Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

in having thus described the place of their annual and

rare occasions, even in this remote and unknown cavern. for this purpose they had crucibles, and all the other At that period it was the last wild recess left them which necessary apparatus. The particular place, however, in had not been, one after another, discovered, and their which the treasure was deposited, being considered by anxiety to preserve the secret of its existence was great their chief a temptation probably too strong for the in proportion to the danger which its discovery would honesty of some of them, was a secret known only to have brought upon them. There were present on this himself and Shane Biernah, his confidant, and the next occasion none but the leaders of the wild and savage in command. banditti that were then dispersed over all parts of the kingdom, for to none else would the secret of their pre- other extraordinary meetings, we will now recite the sent place of meeting be communicated. Neither were names and peculiar pursuits of those who were there the observation of the three principles we have alluded to assembled, for the purpose, as we have said, of demade anything like a matter of conscience by a great bating upon the course of their proceedings during the number of the subordinate robbers, who frequently vio- next campaign; but it is to be remembered that their lated every one of them,-or in other words, committed chief, together with three others : to wit, Shane Biernah, murder, fell into drunken excesses, and threatened James Butler, and Strong John McPherson, were then females with outrage and cruelty. The last, however, absent, being engaged in the execution of a robbery. was certainly the rarest of their crimes.

Neither is it to be forgotten that the names we are Within the range of the wide district over which the about to mention, as well as those we have given, are sway of the Great Rapparee of whom we write, pre- authentic and historical. The first in importance and vailed, there was scarcely a single exception ever known- in fame, at that period at least, although seldom menwe believe only one—against the faithful adherence to tioned now, was Captain Power, so called, not from any the very letter as well as the spirit of these three funda- military title he had ever received, but in consequence mental regulations that he laid down for their conduct. of his position as the head and commander of the This was owing, as we have every reason to believe, to Munster robbers, or Rapparees. He was born at Kil. the fact that their leader was a gentleman of a high vallen, in the county of Cork, and was the son of a and antient Irish family, one of whose ancestors was gentleman who possessed a good freehold estate at that knighted by Queen Elizabeth for important services place. He had had a quarrel with his brother, after rendered to her cause. And we may add here, that which he got into a lawsuit, which he lost. A writ of another of the descendants of his family, when George contempt of court having been issued against him, he the Fourth visited this country, claimed his right of spurned and defied its authority, and, as a matter of hereditary Standard-bearer for Ireland, north of the course, was outlawed. After some time he returned Boyne, and had his claim admitted by my late friend, home, -and rather than be a burthen to his relations, Ulster King at Arms, Sir William Betham.

took to the highway, and became the most celebrated The appearance of the cavern in which they were robber that Munster ever produced. Like the Great assembled, was very simple, and had nothing extraordi- Rapparee who is the hero of this narrative, he never nary about it, except its large and ample space. Not shed blood, and was remarkable for his kindness and a stalactite depended from the roof; but as a compensa- charity to the poor. After he had been on the highway tion for its want of natural ornaments, it was as dry as for some time, he was offered a pardon through the powder. If nature left it naked, however, art had sup- intercession of his friends ; but feeling an irresistible plied the deficiency. It was, in fact, not only a place of impulse for a life of adventure, he refused the mercy rendezvous, but a storehouse of arms, ammunition, and that was extended to him, and preferred the wild and such a variety of different costumes as would puzzle excitable life of a bandit. He had come down from and confound a modern pawnbroker. Every garb of Munster to visit and see the great northern robber, from the day was there, hanging from pegs driven into the motives of curiosity and admiration. Their actual sides of the cavern, from that of the tattered beggar to meeting, whilst each was ignorant of the person of the the rich and fashionable apparel of the wealthy gentle-other, is so full of interest and romance, that we may man, and from that of the common soldier to the exact probably give it on some future occasion. He remained uniform of his superior officers. The last were princi- with his northern brother for about twelve months, and pally the property of their celebrated leader, who as- is now present more as his friend than as one of his sumed them all on several occasions during the extraor- gang. First then, on this occasion, we will mention dinary and almost incredible variety of his exploits.

