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A Collection of Ocean Waifs.

The right of translation and reproduction is reserved.


Vol. 1.]
[No. 7.
Convict Ship "Hougoumont", Saturday, December 21, 1867.

ADIEU

With feelings of regret I come, the last of the "Wild Geese," to bid you adieu. Week by week, one of our flock has tracked you across the ocean, and flown to you, if not welcome visitors, at least with an earnest wish to be both agreeable and welcome; and though few our number, and our visits having come to a premature end in consequence of the swift approach of the termination of your voyage. I hope that, if not to all, at least to some, our appearance has been a source of some little pleasure, and that we did not entirely fail in our aims. I fain would linger over this adieu – fain would say what my sister "Wild Geese" proposed to themselves the pleasure of saying, (but Wild Geese, like men, propose – and God disposes) had the length of your voyage permitted them to make another appearance. The end of your uneventful but rapid passage quickly approaches, and already your hearts are beginning to quicken in anticipation at what may be your future in the new land you are fast nearing. I know not what may be in store for you, I cannot pierce the inexorable veil of the future – drawn alike for me and you: but on bidding you a long farewell, most likely, however we may wish it never to meet again, I say to you – Courage, and trust in providence, you have in your keeping things the most precious to the heart of man – things that no power can wrest from you, no matter whether your position be that of convicts, exiles, or freemen, your own honor – hitherto preserved unsullied: and remember, that the honor of anyone is not a thing belonging to him alone, to be kept bright or stained at pleasure, but that the honor of each is the honor of all – a sacred trust which it is your duty to keep pure and untarnished. Follow bravely the path of unswerving uprightness, clearing the thorns of each others footsteps, like brothers: failures not discouraged, always remembering that “There is providence shapes all our ends, rough hew them how we may” you are sadly placed but I know will not be degraded by the dross with which you may be placed in contact; but that like the better metal, will come through the fire refined, strengthened and purified—that with your trust in honors star, that you will not permit yourself to be dragged down to the level of those beneath you. Those with whom necessity may force you in contact but cannot in association. Use your trials to the end that you may, "Know what a sublime thing it is to suffer and be strong."

Christmas comes to greet you with a new face—not the old familiar on of bygone and happier years, but Christmas still, bringing bringing with it sacred memories of home and friends: your only consolation to know that they miss you at home; your only hope that your next and each successive one will be still brighter. You need a Christmas story—each of you has one in his own heart; and He who gave you Christmas time will cause the holy influence of the day to fall as sweetly on you here, on the desolate ocean, as under happier skies and auspices.

You will find the bond of empathy that binds you all together can give you a pleasure second only to the ties of home. I bear you the prayers of those that are dearest, for your happiness and welfare, mingled with a hope that the time may soon come when they can again wish you "Merry Christmas" and a "happy new year". Hearts are beating for you, from which time or space cannot separate you. Those worthy of their interest in you, and for the rest—Courage, and trust in God. Adieu.


The Future

It is very proper at this moment, that those good qualities of our nature on which we have always inclined to dwell with favour should prove themselves and that we should now and patiently review our good resolutions, with a desire that nothing may be wanting to the wisdom and soundness of our views, or the prudence of our steps: and to Confirm and strengthen our resolves to persevere to the last in the honorable and orderly course of conduct which reflects such a brilliant lustre in all that belongs to us. Nothing is more common that to see persons of a refined tone of mind and feeling when driven to arguments in self-defence, and urged to bring forward to the very best they can, at once seize up that one that is nearest to them, as the blush of honourable pride rises to their cheek, protest they should never be suspected of anything unbecoming a Christian and a gentleman. But let us reflect that we are going to a country where nothing whatever will be taken for granted, outside our own breasts, of the distinguished qualities which we prize so highly and so justly; but the number of men lately arrived in the colony and their names will be sufficient introduction for the work of actually observing who amongst them will pass through the crucible the true Christian and the true gentleman.

You should never forget that it is not those who begin well, but those who end well, who will be crowned; we must therefore be on our guard against actions which are bad, or which, if not bad, are devoid of merit; because performed without any particular motive; for if we have not in view the intention of pleasing God, some sinister motive will very probably creep in and spoil our best deeds.

The first thing we should have in ones mind is, indeed, the last thing we shall attain to—namely, our End. We are not created to attend to the comforts and follies of life: God places His glory in being loved by us and receiving our good actions and tribute from our free choice. No one can fail to admire the force of the famous aspiration of St. Augustine —"Oh, Lord! Thou hast made us for thyself, and the heart of man cannot rest till it rest in thee." The end of a Christian is to bear a resemblance in meekness and humility to Jesus Christ crucified; and for this end we must labor and toil and endure many things which, however, are all summed up in the words—renunciation of self-will.

Entering our new homes in Australia, one of the earliest admonitions will be to beware of the abuse of God's graces and blessings in which are comprehended all those copious means afforded us by God of attaining sanctity and perfection: external, such as reading exhortations, corrections and good examples; internal, such as good thoughts, inspirations and desires. All these are the most precious treasures and gifts from God in heaven.

We will be reminded that men degraded by vice are said to efface in themselves the image of God to which the were created. As for us, we know that our souls are endowed with three most noble faculties, and we will not fall into the error of some who do not use the superior powers of their minds at all, or use them badly. We will charge our memory never to forget the consoling thought of the holy presence of God;— our intellect to discern real good; and our will to execute our duty. Alas! for the base souls that grovel upon earth. How can their neglected and uncultivated understandings demonstrate to the what is solidly and lastingly good, or the sweetness of the pure pleasure of conversing with the Creator, with angles and with His saints, in fervent prayer.

