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JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY.
color his healthy, robustness, mental and physical. But all these are patent in his writings, which reflect the man as in a mirror. In the scant leisure of an active journalist's busy life, supplemented by unceasing and earnest labors in the cause of Irish nationality, he has found time to write half a dozen or more books, including his “Songs of the Southern Seas,” published in 1873; “Songs, Legends and Ballads,” in 1878; “ Moondyne," a novel, in 1879; “Statues in the Block, and Other Poems,” in 1881; “In Bohemia," in 1886; “The Ethics of Boxing and Manly Sport,” “Stories and Sketches," in 1888; and one or two volumes as yet unpublished.
J. J. R.
THE RIDE OF COLLINS GRAVES.
An incident of the flood in Massachusetts, on May 16, 1874.
No song of a soldier riding down
OHN BOYLE O'REILLY was born at Dowth
Castle, County Meath, Ireland, on June 28, 1844. After serving an early apprenticeship to journalism on the Drogheda Argus, he removed, at the age of seventeen, to England, where he continued his journalistic work. When only eighteen years old he enlisted as a trooper in the Tenth Hussars, otherwise known as the “ Prince of Wales' Own." While there he became an apostle of revolutionary doctrines, was arrested for high treason, and in June, 1866, was sentenced to death. The sentence was afterward commuted to twenty years' penal servitude. He was confined, in various English prisons until October, 1867, when he, with several other political convicts, was transported to finish his sentence in the penal colonies of West Australia. After enduring prison life there for about a year, he made his escape in an open boat, was picked up at sea by the American whaling bark “Gazelle," and finally reached Philadelphia, in November, 1869. In July, 1870, he became editor of the Boston Pilot, of which he is at present editor and co-proprietor.
Mr. O'Reilly's literary career dates from his. arrival in America. He first attracted attention by his original and powerful ballads of Australian life. The “ Amber Whale,” “Dukite Snake," “ Dog Guard," Monster Diamond," "King of the Vasse," and others, following in quick succession, showed to the world of readers that a new and virile singer had come to be heard. It is worth remembering that it was not then as it is now in the literary life of Boston. It is less than twenty years since, but long enough for a wholly different school of poetry to have arisen. Then, it may be safely said, it required a voice of more than common strength and melody to reach the ear of the world. Longfellow, Holmes, Whittier, Lowell, Bryant, were all doing work worthy of their prime. Bret Harte, with his fresh strong lyrics, and Joaquin Miller, crowned with the praise of London critics, seemed to have prëempted whatever field there might be for new singers. There was no room for another bard, except where room always is, at the top. The unknown youth, with no credentials but his talents, came with an unfashionable Irish name into a community which did not then discriminate too kindly in favor of a political convict whose politics were of the Fenian persuasion. Yet he took almost at once the place that was his by right of genius, in a literary circle which is always jeal. ous, but never narrow, in defining its boundaries.
Mr. O'Reilly's work is known to all readers. He prefers to be known by it and through it. Otherwise one might be tempted to write indefinitely of his personal character, his unbounded popularity with all classes, his catholic sympathy with the oppressed and suffering of every class, creed and
The air of the valley has felt the chill:
God! what was that, like a human shriek
They plead for smiles and kisses as summer fields
for showers, And every purple veinlet thrills with exquisite
Whence come they? Listen ! And now they
hear The sound of the galloping horse-hoofs near ; They watch the trend of the vale, and see The rider who thunders so menacingly, With waving arms and warning scream To the home-filled banks of the valley stream, He draws no rein, but he shakes the street With a shout and the ring of the galloping feet ; And this the cry he flings to the wind : "To the hills for your lives! The flood is behind!” He cries and is gone; but they know the worst The breast of the Williamsburg dam has burst ! The basin that nourished their happy homes Is changed to a demon - It comes! it comes!
O, let me see the glance, dear, the gleam of soft
confession, You give my amorous roses for the tender hope
they prove; And press their heart-leaves back, love, to drink
their deeper passion, For their sweetest, wildest perfume is the whis.
per of my love! My roses, tell her, pleading, all the fondness and
the sighing, All the longing of a heart that reaches thirsting
for its bliss ; And tell her, tell her, roses, that my lips and eyes
are dying For the melting of her love-look and the rapture
of her kiss.
