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which it is enforced, it is scarcely possible not to feel that the venerable apostle of the sister island has exhibited no very abundant stock of pity or forbearance.

0 Oisin of the mighty deed !

Thy folly I deplore ;
0! cease thy frenzy thus to feed,

And give the subject o'er.

Nor Finn, nor all the Finnian race,

Can with his power compare
Who to yon orbs assigns their place,

And rules the realms of air !

For man yon azure vault he spreads,

And clothes the flow'ry plains;
On every tree soft fragrance sheds,

And blooming fruit ordains !

'Tis he who gives the peopled stream,

Replete with life to flow;
Who gives the moon's resplendent beam,

And sun's meridian glow!
Would'st thou thy puny king compare

To that Almighty hand
Which form'd fair earth, and ambient air,

And bade their powers expand ?

The rejoinder which now falls from the lips of Oisin is, in the highest degree, animated and characteristic :

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this tenure,

* Dr. Hyde says, “the old Irish were so greatly addicted to chess, that amongst them the possession of good estates has been often decided by it; and,” adds he, " there are some estates, at this very time, the property whereof still depends upon the issue of a game at chess. For example, the heirs of two certain noble Irish families, whom we could name (to say nothing of others), hold their lands

upon viz. that one of them shall encounter the other at chess in this manner; that which ever of them conquered, should seize and possess the estate of the other. Therefore,” says the doctor, “I am told they manage the affair prudently among themselves : once a year they meet, by appointment, to play at chess; one of them inakes a move, and the other says, I will consider how to answer you next year. This being done, a public notary commits to writing the situation of the game, by which method a game that neither has won has been, and will be, continued for some hundred of years.' -Vallancey's Irish Grammar, Essay on the Celtic Language,

p. 85,

Or sylvan sports, that well beseem

The martial and the brave;
Or, plung'd amid the rapid stream,

His manly limbs to lave.

But, when the rage of battle bled !

Then—then his might appear’d, And o'er red heaps of hostile dead

His conquering standard rear'd!

Where was thy God on that sad day,

When on Ierne's wave
Two heroes plough'd the wat’ry way,

Their beauteous prize to save ?

From Lochlin's king of ships, his bride,

His lovely queen they bore, Through whom unnumber'd warriors die,

And bathed in blood our shore.

Or on that day when Tailk's proud might

Invaded Erin's coast,
Where was thy God head in that fight,

And where thy empty boast ?

While round the bravest Fenii bled,

No help did he bestow; ”Twas Osgur's arm avenged the deed, And

gave the glorious blow!

Where was thy God when Magnus came?

Magnus the brave and great;
The man of might, the man of fame,

Whose threat'ning voice was fate!

Thy Godhead did not aid us then,

If such a God there be,
He should have favour'd gallant men,

As great and good as he !
Fierce Anninir's wide wasting son,

Allean of dreadful fame,
Who Tamor's treasures oft had won,

And wrapt her walls in flame.

Not by thy God, in single fight,

The deathful hero fell,
But by Finn's arm, whose matchless might

Could ev'ry force repel !

In ev'ry mouth his fame we meet,

Well known, and well believed ;-
I have not heard of


feat Thy cloudy king achieved.

The somewhat sarcastic insinuation with which these fine stanzas conclude has the effect of throwing the saint completely off his guard, and he bursts into a strain of invective which does not present us with a very favourable idea of his progress in Christian charity. In fact, he tells the aged poet in plain terms, that he is a bald and senseless fool, and that as long as God shall rule in heaven, his race shall endure unremitting torment. 66 It must be owned,” says the fair translator, “this railing is rather of the coarsest; but our poet seems more partial to his heroes than to his saints, or he would hardly have put this language into the mouth of the good bishop.” We can scarcely, however, regret this want of equanimity on the part of St. Patrick, since it introduces the following wild but beautifully characteristic expostulation from the lips of his companion, who, shocked, as he well might be, by the anathema we have just recorded, exclaims

If God then rules, why is the chief

Of Comhal's gen'rous race
To fiends consign'd, without relief

From justice or from grace ?

When, were thy God himself confined,

My king of mild renown
Would quickly all his chains unbind,

And give him back his crown.

For never did his generous breast

Reject the feeling glow;
Refuse to succour the distrest,

Or slight the captive's woe.

His ransom loosed the prisoner's chains,

And broke the dire decree;
Or, with his hosts, on glory's plains,

He fought to set them free!

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