The predominant inclinations forms particular characters, and produces in each individual a second nature, as we may say, in addition to what is possessed in common by all mankind: we should root out of it all that is vitiated with whatever clogs the soul and throws the most frequent impediments in the way of virtue. "Am I distressed at the refusal of a request?" If so, then my ruling passion is independence," and so on. It is usual to strike the fear of God into the wicked, but to whisper filial confidence in God into the ears and hearts of those who have commenced to aim at perfection — as the good friends have happily done who will read these lines. Let us not be disheartened when we find, contrary to our intentions, we have done wrong, we have have in the Good God powerful means to repair our losses and a forgiving father. Yes! my friends! confidence in God is never as perfectly practised and exercised as when we are in great dangers and great afflictions. Let us reanimate our constancy, and persevere. A strong resolution should be formed never to be discouraged at our want of success; but steadily to continue to fight against our passions, being persuaded that the grace of God will not be wanting to us if we do what lies in our power.

There is another thing to be particularly attended to, which we all have deeply at heart, and my readers will agree with me when I disclose to them that it is the watchfulness that is required to note down and endeavour to dry up the sources of our daily faults. My friends, believe me, to retrench faults is to advance. Everyone will finds an interest in observing that, for the most part, the occasions of daily faults are some of the six following:- first, forgetfulness of God, and the Christian who is not attentive to the presence of God soon grows dissipated, and tepid; second, either a want of intention in performing our actions, or else a mixed intention, vitiated with self-love, and then follow actions either dead, void of merit, or perhaps vicious; third, the neglect of regular established discipline, and to this may be traced careless preparation for morning and evening prayer, omission or shortening of that or other prescribed duty, disgust of good, aversion to painful duties; but let us be persuaded, my friends, that no mortification is more precious than that which subjects to exact order; fourth, a culpable langour of mind, and indifference about our progress; the fifth source of our daily faults, and, perhaps the most general of all, is the fondness of self-ease and convenience. A Christian, by seeking self-ease, renounces the first Gospel maxim—self-denial, by which he is ordered to renounce himself and to take up his cross; the sixth is the neglect of the custody of our senses. On the contrary, perfection does not consist in doing extraordinary actions, but in doing every-day actions, namely, daily duties of our state of life extraordinarily well.

There is nothing more conspicuous in the demeanour and comportment of an Irish gentleman, of true Milesian blood, than the extreme moderation and even modesty of his desires and manners. This appears in his air, his carriage, his looks, his tone of voice, his manner of expressing himself; in a word, in the composition of his whole exterior. It is a mistake to suppose that by giving way to boisterous gaiety and mirth, he makes himself agreeable to the world. Everyone expects a man in his place: it is wrong to think that anyone can be pleased who meets you out of it.

The conversation of a gentleman should always be instructive, solid, and useful: it need not always turn upon learned subjects, but is never frivolous or puerile. A gentleman is well proved in conversation: he is never uncharitable or offensive, and always expresses himself in moderate and gentle terms, to inferiors, as well as superiors.

The love of God comes from a high appreciation of Him above all things, and this naturally leads to a depreciation of all inferior things; but especially of one's self: None, then, but the humble, truly love God. All the blessing which we enjoy through the incarnation of Jesus Christ spring from the humility of the Redeemer.

I am deeply impressed with the importance of the future to very one of us; I make no apology to my readers for writing so gravely, since we all know there is but one way to become a good man.

-Beta


Nora Daly's Christmas Gift:
A Tale of the South of Irelande.

By Laoi.


Chapter 2.

Weeks had elapsed since the departure of John O'Regan, without bringing any tidings of him to his disconsolate parents. Poor Nora Daly, who surely needed consolation herself—for all her young heart’s were centred in the absent sailor boy,—used her best endeavours to comfort them, reminding them that the Almighty God watched over him, and suggested that, in all probability, he only delayed writing in order to surprise them by a speedy return. To add to the affliction of the O'Regans, the agent had served them with a notice to quit.

Young James Cotter continued to pay the most assiduous attention to Nora, to whom his courtesies were distasteful in the extreme. Much to the pain of Nora's mother, he called too frequently at their humble dwelling, which, though the widow could not actually prevent without infringing on the duties of hospitality, she did everything in her power to discourage that did not involve rudeness. One day, about a week before Christmas, he called at the cabin. Nora was alone: in return to a gallant compliment regarding her looks, she thanked hm, and informed him that her mother was out, but she would at once go in quest of her if he wished; or he might call again in an hour when she would be at home. "No, no, my dear Nora," he rejoined, as he divested himself of his overcoat and hat, "It is your sweet self that I wish to see and converse with. Can you not understand how I feel towards you? Ah, Nora! Nora! I love you, and it is you I want to see, and you only." As he said this, the young man stood gazing earnestly at her, his cheeks all aglow with heat, and his hands held out to her imploringly.

"Master James," said Nora, determinedly, "I do not understand you, and I do not think of it becomin' a young gentleman to conduct himself in such a way to a poor girl like me; an' I must tell you once an' for all its not pleasin' to me. I'm willin' to respect you as a gentleman till you give me reason not to do so, an no more."

"Girl!" said the other fiercely, nettled that he should meet with so sudden a rebuke, "there is many a lady who would be proud to know that I entertained the least regard for her; and can it be disagreeable to you to learn that I love you?" Then modulating his voice, he said more tenderly, "Dear Nora, can you not have pity on me? I love you as no one else can love you. I would make you my wife; and instead of living in a pauper's cabin, giving away your precious life for a mere morsel of bread, you would be the equal of any lady in the land, and live in a fine house, and have servants to attend you slightest wish."

