this be, indeed, our fate,
Far, far better now, though late,
That we seek some other land and try some other zone;
The coldest, bleakest shore
Will surely yield us more
Than the store-house of the stranger that we dare not call our own.
brothers of the West,
Who from Liberty’s full breast
Have fed us, who are orphans, beneath a step-dame’s frown,
Behold our happy state,
And weep your wretched fate
That you share not in the splendours of our empire and our crown!
brothers of the East,
Thou great tiara’d priest,
Thou sanctified Rienzi of Rome and of the earth—
Or thou who bear’st control
Over golden Istambol,
Who felt for our misfortunes and helped us in our dearth,
here your wondering eyes,
Call your wisest of the wise,
Your Muftis and your ministers, your men of deepest lore;
Let the sagest of your sages
Ope our island’s mystic pages,
And explain unto your Highness the wonders of our shore.
fruitful teeming soil,
Where the patient peasants toil
Beneath the summer’s sun and the watery winter sky—
Where they tend the golden grain
Till it bends upon the plain,
Then reap it for the stranger, and turn aside to die.
they watch their flocks increase,
And store the snowy fleece,
Till they send it to their masters to be woven o’er the waves;
Where, having sent their meat
For the foreigner to eat,
Their mission is fulfilled, and they creep into their graves.
’Tis for this they are dying where the golden
corn is growing,
’Tis for this they are dying where the crowded herds are lowing,
’Tis for this they are dying where the streams of life are flowing,
And they perish of the plague where the breeze of health is blowing.
Long have I loved the beauty of thy streets,
Fair Dublin: long, with unavailing vows,
Sigh’d to all guardian deities who rouse
The spirits of dead nations to new heats
Of life and triumph:—vain the fond conceits,
Nestling like eaves-warmed doves ’neath patriot brows!
Vain as the “Hope,” that from thy Custom-House
Looks o’er the vacant bay in vain for fleets.
Genius alone brings back the days of yore:
Look! look, what life is in these quaint old shops—
The loneliest lanes are rattling with the roar
of coach and chair; fans, feathers, flambeaus, fops,
Flutter and flicker through yon open door,
Where Handel’s hand moves the great organ stops.
March 11th, 1856.
107. It is stated that the “Messiah” was first publicly performed in Dublin. See Gilbert’s “History of Dublin,” vol. i. p. 75, and Townsend’s “Visit of Handel to Dublin,” p. 64.