him as Here also was their magazine, which consisted of a great variety of firearms, all carefully oiled and wrapped in Captain Power, a Gentleman Rapparee. flannel, so as to prevent them from becoming useless or Paul Liddy, a Gentleman Rapparee. dangerous by damp or rust, together with a considerable William Peters, alias Delany. portion of gunpowder preserved with equal care. Charles Dempsey, alias Cahir na Cappul, the reSuch large sums of money too, and all the valuable plate nowned Horse-stealer, introduced into his novel of which they had plundered from the gentry of the coun- “the Boyne Water" by John Banim. try, were deposited here for security, until the plate at Manus M'O'Neil, the Gold-finder, introduced into least could be melted down, and safely disposed of; and “Suil Duv” by Gerald Griffin.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

IX.

We marched, and we marched over togher, moor, and ford,
And to every hostile challenge, our answer was the sword;
And in each fierce fray and foray never man so brave was known,
As my true, my gallant comrade, the horseman of Lisrone.

X.

We marched, and we marched over bog and desert way,

Till we came to where King Phelim with his gallant cohorts lay;
Then like thunder up the mountains from their 'campment rolled the diu
Of a hundred thousand welcomes, as our bands came pouring in!

Fytte the Second.

I.

When the morn blazed o'er the mountains then we took our march again,
To the trumpet's shrilly clamour and the war-pipe's martial strain;
And we pierced through many a forest, and we wound by stream and lea,
Till we neared our wily foemen, and we came to Athenric.

II.

Wirristhru! for the day that we came to Athenrie,

"Twas a mournful day for Ireland and a woeful day for me, There King Art had fallen in battle in the ages long before,*

And there died our young King Phelim ere that hapless day was o'er!

III.

Like a lowering cloud of thunder on the moorland broad we lay,
Like a sunbeam on its ragged skirts, the king rode forth that day,
In his glittering shirt of battle, and his golden helm and plume,
Mo brón! that such a rider e'er should meet with such a doom!

IV.

O'er our bristling line of battle then he cast his kingly eye,

With a gaze full keen and stern, as his chiefs and he rode by;
Then he turned him round and pointed with his sharp and conquering blade
To the Normans' iron chivalrie upon the field arrayed!

V.

"By the blood-red hand that moulders in the cold clay of Knockmoy,†
Swear ye now those ranks to shatter, and the Norman power destroy-
Then charge ye home, for Ireland's good!" was all our brave king said,
While from van to rere, from flank to flank, our answering sloghan spread !

VI.

How the hot earth smoked and trembled 'neath the thunder of our charge,
As with hearts for vengeance burning swept we down the streamlet's marge!
How the bloody spray splashed round us, how the battle raged and roared,
As we met the mail-clad Normans, breast to breast at that wild ford!

VII,

Mo nair! our men had nought to shield their valorous, hardy breasts,
But their shirts of saffron shining, and their purply satin vests;

But with naked breast to steel-clad heart, through the battle's dust and sweat,
Till that woeful eve shone o'er us, neither gained the vantage yet.

VIII.

My curse upon the arrow, and the hand that shot it too,

That struck our young king on the neck, and pierced him through and through;
Down he fell beside his banner on the eve of that sad day,
And amid the roar of battle soon his life-blood ebbed away!

*Art the Solitary, who, together with the seven sons of Oliol Olum, fell in a battle fought by them near this place against Lughaidh Mac Con. The place where the battle was fought was called Magh Mucruimhe.

+ Knockmoy was the burial-place of Cathal of the Red Hand, king of Connaught.

IX.

"Come! follow me, my comrade !" said young Brian of Lisrone, "The king is dead, his foes close round, he shall not die alone; We'll gather round the gory spot where his fair body lics,

And we'll fight more stern and keenly, when we look in his dead eyes!"

X.

