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Fare thee well ! oh fare thee well!
The girl whose faithless art
And with it break my heart! Once when truth was in those eyes.
How beautiful they shone;
For truth, alas, is gone !
Thy wretched victim's fate,
He could not fly to hate !
NOW LET THE WARRIOR. Now let the warrior wave his sword afar, For the men of the East this day shall bleed, And the sun shall blush with war,
Victory sits on the Christian's heim,
To guide her holy band ;
The men of the Pagan lanci.
Oh, blest who in the battle dies !
LIGHT SOUNDS THE HARP.
When heroes are resting, and joy is in bloom,
But when the foe returns,
Again the hero burns ;
The clang of mingling arms
Is then the sound that charms,
When heroes are resting, and joy is in bloom ;
And Cupid makes wings of the warrior's plume. Light went the harp when the War-God, reclining,
Lay lulled on the white arm of Beauty to rest, When round his rich armour the myrtle hung twining, And flights of young doves made his helmet their nest.
But when the battle came,
The hero's eye breathed Aame : Soon from his neck the white arm was flung ;
While, to his wakening ear,
No other sounds were dear But brazen notes of war, by thousand trumpets sung. But then came the light harp when danger was ended,
And Beauty once more lulled the War-God to rest; When tresses of gold with his laurels lay blended,
And flights of young doves made his helmet their dest.
PREFATORY LETTER ON MUSIC. It has often been remarked, and oftener felt, that our music is the truest of all comments upon our history. The tone of defance, succeeded by the languor of despondency-a burst of turbulence dying away into softness—the sorrows of one moment lost in the levity of the next—and all that romantic mixture of mirth and sadness which is naturally produced by the efforts of a lively temperament to shake off or forget the wrongs which lie upon it:-such are the features of our history and character, which we find strongly and faithfully reflected in our music; and there are many airs which, I think, it is difficult to listen to without recalling some period or event to which their expression seems peculiarly applicable. Sometimes, when the strain is open and spirited, yet shaded here and there by a mournful recollection, we can fancy that we behold the brave allies of Montrose* marching to the aid of the royal cause, notwithstanding all the perfidy of Charles and his ministers, and remembering just enough of past sufferings to enhance the generosity of their present sacrifice. The plaintive melodies of Carolan take us back to the times in which he lived, when our poor countrymen were driven to worship their God in caves, or to quit for ever the land of their birth, (like the bird that abandons the nest which human touch has violated ;) and in many a song do we hear the last farewell of the exile, mingling regret for the ties he leaves at home, with sanguine expectations of the honours that await him abroad—such honours as were won on the field of Fontenoy, where the valour of Irish Catholics turned the fortune of the day in favour of the French, and extorted from
* There are some gratifying accounts of the gallantry of these Irish auxili. aries in The Complete History of the Wars in Siotland under Montrose, (1660.;
larendon owns that the Marquis of Montrose was indebted for much of his Du.. aculous success to this small band ot Irish l.eroes under Macdonnell.
George II. that memorable exclamation, "Cursed be the laws which deprive me of such subjects !"
Though much has been said of the antiquity of our music, it is pertain that our finest and most popular airs are modern ; and per. haps we may look no further than the last disgraceful century for ihe origin of most of those wild and melancholy strains which were at once the offspring and solace of grief, and which were applied to the mind as music was formerly to the body, “decantare loca dolentia.” Mr. Pinkerton is of opinion that none of the Scotch popular airs are as old as the middle of the sixteenth century; and ihough musical antiquaries refer us to some of our melodies to so early a period as the fifth century, I am persuaded that there are few of a civilized description (and by this I mean to exclude all the savage ceanans, cries, * &c.) which can claim quite so ancient a date as Mr. Pinkerton allows to the Scotch. But music is not the only subject upon which our taste for antiquity is rather unreasonably indulged; and, however heretical it may be to dissent from these Comantic speculations, I cannot help thinking that it is possible to love our country very zealously, and to feel deeply interested in her honour and happiness, without believing that Irish was the language spoken in Paradise t—that our ancestors were kind enough to take the trouble of polishing the Greeks -or that Abaris, the Hyperborean, was a native of the north of Ireland. S
By some of these archæologists it has been imagined that the Irish were early acquainted with the counterpoint, || and they endeavour to support this conjecture by a well-known passage in Giraldus, where he dilates with such elaborate praise upon the beauties of our national minstrelsy. But the terms of this eulogy are too vague, too deficient in technical accuracy, to prove that even Giraldus himself knew anything of the artifice of counterpoint. There are many expressions in the Greek and Latin writers which might be cited with much more plausibility to prove that they understood the arrangement of music in parts ; il yet I believe
* Of which some genuine specimens may be found at the end of Mr. Walker's work upon the Irish Bards. Mr. Bunting has disfigured his last splendid volume by too many of these barbarous rhapsodies.