"I tell you, Master James"—

"Then, too, as you take as much interest in these O'Regans, I shall use my influence with my father to let them retain their holding. I shall do my utmost to gratify any of Nora's wishes."

"Yes, Master James," said the young beauty, with a flashing eye, "I am proud of takin' an interest in honest people; an' I'm sure they don't want you or me in the interference of their business. Please God, they will have their own again without your help, And let me tell you, sir, I'd be obliged to you if you wouldn't come here in my own house to insult me."

Just at this time, Nora's mother made her appearance. She saluted young Cotter with, "God bless you, Master James! I hope you are well." The mortified young man mumbled in return that he had just dropped in for a bit, and was about going. Recovering his hat and coat, he bade them adieu.

On Christmas Eve, he again paid them a visit, bearing with him, as a Christmas gift for Nora, a magnificent watch. The astonished widow declined it, in, her daughter’s name, with every protestation of gratitude, telling him it was "too grand entirely" for Nora, and would only turn her head if she accepted it, and would fill her brain with such fancies, that "she would hardly condescend maybe to notice her dacint neighbors." Nora, to whom a sprig of fern from the absent John would be invaluable, felt deeply affected at this token of Cotter's persistent passion; and haughtily and decidedly rejected his proffered gift. Burning with resentment at what appeared to him an inconceivable rebuff from a mere peasant girl, he abruptly took leave,—premeditating some deep scheme of vengeance for this deliberate insult.

Christmas Day dawned,—that glorious day celebrated as the anniversary of the Saviour of the world, and which brings to all in Christendom—rich and poor alike,—"glad tidings of great joy;" when the united members of a family gather around the festive bread and drink their fill of the cup of happiness; and when the more opulent open their hearts and purses, under the operation of the genial influences increased by the holy season, to their less fortunate brothers, infusing peace and joy all round. It was a sad day for Michael O'Regan and his family. John was still unheard of, and the vacuum created by his absence filled his poor parents hearts with grief. O'Regan had managed to pay all his rent; but it left his means nearly exhausted. And though for three or four generation his family had held possession of the holding, never at any time being in arrears for rent, the fiat had gone forth that he must give up possession in one week more, and commence the new year in a new home. Home!— how could he call a strange house "home"? The house where his fathers, he, and his children were born. To be given up to a stranger! It was intolerable but an inevitable fact. Sadly the bright cold Christmas they were to spend in their old, and once happy home. And their feasting? Let us not look in on their poverty that blessed day. That was the most sumptuous banquet in the land to them on this holy day, and the darling of their hearts tempest - tossed on the raging seas perhaps—oh, horrible thought!—his precious body the prey of voracious monsters of the deep? Nevertheless, the good mother managed to have some delicacies for the children,—Paddy, a boy of ten, and Ellen and Mary, of five and six years old respectively. The hearts of the expectant parents beat high with hope that morning when the letter carrier knocked at the door, and delivered them a letter bearing the New York postmark. Of course, it was from John, and explained that his vessel had been delayed by adverse wind, and announced that he would leave New York on the 20th of December, and sincerely regretted that he should be unavoidably absent from home at Christmas. He begged them not to grieve, as it could not certainly be long before he should be in the midst of his family and friends. He concluded with his filial regards and expressions of tender solicitude for the welfare of all at home; and did not omit, by any means, sending his love for Nora, and a repetition of the promise to present her with some token of his affection, excusing himself for being so far unable to fulfil it. Nora fortuitously dropped in while the letter was being read, to bring some confectionery to the children, which has been sent to her from Cork as a Christmas box. The letter was of more value to her than the most costly Christmas present, and acted as a solace to their sorrow; and the day was passed in contentment.

On New Year's Day, O'Regan moved with his family into one of the small cabins on the cliff. Having been obliged to sell out his share in the "Seabird," he was reduced to the necessity of hiring himself as a common hand on board a fishing-smock, the remuneration for his labor being very small, and barely sufficing to provide his family with the absolute requirements of life. But, cheered by his fond and faithful wife, he bore up manfully.


Chapter 3:

Some few years had passed since the Christmas on which the O'Regans had received the letter from John, without bringing any further tidings from him, and the sorrowing parents had long given up their darling as dead; but Nora, as they had received no actual account of his death, still retained a find belief that he was alive. Michael O'Regan had struggled for a long time in vain to maintain his family respectably, and secure them from indigence. But of late, matters began to prosper with him; and, as his ordinary avocation as a fisherman kept him out very often at night, his unsuspecting family never dreamt that he might be otherwise occupied. It had come to the knowledge of the authorities, that for some time past, number of contraband articles were being smuggled into the country through the medium of fishermen on the south coast, and further, that respectable parties were connected with the trade. Though government spies were set diligently to work, their efforts to discover the smugglers were unavailing. Michael O'Regan, whose house was sure distressed at the poverty of his family and his inability to render them comfortable by his creations, was easily induced, by the prospect of gain, to join the band of smugglers. Cotter, the agent to his old landlord, was one of the principal consignees for the contraband goods, and O'Regan was led, by the insinuations, and the fair speeches of the agent, to overlook his conduct in the last transaction they had together, especially as Cotter accompanied his expressions of regret for the occurrence, with a douceur of a few pounds, and promised to reinstate him in the old homestead, as some of the present tenant's lease should have expired.

late one night, just exactly six years from the date of the commencement of this story, Michael O'Regan sat by his fire smoking. all the rest if the family were in bed fast asleep.He evidently did not desire to retire to sleep, for he had on a tarpaulin and great coat. "I wish this was well over," he yearned. A slight tap summoned him to the door. "Who's there?" he inquired.

