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TO THE DREA MER.
SLEEP on! I would not break thy dream,
Fair lady, for its tale is sweet ::
Will fade, and tell the cheat.
Sleep on! for angel wings are o'er thee,
Strewing thy paths of thought with flowers; And love, a moment, doth restore thee
To Eden's loveliest bowers.
Sleep on! for 'tis alone in this
O'er walls of Paradise we steal,
That innocence may feel.
Sleep on! for when, alas ! we wake,
Expelled, we tread a world of care, Where, if the rose of joy we take,
The thorn — the thorn is there.
Life is a journey – death a darksome coast,
Where we must enter, a soul-freighted bark, And, all despoiled, resign each earthly boast,
Part from the shore, and cleave the ocean dark.
The Miser, torn reluctant from his gold,
A shivering pauper, o'er that sea is hurled. He strove on earth, till heap on heap was told,
Yet went a bankrupt to the other world.
Not one heaven-current penny in his purse,
A bosom only stored with guilty care,
Here lost in life and death, the millionnaire.
IRELAND AND THE IRISH.*
EARLY HISTORY OF THE IRISH NATION.
The earliest pages of history relating to the northern portion of Europe, seem but the revelations of a half-remembered dream. A dim and distant pageant of barbarous nations pouring through savage forests, is presented to the view. In pausing to contemplate this living current, we are able to trace a progress from east to west, and amidst infinite variety, to mark the signs of a common origin. We can perceive that these tribes gather like bees along the fertile valleys of the Danube, the Rhine, and the Rhone; yet that, ever moving, and ever extending themselves to the north and west, they finally overspread the largest portion of Europe.
* This article was originally prepared at the request of the committee of the “ Franklin Lectures,” in Boston, and delivered before that association at the “ Temple.” It was subsequently enlarged, and delivered on several occasions, as two lectures. It is now given to the readers of the Token without material alteration.
So much is portrayed, in rude and shadowy outline, by the opening pages of history, but no more. If, urged by impatient curiosity, we penetrate deeper into the mystery of the past, every trace of light vanishes from the scene, and we grope about in total obscurity. Like the dreamer who strives to seize upon the startled and flitting ghosts of his vision, we only meet with disappointment, and are left to that vain and vexatious regret which attends the loss of the substance, in the effort to grasp the shadow.
Turning back from this unavailing pursuit, and treading the defined paths of history, we are able to assure ourselves that, about two thousand years before the Christian era, various tribes of Asiatics, under the general name of Celts, had already begun to people Europe. By a process similar to that in which our own western country is now settling, the march of emigration continued till the middle and northern portions of the continent were peopled.
While these events were in progress, the maritime or southern portion of Europe — that which lies along the Mediterranean — was becoming settled by emigrants from the commercial cities and states of Asia and Africa. Thus Europe was filling up by two great streams of