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“Then off we strolled this way and that,
With merry voices ringing ;
As home we rambled singing.
And to our own doors followed.
The misty meadow hallooed.
Come, turn your wheels about ;
Just held my story out !"
The worsted from Life's ball !
- And so he'll serve us all.
RICHARD ALFRED MILLIKIN. [Born in the county of Cork, 1767; died in 1815. Was an attorney in Cork, but not very zealous in his profession, having more taste for literature and for drawing. He had some reputation as an amateur artist, and was active in founding a Society for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Cork. He published The Riverside, a blank-verse poem, in 1807. One of his compositions was the famous song, The Groves of Blarney.
THE FAIR MAID OF PASSAGE.1
O FAIR maid of Passage,
As plump as a sassage,
Those eyes in your face !
Yerrah! pity my case,
Far softer nor silk,
And more white than new milk,
Your lips red as cherries,
And your eyes like blackberries,
Your talk is so quare,
And your sweet curly hair,
And your breath is as sweet, too,
As any potatoe,
Or orange from Seville.
When dressed in her boddice
She trips like a goddess,
One kiss from her cheek,
'Tis so soft and so sleek
So I sobs and I pine,
And I grunts like a swine,
No rest can I take,
All asleep or awake,
Your hate, then, give over,
Nor Dermuid, your lover,
Or, faith, Dermuid must die,
Like a pig in a stye,
THE TOWN OF PASSAGE.
All situated upon the sea ;
With their cotton coats on each summer's day.
The men of war, with fresh-flowing sails;
All steering for Cork in a hackney chaise.
A leaping from the mud upon the dry land ;
With a Reading-made-easy all in his hand.2
For to take on, whose heart beats high ;
All pinned across it, hanging out to dry.
And tender gob-stones 3 and mussel-shells ;
A comely fresh-flowing water rill. 1 I am unable to give any particulars concerning this writer. His poem is inserted in Crofton Croker's Popular Songs of Ireland, 1839: it appears to be the first form of a ballad which has been retouched by various hands, and has been popular under all. 2 The figure-head of an old ship. 3 Round pebbles. 4 Hawthorn berries. 'Tis there the ladies, when break of day is,
And tender lovers, do often pelt;
All mother-naked, to enjoy their health.
Where man and horses do take a ride ;
To Carrigaloe on the other side.
With its trees so green 0 ! and fruit so red ;
The Giant's Stairs, and sweet Horse's Head.
Where often goes in one Simon Quin ;
The door to open, to let him in.
With but the slates betwixt him and the sky;
Do keep him warm in where he does lie.
MATTHEW GREGORY LEWIS. [Born in London in 1773, son of a West-India planter, and deputy-secretary in the War-Office; died in the Gulf of Florida, July 1818. Lewis was partly educated in Germany, which may have served to develop his peculiar taste for the horrible, supernatural, and grotesque. His first work was the once highly celebrated romance of The Monk, published in 1795: hence his ordinary nickname “Monk Lewis.” Tales of Terror, Tales of Wonder, and other volumes in verse and in prose, followed: his play of The Castle Spectre was a conspicuous public success. Lewis entered parliament, but soon retired thence. He was a man of fashion, of a volatile mercurial nature, which, along with his very diminutive stature, exposed him to some ridicule. At the same time, he was truly good-hearted, and in many respects estimable : Walter Scott has termed him “one of the kindest and best creatures that ever lived." He took two voyages to the West Indies, in 1815 and 1817, to look after his property there, and partly to assure himself that the slaves upon his estates received humane treatment. It was on returning from the second of these voyages that he died at sea, of a fever. At first it was rumoured that his philanthropic feelings had cost' him his life: one of his slaves was said to have given him poison, in order to hasten the emancipation which, as announced by Lewis himself, would be accorded to all of them on.the occurrence of his deatlı]. GRIM, KING OF THE GHOSTS; OR, THE DANCE OF DEATH.
A CHURCHYARD TALE. “Why, how now, old sexton? why shake you with dread ?