A monster in aspect, with shaggy front
But onward still,
A LOST FRIEND. My friend he was; my friend from all the rest; With childlike faith he oped to me his breast; No door was locked on altar, grave or grief; No weakness veiled, concealed no disbelief; The hope, the sorrow and the wrong were bare, And ah, the shadow only showed the fair. I gave
him love for love; but, deep within, I magnified each frailty into sin; Each hill-topped foible in the sunset glowed, Obscuring vales where rivered virtues flowed. Reproof became reproach, till common grew The captious word at every fault I knew. He smiled upon the censorship, and bore With patient love the touch that wounded sore; Until at length, so had my blindness grown, He knew I judged him by his faults alone.
When heroes are called for, bring the crown
Alone, of all men, I who knew him best, Refused the gold, to take the dross for test ! Cold strangers honored for the worth they saw; His friend forgot the diamond in the flaw.
At last it came — the day he stood apart,
JACQUEMINOTS. I MAY not speak in words, dear, but let my words
be flowers, To tell their crimson secret in leaves of fragrant
Too late! too late! Oh, could he then have known, When his love died, that mine had perfect grown; That when the veil was drawn, abased, chastised, The censor stood, the lost one truly prized.
Too late we learn-a man must hold his friend Unjudged, accepted, trusted to the end.
A SOFT-BREASTED bird from the sea
Fell in love with the light-house flame; And it wheeled round the tower on its airiest wing, And floated and cried like a lovelorn thing; It brooded all day and it fluttered all night, But could win no look from the steadfast light,
For the flame had its heart afar,
Afar with the ships at sea;
The light only flickered, the brighter to glow;
A WHITE ROSE.
THE red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love; Oh, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips; For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.
IN BOHEMIA. I'd rather live in Bohemia than in any other land; For only there are the values true, And the laurels gathered in all men's view. The prizes of traffic and state are won By shrewdness or force or by deeds undone; But fame is sweeter without the feud, And the wise of Bohemia are never shrewd. Here, pilgrims stream with a faith sublime From every class and clime and time, Aspiring only to be enrolled With the names that are writ in the book of gold; And each one bears in mind or hand A palm of the dear Bohemian land. The scholar first, with his book — a youth Aflame with the glory of harvested truth; A girl with a picture, a man with a play, A boy with a wolf he has modeled in clay; A smith with a marvelous hilt and sword, A player, a king, a ploughman, a lord – And the player is king when the door is pasi. The ploughman is crowned, and the lord is last! I'd rather fail in Bohemia than win in another
land; There are no titles inherited there, No hoard or hope for the brainless heir; No gilded dullard native born To stare at his fellow with leaden scorn : Bohemia has none but adopted sons; Its limits, where Fancy's bright stream runs; Its honors, not garnered for thrift or trade, But for beauty and truth men's souls have made. To the empty heart in a jeweled breast There is value, maybe, in a purchased crest; But the thirsty of soul soon learn to know The moistureless froth of the social show; The vulgar sham of the pompous feast Where the heaviest purse is the highest priest; The organized charity, scrimped and iced, In the name of a cautious, statistical Christ; The smile restrained, the respectable cant, When a friend in need is a friend in want; Where the only aim is to keep afloat, And a brother may drown with a cry in his throat. Oh, I long for the glow of a kindly heart and the
grasp of a friendly hand, And I'd rather live in Bohemia than in any other
Nation of sun and sin,
Aloes and myrrh and tears
I REMEMBER when I was a boy
That a grown girl wanted to kiss me; And I struggled, was.angry, and shy,
And ran off when she tried to caress me.
And I've thought of that day through the years;
(What a moral, my friend, lies in this!) Under every sweet leaf that appears
Lurks a pain for the loss of that kiss.
AT BEST. THE faithful helm commands the keel,
From port to port fair breezes blow; But the ship must sail the convex sea,
Nor may she straighter go.