"It's me!" was that reply, "and the night's dark."

"Is all well, Thade?" was O'Regan’s next query, as he opened the door, and permitted the fire-light to fall on the figure of a male well muffled up.

"Yes, Mike, and the lights showed at the Head. I gave them the sign, an' so we must be movin', But I'll just take a bit of fire for my dhudeen, as a I want to have a laugh."

Thade having lit his pipe, the two left the cabin, and went to summon all who were to attend them in the enterprise that was on foot. A messenger was also despatched to Cotter's residence for young James who had given instructions to that effect. In about half an hour, James Cotter, O'Regan and fifteen others were assembled on the beach, launching their boats. When all was ready, two torches were lit, and a corresponding signal from Power Head having satisfied them that all was well, they extinguished their lights, and, springing into the boats, pulled away in the direction of the Head. Rounding the head, they saw to the south, through the gloom, a dark hull showing a red and blue light. Pulling towards the lights, they were soon alongside a French schooner, L'Oisran." They were immediately hailed in French: "Qu'a-t-il en vent?" James Cotter returned, L'Oiseu est su mur." "Tout va bien," was the reply. The boats were secured to the vessel's sides; and Cotter and most of his men were soon on the deck of the schooner. The hatches were opened and bales and boxes wee speedily transferred to the boats, the men working with might and main. The boats plied two or three times between the vessel and the shore, where carts were ready to convey the goods to different depots. James Cotter, in the interim, remained in the cabin, conversing with the captain. His object was to induce the latter to take himself and Nora Daly as passengers to France, for which a large sum of money would be given. The captain eagerly closed with his offer, and it was arranged that Nora should be brought on board that very night. With a few of the French crew, Cotter returned in a boat to Guileen. When he arrived there he found a young lad waiting for him. he sent him at once to the cottage of the Widow Daly, with instructions to bid Nora hasten down to the beach, as Michael O'Regan had become suddenly ill, and desired to see her. The lad went and knocked at the cabin door. Nora, aroused from sleep, dressed herself; and when she heard the message, the unsuspecting girl, telling her mother who was awakened also, not to be alarmed, as she would soon return, followed the boy to the beach. She was instantly seized and forced into the boat. James Cotter placed himself alongside of her, and the boat was pulled off. The terrified girl was speechless. "Nora," he said maliciously, "you see that at last I am likely to have my own way. You have treated me with contempt for the sake of one who is long since dead, and you have rendered me desperate, so that I may have adopted this means of getting you into my power. We shall soon be where you will be only too glad to have me by your side."[1]

James Cotter," said Nora, fairly roused, "you will repent this conduct, as sure as there is a God on high. I feel and know its no use to appale to you and these hirelings of yours for mercy, but there is One who can release me from your power, and who will, an' to Him I confidently appale for delivery from this outrage."

The other scornfully replied, "You will see presently the vessel that waits to take you to your future house, and nothing can now part us till I desire it."

The night was rapidly giving place to day; and as they rounded the Head, to the astonishment of all in the boat but Nora. They could plainly discern, in the grey dawn, the schooner fast becoming seaward, and the smugglers boats pulling swiftly in shore. "Diablo!" "Sacre tonnere!" and like ejaculations, were fiercely uttered by the astounded Frenchmen. The cause of this uncalled for incident was soon apparent. A British gunboat hove in sight from Roche's Point side. The fishing boats had by this time approached Cotter’s boat, and shouted to him to return. The gunboat seemed undecided whether to give chase to the schooner or the boats; but at length, concluding in favour the latter, she fired a couple of blank shots at them, without directing any acknowledgement tat she was observed other than the rowers strained every nerve to reach the shore. Incensed that no notice was taken of this mild way of requesting them to cease rowing, The commander of the gunboat ordered two or three charges of grape to be sent after them. One shot only took effect. James Cotter was mortally wounded. The boats soon reached the beach, and the dying man was removed with all dexterity to his father's house; Nora, with all her tender womanly instinct, having endeavored to soothe him and assuage his pain, heartily granting his prayers for forgiveness. The crew that put off from the gunboat failed to find anything that would establish the charge of smuggling against any one in the village, and returned disappointed to their vessel. James Cotter died the next day, and the Frenchman that assisted him in his attempted abduction of Nora, made their way to Cork, from whence they took shipping to France. Subsequent investigations by the police in Guileen and its neighborhood proved that Cotter, the agent, was largely concerned in the contraband trade, but receiving notice in time from a friendly quarter, he quitted the country. Suspicions, moreover, was attached to a number of parties, but warrants were issued for the arrest of Michael O'Regan and three others. Getting information of this, they eluded the police and escaped. O'Regan concealing himself in a friend's house, a few miles from Guileen.

It would be very hard to describe the position and feelings of Mary O'Regan, now that she had to endure this additional affliction. Her husband dared not visit her; and her only assistance was that rendered by paddy, now but sixteen years of age. Nora (who, by the way was in her twentieth year, and whose charms had ripened with her years) was a source of great consolation to her, cheering her with the hope that all would be well yet, and inspiring her with a half belief that John would one day return, and make them all happy.

