the gem, the glory of her yonth,

That shone upon her brow j
She clung for ever to the Chair of Truth-

Clings to it now!

Love of my love, and temple of my God!

How would I now clasp thee
Close to my heart, and, even as thou wast trod,

So with thee trodden be!

O, for one hour a thousand years ago,

Within thy precincts dim,
To hear the chant, in deep and measured flow,

Of psalmody and hymn !

To see of priests the long and white array,

Around thy silver shrines—
The people kneeling prostrate far away,

In thick and chequer'd lines.

To see the Prince of Cashel o'er the rest,

Their prelate and their king ;
The sacred bread and chalice by him bless'd,

Earth's holiest offering.

To hear, in piety's own Celtic tongue,

The most heart-touching prayer
That fervent suppliants e'er was heard among-

O, to be then and there !

There was a time all this within thy walls

Was felt, and heard, and seen ; Faint image only now thy sight recalls

Of all that once hath been.

The creedless, heartless, murderous robber came,

And never since that time
Round thy torn altars burn'd the sacred flame,

Or rose the chant sublime.

Thy glory in a crimson tide went down,

Beneath the cloven hoof-
Altar and priest, mitre and cope, and crown,

And choir, and arch, and roof.

0, but to see thee, when thou wilt rise again

For thou again wilt rise,
And with the splendours of thy second reign

Dazzle a nation's eyes !

Children of those who made thee what thou wast,

Shall lift thee from the tomb,
And clothe thee for the spoiling of the past,

In more celestial bloom.

And psalm, and hymn, and gold, and precious stones,

And gems beyond all price,
And priest, and altar, o'er the martyr's bones,

And daily sacrifice.

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