So, man to man; in fair accord,
On thought and will, the winds may wait; But the world will bend the passing word,
Though its shortest course be straight.
From soul to soul the shortest line
At best will bended be: The ship that holds the straightest course
Still sails the convex sea.
ERIN. Strong heart in affliction that draweth thy foes Till they love thee more dear than thine own
generation: Thy strength is increased as thy life-current
flows,What were death to another is Ireland's salvation! God scatters her sons like the seed on the lea, And they root where they fall, be it mountain or
furrow; They come to remain and remember; and she In their growth will rejoice in a blissful tomorrow!
– The Feast of the Gael.
The present makes the flaw,
For the burdens the rich endure;
But the patient lives of the poor.
And the child-mind choked with weeds!
– The Cry of the Dreamer.
His secret thought and act, as if he must;
She never knew a woman she could trust.
A DEAD MAN. THE Trapper died - our hero - and we grieved;
In every heart in camp the sorrow stirred. “ His soul was red!" the Indian cried, bereaved;
“A white man, he!" the grim old Yankee's word.
Deep wells that might cover a brooding soul; And who, till he weighed it, could ever surmise
That her heart was a cinder instead of a coal!
Soldier, why do you shrink from the hiss of the
hungry lead ? The bullet that whizzed is past: the approaching
ball is dumb, Stand straight! you cannot shrink from Fate: let
it come! A comrade in front may hear it whizz - when you are dead.
CONSTANCY. " You gave me the key of your heart, my love;
Then why do you make me knock?" “O, that was yesterday, Saints above!
And last night, I changed the lock!"
DISTANCE. The world is large, when its weary leagues two
loving hearts divide; But the world is small, when your enemy is loose
on the other side.
WENDELL PHILLIPS. From the midst of the flock he defended, the brave
one has gone to his rest; And the tears of the poor he befriended their
wealth of affliction attest. From the midst of the people is stricken a symbol
they daily saw, Set over against the law books, of a Higher than
Human Law; For his life was a ceaseless protest, and his voice
was a prophet's cry To be true to the Truth and faithful, though the world were
rayed for the Lie.
- Wendell Phillips.
Ever the same - from boyhood up to death:
His race was crushed — his people were defamed; He found the spark, and fanned it with his breath,
And fed the fire, till all the nation flamed ! He roused the farms- he made the serf a yoeman;
He drilled his millions and he faced the foe; But not with lead or steel he struck the foeman: Reason the sword - and human right the blow.
-A Nation's Test.
With the loudest tongues do least;
Is its want of the power to rest.
From the sea on a windy day;
- The Amber Whale.
One-sided only, just to fit its place:
Their evil acts behind a smiling face.
And force our pleading hearts the gall to sip; O cowards! who must eat the myrrh, that Pride May smile like Virtue with a lying lip.
- Hidden Sins. EXILE.
LIFE. The world was made when a man was born; He must taste for himself the forbidden springs, He can never take warning from old-fashioned
things; He must fight as a boy, he must drink as a youth, He must kiss, he must love, he must swear to the
truth Of the friend of his soul, he must laugh to scorn The hint of deceit in a woman's eyes That are clear as the wells of Paradise. And so he goes on, till the world grows old, Till his tongue has grown cautious, his heart has
grown cold, Till the smile leaves his mouth, and the ring leaves
his laugh, And he shirks the bright headache you ask him to
quaff; He grows formal with men, and with women polite, And distrustful of both when they're out of his
sight; Then he eats for his palate, and drinks for his
head, And loves for his pleasure,- and 't is time he was dead !
- A Passage. OPPORTUNITY. O, the rare spring flowers! take them as they come: Do not wait for summer buds - they may never
bloom. Every sweet to-day sends we are wise to save; Roses bloom for pulling: the path is to the grave.
“Hither — from home!” sobs the torn flower on
the river, Wails the river itself as it enters the bitter ocean; Moans the iron in the furnace at the premonition
of melting; Cries the scattered grain in Spring at the passage
of the harrow:
Benevolence befits the wisest mind;
- Wheat Grains.