TO MY WIFE
And what was the world to me, love,
Or why should its honours divide
The feelings that centred in thee, love,
As fondly you clung to my side;
Or why should ambition or glory,
E’er tempt me to wander so far,
For sake of distinction in story,
From thee, my heart’s faithfulest star.
Or why should I call thee
mine own, love,
To sport with the life that was thine,
Or risk for a land overthrown, love,
A stake that no longer was mine;
Or why should I pledge for the fallen
What only belonged to the free;
For had I not gauged life and all on
The faith that was plighted to thee?
And here, while I wander alone,
Beneath the cold shadows of night,
Or lie with my head on a stone, love,
Awaiting the dawning of light,
My spirit unthralled is returning,
Where far from the coward and slave,
Her beacon of love is still burning,
To light, to direct me and save.
And she, too, who watches
And loves as none other could love,
To counsel, to cherish and guide thee.
To weep with, but never reprove—
Yes, she too, is lone and unguarded,
The reed she had leant on in twain,
And though her trust thus be rewarded,
She’d love that love over again.
At Cork two families were compromised by my prolonged stay, one of them irretrievably, if I were arrested. However, they placed themselves entirely and unconditionally at my disposal. I stated my objections to the proposed conveyance of a coal boat to Wales, where I would be equally exposed as in Ireland, and have infinitely less sympathy or assistance. I suggested one of the London steamers instead, which they agreed to. After some preliminary negotiations, a person connected with one of those vessels promised to secrete me and have me landed at Southampton, where I could easily procure a passage to France. Just as this arrangement was concluded, news arrived that Tipperary was again in arms, under the command of my friend, O’Mahony. The report added that I was associated with him in command. Hour after hour brought some story stranger than that which preceded it; but in each and all I found myself figuring in some character or other, all, of course, contrary to the truth. This fact led at once to a suspicion of the accuracy of the whole. But I was aware that caution was a leading characteristic of O’Mahony’s genius, and I felt assured he would not attempt any open movement without strong probabilities of success. The fabrications about myself I reconciled to the belief that he wished it to appear he had my sanction and support. The vessel was to sail next day, and I should determine at once, or risk the safety of the family who protected me. I endeavoured