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Rev. Dr. Murray.
THE ROCK OF CASHEL.
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!
Unbroken, undefiled !
Blue sky, and cloud, and grove, and hill, and glen,
The form and face of man
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,
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;
Not these my bosom thrill.
'Tis that a glorious monument thou art,
Of the true faith of old,
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
Clings to it now!
Love of my love, and temple of my God!
How would I now clasp thee
So with thee trodden be!
O, for one hour a thousand years ago,
Within thy precincts dim,
Of psalmody and hymn !
To see of priests the long and white array,
Around thy silver shrines—
In thick and chequer'd lines.
To see the Prince of Cashel o'er the rest,
Their prelate and their king ;
Earth's holiest offering.
To hear, in piety's own Celtic tongue,
The most heart-touching prayer
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
Or rose the chant sublime.
Thy glory in a crimson tide went down,
Beneath the cloven hoof-
And choir, and arch, and roof.
0, but to see thee, when thou wilt rise again
For thou again wilt rise,
Dazzle a nation's eyes !
Children of those who made thee what thou wast,
Shall lift thee from the tomb,
In more celestial bloom.
And psalm, and hymn, and gold, and precious stones,
And gems beyond all price,
And daily sacrifice.