Time wore on, and Christmas Eve once more came round. Michael O'Regan had ventured to his own house, determined to spend the Christmas in the bosom of his loving family. He was disguised however, as much as possible, so that no one could recognise him readily, and his presence at Guileen was unknown to all but his family and a trusted friend. The day was dark and tempestuous. The wind howled dismally, and the waves raged with the utmost fury. "God be merciful to those who are on the wild seas this blessed day!" said O'Regan. "Amen!" piously responded his wife. A knock at the door announced Nora to their practised ears. She was admitted without delay. "God save us all!" was her hurried greeting.

"And you too, Nora alanna."

"Oh, its a terrible sight to see on the eve of a holy day like tomorrow. I don't know what makes me feel so, but my heart is beatin' awfully," said the excited girl.

"What is the matter with you, asthore?" they both solicitously inquired in a breath.

"Why, right under my very eyes this blessed minute, a whole ship is going to the bottom! You can see from the door.

The whole family crowded to the door. Looking towards Power Head, they beheld a dismasted vessel pitching wildly about. a couple of boats were leaving her side crowded with people. Struggling manfully with the fierce waves, they at last reached the shore in safety, where they were received with cheers by the assembled villagers, and were hospitably invited to share such humble shelter as they could afford to accommodate them with, till such time as they could arrange to set out for their own destination. The occupants of O'Regan's cabin observed a young man, accompanied by a lad, bearing a valise, stop at the Widow Daly's door. The widow came out, and he, taking the valise from the hands of the lad, dismissed him with some gift, which was gratefully acknowledged. Then he and the widow approached O'Regan's door. "May God be praised!" said Mrs. Daly, entering, "Mary, asthore. This gentleman, whom God in his mercy has just saved from shipwreck, brings you news of Johnny. He is alive and well." The young man stepped in, laying the valise that he carried, on a chair. "Mother!, Nora!" he cried, and was clasped, dripping wet as he was, to Mrs. O'Regan's heart. "Johnny! Johnny! darlin'!" she sobbed aloud. "Almighty God be thanked for bringing you back safe to my arms!" Kissing him wildly again and again. It was indeed, John O'Regan drenched to the skin, just escaped from the wreck of the ship "Margaret," bound to Queenstown from New York. His long absence was thus accounted for: the "Black Eagle," Captain Berry, in which he first went to sea, was wrecked on its way back from New York. Succeeding in getting back to that city, he took shipping from thence to India. returning, he found that war had broken out between the north and south, and enlisted in the Federal navy. he distinguished himself in that service, and was promoted to a lieutenancy. In an engagement wit a Confederate war-steamer, his vessel was captured, and he was detained a prisoner for about twelve months, when an exchange of prisoners was effected. He had three times written to his parents and also enclosing some money (which we need scarcely remind our readers, they were in utter ignorance of); but receiving no reply, concluded that they must have left Guileen, and so came to in propriâ personâ to ascertain how matters stood at home. His brother and little sisters received him with every demonstration of delight, and his father, in cordially embracing him, brushed a tear of joy from his eye. Nora blushed deeply, as he wound his arm around her waist and whispered, "At last, darling, I can redeem my promise. This is my Christmas gift." And he placed in her hand a lady's gold watch, with a portrait of himself in naval uniform set inside the case. Turning to her mother, he said, "I am going to take Nora from you, and please God in three weeks she will be my wife."

"An' my blessin' be on you," replied the widow, "for a more deservin' boy couldn't have her."

The situation of his father was explained to him. He comforted them by explaining that it was his intention to marry Nora as soon as practicable, and then take them all to America, where they should be well provided for, as he was rich enough to keep them all; and there they would be safe from further anxiety.

That Christmas was the happiest the two families ever remembered spending. United, their joy was unallayed, and they enhanced their own enjoyment by administering to that of the poorer neighbors. Next day, Michael O'Regan returned to his place of concealment, where he remained till everything was prepared for their departure. In three weeks, the faithful and loving Nora was united to John O'Regan; and accompanied by their families, they started on a honeymoon to America, where they are at present living happily together.

Emerald Spray (Wild Goose).jpg

Cinderella.

More graceful than the bounding fawn,
More loving that the dove,
More fresh and bright that morning's dawn,
Art those my treasured love.
No wealth is thine, nor courtly grace,
To dazzle with their glare
But heaven is breathing from thy face,
And on thy golden hair.

Again a chase! my darling one!
The love I bear for thee
More fervid is thou summer sun,
And deeper than the sea:
And deeper in my soul it glows
With every passing breath,
The life pulse of my heart it flows,
To cease alone in death.

What destiny is thine asthore!
Disdain — Contumely:
The fair sweet girl of fairy lore,
Less helpless seems than thee;
’Tis crime to leave thee — darkest Crime
Grieved those who hate thee so;
Thy sisters' every grows with time
As hers did long ago.

I would have dried thy tearful eyes
And shielded them from curse;
And soon the honor's brightest prize
Thy beauty to adore:
For this I braved the hour of hate,
The law's harsh decree,
Mavrone! thine is a bitter fate
A felon's doom for me.

I still unceasing pray for thee
To thee Almighty Throne,—
Pray that I may once again see
My darling one — my own,—
To see her once before I die;
Oh sweet would be my rest —
Could I but breathe my latest sigh
Upon my darling's breast!

Binn Eider.


Answers to Correspondents.


We regret that the indispositions of the author of our first tale "Queen Cliodhna," has deprived us of the pleasure of giving its conclusion to the readers. The unavoidable length of the article "The Boyne," has also prevented us inserting it in this our last number.

"Pat."—We are unable to inform you whether or not you may expect a new serve of mails from another flock of Wild Geese in Australia.

