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Does the playful leaf never fall nor fade?
Farewell, farewell ! I go to my rest;
Song of the Stars.--BRYANT.
When the radiant morn of creation broke, And the world in the smile of God awoke, And the empty realms of darkness and death Were moved through their depths by his mighty breath, And orbs of beauty, and spheres of flame, From the void abyss, by myriads came, In the joy of youth, as they darted away, Through the widening wastes of space to play, Their silver voices in chorus rung; And this was the song the bright ones sung:
“ Away, away ! through the wide, wide sky, The fair blue fields that before us lie,
Each sun, with the worlds that round us roll,
“For the Source of glory uncovers his face,
“Look, look, through our glittering ranks afar,
"And see, where the brighter day-beams pour,
“Away, away in our blossoming bowers,
“Glide on in your beauty, ye youthful spheres,
The Bells of St. Mary's, Limerick. LONDON LITERARY
Moore's National Melodies. THERE is a delight, which those only can appreciate who have felt it, in recalling to one's mind, when cast by fortune upon a strange soil and among strangers, the sights and sounds which were familiar to one's infant days. It is pleasant, too, though, perhaps, like the praise of one's own friend, rather obtrusive, to snatch those memories from their rest, and give them to other ears,—to tinge them with an interest, and bid them live again. When we perceive, likewise, that places and circumstances of real beauty and curiosity remain neglected and unknown, for want of “some tongue to give their worthiness a voice," there is a gratification to our human pride in the effort to procure them, even for a space,
A forted residence 'gainst the tooth of time
I shall not, in this letter, as in my last, give any thing characteristic-rany thing Irish. I will be dull rather than descend from the elevation I intend to keep; but, in compensation, I will tell you a fine old story; and, if you have but the slightest mingling of poetical feeling in your composition, (and who is there now-a-days that will not pretend to some ?) I promise myself that you shall not be disappointed.
The city of Limerick, though surrounded by some very tolerable demesnes,* is sadly deficient in one respect,not an unimportant one in any large town ;-there is no public walk of any consequence immediately adjoining it. The canal which leads to Dublin is bleak, from its want of trees; and unhealthy, from the low marshy champaign,t which lies on either side its banks.
But, at the head of this canal, where it divides itself into two branches, which, gradually widening and throwing off their artificial appearance, form a glittering circlet around a small island, which is covered with water shrubs on this spot I have delightedly reposed in many a sweet sunset Pron. děmains'.
+ Pron, sham'pāne.
when I loved to seek a glimpse of inspiration in such scenes, to imitate Moore's poetry, and throw rhymes together, about the rills and hills, streams and beams, and even and heaven, and fancy I was a genius !—“'Tis gone 'tis gone—'tis gone!” as old Capulet says.
But let us recall it for a moment. Have the complaisance to indulge me in a day-dream, and fancy, if you can, that you sit beside me on the bank. We are beyond the hearing of the turmoil and bustle of the town; “ the city's voice ítself is soft, like solitude's;" and there is a hush around us that is delightful—the beautiful repose of the evening. The sun, that, but a few minutes since, rushed down the west with the speed of a wandering star, pauses, ere he shall set, upon the very verge of the horizon, and smiles
his own handiwork—the creation of his fostering fervour.
Hark! one sound alone reaches us here; and how grand, and solemn, and harmonious, in its monotony! These are the great bells of St. Mary's. Their deep-toned vibrations undulate so as to produce a sensible effect on the air around
The peculiar fineness of the sound has been often remarked; but there is an old story connected with their history, which, whenever I hear them ring out over the silent city, gives a something more than harmony to the peal. I shall merely say, that what I am about ou alate is told as a real occurrence; and I consider it so touchingly poetical in itself, that I shall not dare to supply a fictitious name, and fictitious circumstances, where I have been unable to procure the actual ones.
They were originally brought from Italy; they had been manufactured by a young native (whose name the tradition has not preserved,) and finished after the toil of many years ; and he prided himself upon his work. They were consequently purchased by the prior of a neighbouring convent; and, with the profits of this sale, the young Italian procured a little villa, where he had the pleasure of hearing the tolling of his bells from the convent cliff, and of growing old in the bosom of domestic happiness.
This, however, was not to continue. In some of those broils, whether civil or foreign, which are the undying worm in the peace of a fallen land, the good Italian was a sufferer amongst many. He lost his all; and, after the passing of the storm, found himself preserved alone amid the wreck of fortune, friends, family, and home. The convent, in which the bells, the master-pieces of his skill, were hung, was razed to the earth, and these last carried away into another land.
The unfortunate owner, haunted by his memories, and deserted by his hopes, became a wanderer over Europe. His hair grew gray, and his heart withered, before he again found a home or a friend. In this desolation of spirit, he formed a resolution of seeking the place, to which those treasures of his memory had been finally borne. He sailed for Ireland; proceeded up the Shannon; the vessel anchored in the Pool, near Limerick, and he hired a small boat for the purpose of landing.
The city was now before him; and he beheld St. Mary's steeple, lifting its turreted head above the smoke and mist of the Old Town. He sat in the stern, and looked fondly toward it. It was at evening, so calm and beautiful, as to remind him of his own native haven in the sweetest time of the year--the death of the spring. The broad stream appeared like one smooth mirror, and the little vessel glided through it with almost a noiseless expedition.
On a sudden, amid the general stillness, the bells tolled from the cathedral; the rowers rested on their oars, and the vessel went forward with the impulse it had received. The old Italian looked towards the city, crossed his arms on his breast, and lay back in his seat. Home, happiness, early recollections, friends, family—all were in the sound, and went with it to his heart. When the rowers looked round, they beheld him with his face still turned toward the cathedral; but his eyes were closed, and, when they landed--they found him cold !
Such are the associations, which the ringing of St. Mary's bells brings to my recollection. I do not know how I can better conclude this letter than with the little melody, from which I have taken the line above. It is a good specimen of the peculiar tingling melody of the author's poetry-a quality in which he never has been equalled in his own language, nor exceeded in any other :- Why! you can almost fancy you hear them ringing !
“Those evening bells--those evening bells.com