Why haunt you this street, where you're sure to catch cold? Full warm is your blanket, full snug
your bed ! And long since, by the steeple-chimes, twelve has been told."
i The seat of Savage French, Esq., on the Great Island.
“ Tom Tap, on this night my retreat you'll approve,
For my churchyard will swarm with its shroud-covered hosts; Who will tell, with loud shriek, that resentment and love
till nip the cold heart of Grim, King of the Ghosts. “ One eve, as the fiend wandered through the thick gloom,
Towards my newly-tiled cot he directed his sight; And, casting a glance in my little back-room,
Gazed on Nancy, my daughter, with wanton delight. “ Yet Nancy was proud, and disdainful was she,
In affection's fond speech she'd no pleasure or joy ; And vainly he sued, though he knelt at her knee,
Bob Brisket, so comely, the young butcher's boy!
“ ' For you, dearest Nancy, I've oft been a thief,
Yet my theft it was venial, a theft if it be ;
Or who see a steak and not steal it for thee?
“'Remember, dear beauty, dead flesh cannot feel ;
With frowns you my heart and its passion requite ; Yet oft have I seen you, when hungry at meal,
On a dead bullock's heart gaze with tender delight.
“When you dress it for dinner, so hard and so tough,
I wish the employ your stern breast would improve ; And, the dead bullock's heart while with onions you stuff,
You would stuff your own heart, cruel virgin, with love.'
“Young rascal! presum’st thou, with butcher-like phrase,
To foul stinking onions my love to compare,
And Alderman Paunch, who has since been the Mayor ?
" 'You bid me remember dead flesh cannot feel ?
Then I vow, by my father's old pickaxe and spade, Till some prince from the tombs shall behave so genteel
As to ask me to wed, I'll continue a maid !
""Nor him will I wed, till (these terms must he own)
Of my two first commands the performance he boasts.'— Straight, instead of a footman, a deep-pealing groan
Announced the approach of Grim, King of the Ghosts !
“ No flesh had the spectre, his skeleton skull
Was loosely wrapped round with a brown shrivelled skin ; His bones, 'stead of marrow, of maggots were full,
And the worms they crawled out, and the worms they crawled in. “ His shoes they were coffins, his dim eye revealed
The gleam of a grave-lamp with vapours oppressed ; And a dark crimson necklace of blood-drops congealed
Reflected each bone that jagged out of his breast. “In a hoarse hollow whisper—' Thy beauties,' he cried,
'Have drawn up a spirit to give thee a kiss ; No butcher shall call thee, proud Nancy, his bride ; The grim King of Spectres demands thee for his.
My name frightens infants, my word raises ghosts, My tread wakes the echoes which breathe through the aisle ; And lo! here stands the Prince of the Churchyard, who boasts
The will to perform thy commands, for a smile. “He said, and he kissed her : she packed up her clothes,
And straight they eloped through the window with joy ; Yet long in her ears rang the curses and oaths
Which growled at his rival the gruff butcher's boy. “ At the charnel-house palace soon Nancy arrived,
When the fiend, with a grin which her soul did appal, Exclaimed -I must warn my pale subjects I'm wived,
And bid them prepare a grand supper and ball !'—
Three capers he cut, and then motionless stood ;
His lank fingers to scrawl invitations in blood.
A blade-bone his pen-knife, a tooth was his seal ;Soon he ordered the cards, in a voice deep and dull,
To haste and invite all his friends to the meal.
Away flew the cards to the south and the north,
Away flew the cards to the east and the west; Straight with groans, from their tombs, the pale spectres stalked
forth, In deadly apparel and shrouding-sheets dressed. " And quickly scared Nancy, with anxious affright,
Hears the tramp of a steed, and a knock at the gate ; On an hell-horse so gaunt 'twas a grim ghastly sprite,
On a pillion behind a she-skeleton sate !
“ The poor maiden she thought 'twas a dream or a trance,
While the guests they assembled gigantic and tall ; Each sprite asked a skeleton lady to dance,
And King Grim with fair Nancy now opened the ball.