We give the following extract from a piece received rather late this week, the length of which precluded insertion:—

Three Thousand leagues across the foam,
And speeding still away.
As we form friends, beloved and home,—
And this is Christmas Day!
Our place is vacant by the heath,
Loved eyes for us are wet,
And none who love us upon earth
Today will we forget.

In spirit back to them we'll fly,
And sweet communion build,
And eyes that weep we'll strive to dry,
And hearts that droop make bold;
And hope within will sweetly sing
Into each dear one's ear,
"Soon time to us again will bring
Bright Christmas and New Year."


The Wild Goose2.jpg

"They'll come again when south winds blow."


SATURDAY, DEC. 21, 1867.


FAREWELL.

The time of my departure has arrived,; and now, ere I wing my flight from amongst you, let me take a prospective glance at my sojourn, and see if I have performed my missions: let me recall my promises in the beginning, and my words and works in the meanwhile. The first one of my flock who greeted you, brought with her the assurance that the sisters would bring you memories of home and friends, of wives and sweethearts, and of scenes and songs of fatherland ever close to the wanderer"—"to console you for the past, to cheer you for the present, and to strengthen you for the future." these words include much—almost everything: and if the "Wild Goose" has failed in the fulfilment of these promises, she trusts that the kindly feelings entertained by you countrymen for her name and race will cause you to judge leniently of the failings, and take the "intention for the act." Did she stir within your hearts tender and holy feelings when she spoke to you of "Home Thoughts"? She did not intend to pain wantonly by recalling the last joys and blessing of your old homes: No, she recalled them, believing that all treats are bettered by being touched and softened by pure affection, and that the pain inflicted is more than complimented for by the good and gentle feelings which result from it. When noble "Self-Reliance" was her theme, were her words thrown away? Will you not "Call it your aid" "when toiling together beneath the burning sun of Australia, or singly scattered far through the wide, wide world, or back again in the old homes"? Do so, and "you will grow daily stronger in its strength, and be enabled to fight life's battles bravely out." Like a sage bird, she spoke of "Forethought," and she told you that "a man may be possessed of genius, bravery, energy, and a host of other attainable qualities, but with all these he will never become successful if he has not also forethought." Time will show you all hereafter whether the assertion was true or false. She told you the good words which the "Wild Waves are saying" to you: again she says, if you listen throughout life to the voices of nature, they will strengthen and refresh you with courage for the present and hope for the future. "Look below the surface," she says; "look into the depths of heart and soul, and you will find things pure, bright, and beautiful, fresh with the impress of the Orator's hand—the contemplation of which will blot out the memory of all the crosses and roughness of superficial worldly life." She told you to direct your "First Steps" in the right way, and the remainder of the journey of life would be bright and cheerful; to be carefree of "Little Things," for in them is discovered the principle of the man and the gentleman; to look with pride on the way of the "Wild Goose" of the "Past," with contempt on the darkness of the "present," and to gauge with courage into the mists of the "Future." She advised you to "Look Within," and thereby learn to know yourselves and life," that your way may be smooth and its end bright. She told you to speak "Gentle Words," which constitute the riches and power you possess at present, the "boons which you have in your power to bestow," and that you should not be niggardly of such gifts. Were her words good? Were her warning wise?

Has she not dashed her "Emerald Spray," around you, bringing back to your memories, the sparkling waters and fair valleys of your own emerald island? Has she not answered the various questions of her correspondents with profound wisdom and erudition, and collected for your gratification the "waifs and strays" that are passing and repassing on the innumerable telegraph lines of ocean and air? Has she not —— but enough; the "Wild Goose" has exerted all her energies and all her abilities to amuse, instruct, and please you, and she trusts that she has not entirely failed in her exertions.

And now—farewell!—in all probability the "Wild Goose" will never speak to you again, but it alleviates the pain of parting to be able at this holy time to assure you all that there are fond prayers being wafted after your ship from the old land, and to wish you, even here, a merry, merry Christmas, with a prayer to him that directs our way, that, ere the blessed days returns again, you may be all free and happy men.


Christmas Garland (Wild Goose).jpg

Come, banish Care and dull despair;
'Tis merry Christmas time;
Then close around, and hear resound
A story told in rhyme.
A Christmas story, of fame and glory,
That ne'er will fade, of "The Brigade:"
For us, to-night, 'twill sound as bright
As merry Christmas Chime.

And when 'tis told, we will unfold
An ocean legend true,
That dreadful spell, that erst befell,
"The Dutchman" and his Crew.
No Christmas tree grows on the sea,
No berries bright, of red or white,
And ill retrieves their loss, the 'leaves
Around the strew.

But ever still, through good or ill,
We welcome Christmas day.
No loved are near, nor cup to cheer,
And brighten up our way;
Yet banish care and dull despair,
For Christmas cheer we'll each draw near,
And let to-night, our hearts grow bright,
In friendship's ray.


Cremona

All dark and sullen was the night, and red the sun went down
Behind the towers and battlements of old Cremona's town
Sullen the blust'ring march winds swept the waters of the Po,
French, ravellin and parallel of France's baffled foe—
Austria's legions and their chief, the gallant Prince Eugene,
Had tried for months, the town to take by storm, but tried in vain;
Upon the walls, the fleur-de-lis still waved in haughty joy
Above its brave defenders and their marshal Villeroy—
Waved over the sons of Sunny France, her braces and her best—
Waved o'er the men of the "Brigade"—the "Wild Geese" of the west—
Full oft the walls high over the fight had rung with Irish Cheers
As fiercely on the foe, dashed Burke's and Dillon's grenadiers;
For ever when in fiercest fight—her banner France unveiled,
Her Irish allies still were found the bravest to uphold
Her honour, and on any a field, in any bloody fray,
Those foster sons of France have turned, the fortunes of the day,
Nor grudged to their adopted land, their dead so thickly strown,
But fiercely dealt her vengeance out, whilst waiting for their own.
—Tonight within Cremona's walls, all silent as the dead,
Nought heard is but the flashing rain, the sentry's measured tread
Is muffled by the gusty winds in eddying blasts that sweep,
All else is hushed, the garrison is weary and asleep:
Divided by the river Po, their force lay thus arrayed—
This southern town held by the French, the north by the Brigade.