See Advertisement to the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Dublin. 1 O'Halloran, vol. i., part i., chap. vi. $ Id. ib, chap. vii. !!! It is also supposed, but with as little proof, that they understood the diésis, or enharmonic interval. The Greeks seem to have formed their ears to this delicate gradation of sound; and, whatever difficulties or objections may lie in the way of its practical use, we must agree with Mersenne, (Preludes de l'Harmonie, quest. 7.) that the theory of music would be imperfect without it ; and, even ir. practice, as Tosi, among others, very justly remarks, (Observations on Florid Šong, chap. i., $ 16,) there is no good performer on the violin who does not make a sensible difference between D sharp and E flat, though, from the imperfection of the instrument, they are the same notes upon the pianoforte. The effect of modulation by enharmonic transitions is also Very striking and beautiful.
| The words ποικιλια and ετεροφωνια, in a passage of Plato, and some expressions of Cicero, in frigment, lib. i., De Republ., induced the Abbé Fraguier to maintain that the ancients had a knowledge of counterpoint. M. Burette, however, has answered him, I think, satisfactorily, (" Examen d'un Passage de Platon," in the third volume of Histoire de l'Acad) M, huet is of opinion (Pensées Diverses) that what Cicero says of the music of the
it is conceded in general by the learned, that however grand and
Indeed the irregular scale of the early Irish (in which, as in the
In profiting, however, by the improvements of the moderns, our style still kept its originality sacred from their refinements; and though Carolan had frequent opportunities of hearing the works of Geminiani and other masters, we but rarely find him sacrificing his native simplicity to the ambition of their ornaments, or affectation of their science. In that curious composition, indeed, called his Concerto, it is evident that he laboured to imitate Corelli; and this vnion of manners so very dissimilar produces the same kind of uneasy sensation which is felt at a mixture of different styles of architecture. In general, however, the artless flow of our music
spheres, in his dream of Scipio, is sufficient to prove an acquaintance with
* Another lawless peculiarity of our music is the frequency of what com-
1 A singular oversight occurs in an Essay on the Irish Harp by Mr. Beauford, which is inserted in the Appendix to Walker's Historical Memoirs, “The Irish,” says he, "according to Bromton, in the reign of Henry II., had two kinds of harps, Hibernici tamen in duobus musici generis instrumentis, quamvis præcipitem et velocem, suavem tamen et jucundam,' the one greatly bold and quick, the other soft and pleasing." How a man of Mr. Beauford's learning could so mistake the meaning and mutilate the grammatical construction of this extract is unaccountable. The following is the passage as I find it entire in Bromton, and it requires but little Latin to perceive the injustice which has been done to the words of the old chronicler :-"Et cum Scotia, hujus terræ filia, utatur lyrå, tympano et choro, ac Wallia citharâ, tubis et chorâ Hibernici, tamen in duobus musici generis instrumentis, quamvis præcipitem et velocem, suavem tamen et jucundam, crispatis modulis et intricatis notulis, efficiunt harmoniam.” (Hist. Anglic. Script., p. 1075.) I should not have thought this error worth remarking, but that the compiler of the Dissertation on the Harp, prefixed to Mr. Bunting's last work, has adopted it implicitly.
The Scotch lay claim to some of our best airs, but there are strong traits of difference between their melodies and ours. They had formerly the same passion for robbing us of our saints, and the learned Dempster was, for this Ovence, called “The Saint-stealer."