We fought, and we fought, till the eve closed o'er us dark-
Many a pool of blood was round us, many a body stiff and stark;
For our gory sparths we buried in the brains of many a foe,
To guard King Phelim's body on that hapless field of woe!

XI.

Wirristhru! for the day that we came to Atheurie;

There a fond and gallant comrade, and a king were lost to me--
For the king lay in his gore, in the cause of Ireland slain,
And young Brian by his body was a wounded prisoner ta'eu!

Fytte the Third.

I.

On that night of blood and sorrow, we fled far away,

With Prince Donogh's torn banner, from the field where Phelim lay;
And we took the southward passes till we reached Bunratty's wall,
Where we swore, before we parted, to avenge our young king's fall.

II.

Then I sought my comrade's sweetheart, and told our tale of grief;
She mourned him for one summer moon, and then she found relief;
For she took another gallant-she that vowed so fond and fain
To love young Brian truly till he'd come to her again!

III.

In the dungeon of Mac Feorais long my comrade sorely pined, While the yellow leaves were nestling in the withering autumn wind; And while the hills were whitening in the frost and wintry snow, Sill he lay a hopeless captive in the dungeon of his foe.

IV.

But Mac Feorais' lovely daughter heard that prisoner's woeful state,
And she stole unto his dungeon, and she pitied his sad fate;
And love's rosy footsteps followed on the path where pity trode,
Till her heart for the young captive with a wild affection glowed.

V.

Yet young Brian looked not on her with a lover's gladsome eyes,
He thought of her far, far away, where Cratloe's mountains rise;
He thought of her he loved so true, by his native river shore,
And he told Mac Feorais' daughter that he'd ne'er love woman more!

VI.

The summer birds are singing on every blooming tree,

And brightly shone the heather like a sun-empurpled sea,
And the gladsome kine were lowing over glen and lowland lea,

As young Brian rode by Cratloe hill, from his weary thrall set free.

VII.

Merry heart had that young horseman, as he rode by rock and dell,
As he looked upon those fairy scenes he knew and loved so well;
Many a gladsome song he carolled as to gay Lisrone he hied,
And found false Roisin Dhuv Malone-a stranger's happy bride!

VIII.

He turned him from his childhood's home, and galloped fast and far,
He joined Prince Donogh's banner, aud he rode forth to the war;
He fought for Ireland's honour full faithfully and well,
Till with his prince on Barna's field in Norman bloɔd he fell!

* De Birmingham, who after his victory was created Baron Athenrie.

BY

M.R.I. A.

PART THIRD

of a company for the service of James II., December 7th, THE O'DONNELLS IN EXILE.

1688; and in 1689, was authorised to act as a colonel. JOHN O'DONOVAN, LL.D.,

After the treaty of Limerick, he passed into France, and appears to have suffered by the new arrangements of the

Irish troops there, under which he only obtained the We have stated in the last article on this family, post of captain in the Regiment of the Marine, which he (p. 49, supra) that, besides the descendants of Sir Hugh did by commission dated February 4th, 1692. He served O'Donnell, prince of Tirconnell, and of his rival, Con, as captain on the coasts of Normandy, with the Irish and there existed a junior branch, which became extinct in French forces designed for the invasion of England, and the year 1735, in the person of Brigadier Daniel restoration of King James, that year. He served with the O'Donnell, of the French service; and we deem it ne- army of Germany from the year 1693 to 1695 ; and cessary to place next before the reader all that is known with the army of the Meuse till 1697, or the peace of of the history of this junior branch-though of minor Riswick. On the remodelling of his regiment into that importance—in order that as the first volume of our of Albemarle, in 1698, he was retained as captain, by magazine is intended to contain a complete memoir of commission of April 27th, that year. In the next war all the branches of the O'Donnells who distinguished he served with the army of. Germany, in 1701, and themselves in foreign service, the celebrated reliquary from 1702 to 1706, in the army of Italy; during which of the family called the Cathach or Caah, may be de- five campaigns, he was at the battle of Luzzara, the scribed in connection with this branch, by whom it was reduction of Borgoforte, of Nago, of Arco, of Vercelli, carried away and preserved.