A narrow bridge connects the town, and whilst their comrades slept,
By thirty-seven of the Gael, as watchful guard was kept—
And many a heart is winging back, away, across the main
To that dear land they loved so well, nut ne'er may see again,
They dream of homes by Shannon's side, where they so often played
Bright careless happy boys, before they donned the white cockade
Of Heart laved scenes that smiling lie, by Leinster's vales and rills,
By Ulster's glens and Connaught's plains, and Munster's lakes and hills;
They dream of friendship and of love,—they dream of bliss and woe,
But dream not by traitor led, the Austrian's now creep,
With baited breath and stealthy step, upon them while they sleep.
The sentry too, is musing, before the northern gate
With measured step and piercing eye, and hero heart elate
She paces thro' the rain and gloom, but on the muttering blast,
Hears not the foe whose serried ranks are gathering thick and fast.
A curse upon the traitor-wretch who to the wily foe
For sordid gold the town betrayed, A sewer that ran below,
The walls, its bed had long been dried, and save to him alone,
It hidden lay, unused, unsuspected and unknown,
Thro' this he led the Austrian's, and now thick thro' the night,
Their column's sudden break upon the startled sentry's sight.
His warning cry rings up into the very vault of heaven,
As rush the legions of Eugene, around the Thirty-Seven;
And 'ere his cry had died away, their Irish bullets tore,
A yawning gap right thro' their ranks—their steel was red with gore
As with one cry—as when in wrath the lion from his lair
Enraged springs—they slash upon the foreman's closing square;
Again and still again they charge withe cheers upon their ranks,
But columns, massing denser still, are closing on their flanks.
Then inch by inch, before the foe, outnumbered back they fell,
Yet high above them, muskets' peal uprose their maddened yell
As fast they fired, reloaded, and then fired and cheered again,
Marking the bloody way they went, with heaps of foemen slain.
Their numbers now are thinning fast, but still they bravely fight,
As wolf-dog 'gainst the howling wolves defends the flock at night.
Their Cry grows weaker as they fall, and all are bleeding fast,
When to their ears a shrilling shout comes ringing on the blast;
And in their shirts rush thro' the night—a tempest on the sea.
Their comrades of the "Old Brigade," led by O'Mahoney
When in the night the fierce typhoon, sweeps white upon a fleet
That turns and flies before its scream, afraid its wrath to meet:
So in their shirts these grenadiers rushed screaming thro' the blast
Upon the panic stricken foe that fled before them fast.
Back, back they drove, before their wrath, a shattered struggling wreck
And vainly strove with hurried fire that hurricane to check;
But fast the foe came pouring in, Eugene in the Town Hall
Commands and Thirty Thousand men, are rushing to his call.
But numbers freed not the brigade, as like avenging fates
In that fierce tempest Irish rush, they drive them to the gates,
There, cheering high above the fight, outnumbered ten to one,
They hand to hand still held their own, still gallantly fought on—
They fought, like tigers for their young, as oft they fought before,
But higher into Glory's skies did "Wild Geese" never soar.
God's blessing upon their name, their race, and on their land!
Where'e'er they strike have heaven guide and strengthen still each hand.
Still hand to hand they fiercely fought, and steel and bullet sped,
Bright deeds for valor, doing till their shirts with blood were red.
But fast they’re falling—faster—as the bullets shower like rain:
Now thro' the gates the Austrian's are surging back again;
Before their massing Columns they retired, but did not yield,
But turned at bay and charged them back until their columns reeled,
Back step by step, across the bridge, with care already ruined,
With serried ranks they face the foe, and drive them to their camps,
Bright deeds of chivalry were done that night by the "Brigade";
But with the Austrian's fought one whose name will never fade,
McDonnell! he was Irish too! We hail his name with joy,
Who charged that night thro' thickest fight, and captured Villeroy.
He scorned the bribe to set him free—yet brighter grow his fame,
A soldier still to honour true and to his Irish name—
The morning broke and in the air, the (illegible text) still waved.
Proud over old Cremona's walls—by Irish valour saved;
But dear they bought that victory—three sons of Innisfail,
And while Je Denneur swells in France for victory, a wail
Went up to heaven from their own land—a death wail from her brave;
Who fell beneath a foreign flag, so far beyond the wave,
And with the wail of agony, a fervent prayer arose,
To Heaven for one such victory at home o'er Ireland's foes.

Binn Eider.



The Flying Dutchman.

