BETA

“Luctus” on the Death of Sir Daniel Donnelly,

Late Champion of Ireland.

[We felt too deep sympathy with the afflicted population of a sister kingdom,
to venture the publication of the following Luctus, till time had in some mea-
sure alleviated the national suffering,—and, to borrow a figure from an oration
attributed to Counsellor Phillips, “ wiped off with his passing pinions the
daily dews which a sumpathetic people had poured on the shining daisy that
sprung through the unshaven shamrock, round the gloomy grave of the de-
molishing Donnelly !”  But as the moon has thrice renewed her horns since
the demise of Sir Daniel, we trust that we shall not now be thought to be
interfering “ with the sacred silence of a nation’s sorrow,” by publishing a
selection from the “ numbers without number, numberless,” of Luctus that
have been for the last quarter pouring in upon us from every part of the
united empire. We confess, that we are not of that school of philosophy,
which considers the loss sustained by Ireland in the death of Donnelly alto-
gether and for ever irreparable. Surely a successor will step into his shoes.
But what although centuries should pass by, without an Irishman willing
to contend with the Champion of England ?  What are centuries but short
links in the long chain of time ?  For ourselves, we shall be satisfied with
the destinies of Ireland, should a Donnelly appear once in a thousand years.
Whoever may be the Editor of this Magazine in the year 2820, let him
pay particular attention to our words,—and, if our views on the subject
prove to be correct, we hope that all the subscribers to our work at that pe-
riod, will purchase “ sets” from the beginning. But these are idle specula-
tions,—so let us address ourselves to graver matter. To prove our strict im-
partiality, we wrote the titles of their respective authors on separate slips
of paper, which were all shaken strenuously in the Adjutant’s old foraging
cap, and as the titles came out in the hand of Mr Blackwood, (whom we oc-
casionally admit into the divan,) so are‘they now printed. It is singular that
the names of the two greatest poets of the day, Lord Byron and Dr
Scott, should have followed each other."]

Letter From Lord Byron, Enclosing the Commencement Of
Child Daniel.”

MY DEAR NORTH,
My old Armenian has come in upon me, just as the afflatus was rising, like
a blast along Loch-na-gair, and I should-as soon think of offending my Lord
Carlisle as the gentleman now stroking his aged beard. I break abruptly off
with the words “ Beggar’s dust.” What the devil is Hobhouse about since
he left Newgate ?  After all, there is no place like London for fun and frolic —yet I am at Venice. This sounds oddly. Your joke on Don Juan was
well played off—it fairly out-Byron’d Byron. Who is Wastle ?  Give my
respects to the old gentleman.—Skimble Scamble stuff.
——Byron.

Child Daniel.

In Fancy-land there is a burst of wo,1
The spirit’s tribute to the fallen ; see2
On each scarr’d front the cloud of sorrow grow,3
Bloating its sprightly shine. But what is he4
For whom grief’s mighty butt is broach’d so free ?5
Were his brows shadow’d by the awful crown,6
The Bishop’s mitre, or high plumery7
Of the mail’d warrior ?  Won he his renown8
On pulpit, throne, or field, whom death hath now struck down ?9
He won it in the field where arms are none,10
Save those the mother gives to us. He was11
A climbing star which had not fully shone,12
Yet promised in its glory to surpass13
Our champion star ascendant ; but alas !14
The sceptred shade that values earthly might,15
And pow’r, and pith, and bottom, as the grass,16
Gave with his fleshless fist a buffet slight ;— —17
Say, bottle-holding Leach, why ends so soon the fight ?18
What boots t’ inquire?—’Tis done. Green mantled Erin19
May weep her hopes of milling sway past by,20
And crib, sublime, no lowlier rival fearing,21
Repose sole Ammon of the fistic sky,22
Conceited, quaffing his blue ruin high,23
Till comes the Swell, that come to all men must,24
By whose foul blows Sir Daniel low doth lie,25
Summons the Champion to resign his trust,26
And mingles his with Kings, Slaves, Chieftains, Beggars’ dust !27

*******


In Fancy-land there is a burst of wo.”
Why will Coleridge and Wordsworth continue to bother the world with their metaphy-
sies ? Fancy and Imagination ! Neither of them can tell the difference. Sam, write
another Christabelle—but William, thou Sylvan Sage, no more Excursions, though,
joking apart, thou art the best of all the Pond, poets. Moulsey Hurst is the “ green
naval” of Fancy-land.
For whom grief’s mighty butt is broached so free.”
I owe this line to my friend, Meux.
The bishop’s mitre, or high plumery
Of the maid warrior ?”
I have no doubt that Donnelly would have made a very excellent bishop. He would
have been powerful in the pulpit. The finest-armed man I ever saw was a bishop of the
Greek Church, who had been a robber in his youth. Milo himself could not have shewn
nobler knuckles. Spirit of Pollux ! Donnelly was not a soldier—a hired blood-shedder !
He did not, like Shaw, close a life of honour by a disgraceful death at the carnage of
Mont St Jean, fighting against the Man of the Age, who may yet be destined to be the
liberator of Europe.
Our champion star ascendant.”
I am no enemy of Crib’s ! But lives there a man so base as to say that he has not been
indebted more to fortune than to bravery or skill in all his battles ? Was he not fast los-
ing his first fight, with Jem Belcher, when that finished pugilist’s hands gaye way ? Was
not the Monops out of condition in the second contest ? “When Gregson, by a chance fall,
could not come to time, Crib was dead-beat ; and “ Bob of Wigan, ring-honoured
Lancaster,” was comparatively fresh, and able to have renewed the combat. What Briton
will to say, that Molyneaux did not win his first battle with the Champion ? It
seemed otherwise to the Umpires ; but neither Europe nor America was to be so satisfied ;
and as my friend, Leigh Hunt, (he is my friend according to common speech, and I have
no fault to find with his dedication of Rimini,) has lately expressed a wish that Napoleon
may be liberated from St Helena, that he may fight the battle of Waterloo over again
with Wellington, so do I wish that Pluto would send us back Molyneaux to try his for-
tune once more with Tom Crib. My own opinion is, that judgment would be reversed
in both cases.
Say, bottle-holding Leach, why ends so soon the fight ?”
There is no allusion here, to the Vice Chancellor of England, which the reader may
have suspected from the previous note about reversals of judgment. Neither is there any
allusion to William Elford Leach of the British Museum. Had there been, the epithet
would have been more-apt, “ beetle-holdixig Leach.”
And mingles his with Kings, Slaves, Chieftains, Beggars’ dust !”
The reader will pardon the tautology of this line, Where is the difference between
them all ?