of Ivrea, of Verua, of Chivasso, at the battle of CasManus O'Donnell, prince of Tirconnell, who died in sano, and the siege and battle of Torino or Turin. He 1563, had a younger brother, Hugh Oge, who was an was lieutenant-colonel of his regiment at the last-menactive warrior as early as the year 1567, when he tioned siege and battle, having attained that rank the fought in the battle of Ardingarry, near the river preceding year, on the 20th of October. Transferred Swilly, against Shane O'Neill, commonly called “the

to the army of Flanders in 1707, he fought at the proud or ambitious ;” and we find him in the year battle of Oudenarde, in July, 1708, and was appointed 1600—that is, thirty-three years afterwards--in active successor to Nicholas Fitzgerald, as colonel, by comservice in the field against the English, when he un- mission of August 7th following. He commanded the horsed Sir Henry Docwra, and wounded him severely regiment, as that of O'Donnell, in Flanders, from 1708 with his spear, as Docwra himself informs us in his to 1712, and was with it at the battle of Malplaquet, Narration of his Services : “At the first encounter," the attack of Arleux, the affair of Denain, and the he writes, “I was stricken with a horseman's staffe in sieges of Douay, Quesnoy, and Bouchain. Removed to the forehead, insomuch as I fell for dead, and was a the army of Germany, under the Marshal de Villars, in good while deprived of my senses, &c. I kept my bed 1713, he was at the reduction of Landau and Friburgh, of this wound for the space of a fortnight, and my and the forcing of the retrenchments of General Vaubonne, chamber a weeke after.”

which led to the peace between France and Austria, at This Hugh, who is described in the Irish Life of Red Rastadt, in March, 1714. The regiment of O'Donnell Hugh O'Donnell as “the ACHILLES of the Irish race," reformed eleven months afterwards, by order of must have been over sixty years of age when he had February 6th, 1715 : half of it being incorporated with this rencontre with Docwra; but though he must have the regiment of Lieutenant-general Count Andrew Lee, performed prodigies of valour during his long life, very and the other half with the regiment of Major-general few details of his heroic exploits have been recorded, or Murrough O'Brien. To the latter corps O'Donnell was at least preserved to us, by the hereditary historio- then attached as a reformed colonel. He was made a graphers of his race. According to the Irish genealo- brigadier by brevet, February 1st, 1719, and finally regists, he had a son, Caffar, who had a son, Turlough or tired to St. Germain-en-Laye, where he died, without Terence, the father of Brigadier Daniel O'Donnell, who issue, in his seventieth year, July 7th, 1735. distinguished himself in the service of France.

This Daniel O'Donnell, the last male representative This Daniel was an O'Donnell by the mother's side of the Irish Achilles, was certainly not the chief or also, and inherited the military gallantry, prowess, and senior of his family, and yet be obtained possession of talent of the family. For the following brief account the celebrated reliquary, the Cathach (or Caah) of St. of his career, the writer is indebted to John Cornelius Columbkille, and carried it with him into France. The O'Callaghan, Esquire, who has collected and digested Cathach should by right have belonged to the chief of more historical materials, and has thrown more light on the O'Donnells, and is now the property of Sir Richard the military history of Ireland, during the seventeenth O'Donnell, of Newport, whose family are now the only and eighteenth centuries, than any writer now living. known descendants of Sir Niall Garve O'Donnell, Baron

On the commencement of the revolutionary disturb- of Lifford, the last O'Donnell who was inaugurated at ances in Ireland, created by the successful landing and Kilmacrennan, and who died in the Tower of London, progress of the Prince of Orange in England against in 1626. King James II., this descendant of the Achilles of the This reliquary, which is described by the late Ulster Irish race, Daniel O'Donnell,—was appointed captain King-at-arms, Sir William Betham, in his Antiquarian

[ocr errors]

was

« FöregåendeFortsätt »