Long, long ago, from Amsterdam, a vessel sailed away,
As fair a ship as ever rode amidst the dashing spray;
Fond loving hearts were on the shore, and scarfs were in the air,
As to her o'er the Zuyder Zee they waft adieu and prayer.
Her gaudy pennant streamed aloft, and as she skimmed the seas
Each taper mast was bending like a rod before the breeze.
Within her there were gallant hearts, tho' filled with sadness no,
For still the lingering parting kiss was fresh on lip and brow.
Her captain was a stalwart man—a lion heart had he:
From childhood's days he sailed upon the rolling Zuyder Zee.
He nothing feared upon the earth, nor scarcely heaven feared
He would have dared and done whatever mortal man had done

He turned him from the swelling sail and gazed upon the shore
Ah! little thought the skipper then 'twould meet his eye no more
He dreamt not that an awful doom was hanging o'er his ship,—
That Vanderdecken's name would would yet make pale the speaker's lip.
The vessel bounded on her way, and spire went down:
Ere darkness fell, beneath the wave had sunk the distant town,
No More, no more, ye helpless crew, shall Holland meet your eye!
In lingering hope and keen suspense maid, wife and child shall die.
Away, away, the vessel speeds,—but sea and sky alone
Is round her as her course she steers across the torrid zone.
Away, away! the north star fades, the southern cross is high,
And myriad starts of brightest beam are sparkling in the sky.
The tropic winds are left behind—she nears the Cape of Storms,
Where awful tempest sits enthroned in wild and dread alarms:
Where Ocean in his fury heaves aloft his foaming Crest,
And dashes round the helpless ship that rides upon his breast.
Fierce raged the mountain billows round the Dutchman’s gallant craft,
But Vanderdecken to their rage a loud defiance laughed.
Tho' wave and tempest barred hos way, he brave them in his pride,
As onward still his course he held, and wind and wave defied.
He struggled madly forward in the weird unearthly fight;
His brow was black, his eye was fierce; but looks of wild affright
Were passed amongst the silent crew as still they onward steered:
They did not dare to question, but they whispered what they feared.
They knew their black-browed captain—'neath his darkened eye they quailed
And in a grim and sullen mood their bitter fate bewailed.
He never swerved, but day and night the deck he sternly paced;
As 'fore the hurricane the ship like some fleet courser raced
He fought the tempest inch by inch, and conquered—so he thought—
But ah! he little dreamt how dear that victory was bought.
Again his loud defiant laugh he shouted to the blast—
The placid ocean smile beyond—the dreaded Cape was passed.
Away across the Indian Main the gallant vessel glides
And gentle murmuring ripples break along her graceful sides.
The perfumed breezes waft her on—her destined port she nears
The Dutchman's brow has lost its frown—the mariners their fears.
"Land ho!" at length the welcome sound the watchful sailor sings,
And soon within an Indian bay the ship at anchor swings.
Not idle then the busy crew—ere long the spacious hold
Is emptied of its western freight, and stored with India's gold.
Again the ponderous Anchors weighed—the shore is left behind
The snowy sails are bosomed out before the favouring wind;
The mighty deep around her seems a calm and mirrored lake
And thousand trains of sparkling light are gleaming in her wake
For home she steers! She seems to know and answer to the word,
And swifter skims the burnished deep like some fair ocean bird.
"For home! for home!" the joyous crew, with gladsome voices cry,
And ere the dark-browed skipper has a mild light in his eye;
He looks above, where streaming high, the pennant cuts the blue,
And every rope, and spar, and sail is firm, and strong and true.
He pictures to himself the day when once again he'll see
The spires and domes of Amsterdam rise o'er the Zuyder Zee
Away across the burning zone the vessel southward flies,
Again the northern beacons fade and southern stars arise.
Oh! hapless crew, you little dream, as onward still you go,
That o'er your ill-fated ship is hung a doom of woe.
Again the stormy Cape draws near, and furious billows rise,
And once again the Dutchman's laugh, both wind and wave defies.
But fiercely swept the tempest ere the scornful laugh had died,
A warning to the daring man to curb his impious pride.
A crested mountain struck the ship, and like a frighted bird
She trembled 'neath the awful shock,—then Vanderdecken heard
A pleading voice within the gale—his better angel spoke,
But fled before his scowling look; then fierce the billows broke
Upon the trembling helpless ship—the crew with terror paled,
But still the captain never flinched, nor 'neath their fury quailed.
With arms folded o'er his breast, and fiercely flashing eye,
He answered back the angry frown that towered o'er the sky.
He seized the helm in his grasp, and fiercely dashed aside
The trembling watch who held it, then with heart of scornful pride,
All heedless of the warning blast or lightning's lurid flame,
He spoke—and this with impious words blasphemed God's holy name.
"Howl on, ye winds! ye tempests, howl!" your rage is spent in vain;
Despite your strength, your frowns, your hate, I’ll ride upon the main.
Dash on, ye waves! across your foam I’ll sail upon my path,
I Care not for thy Maker's smile—I care not for His wrath!"
He ceased—a deathlike silence reigned—the tempest and the sea
Were hushed in sudden stillness by their ruler's dread decree.
All motionless the vessel rode within the gathering gloom;
The Dutchman stood upon the poop and heard his awful doom;
The mariners were on the deck, in swooning terror prone;
Their hearts blood froze—they, too, were doomed; in angered mighty tone,
The awful words swept o'er the deep—"Go wretch!, accursed!, condemned!
Go sail forever on the deep, by angry tempests hemmed!
No home, no port, no calm, no rest, no gentle fav'ring breeze,
Shall ever greet thee. Go accursed! and battle with the seas.
Go braggart! struggle with the storm, nor ever cease to live,
But bear a million times the pangs that death and fear can give.
Away and hide thy guilty head! a curse to all thy kind
Who ever see the struggling, wretch! with ocean and with wind,
Away presumptuous worm of earth! go teach thy fellow-worms,
The awful doom that waits on him who braves the King of Storms!"
'Twas o'er! One lurid gleam of wrath lit up the sea and sky
Around and o'er the fated ship: then rose a wailing cry
From every heart within her wild anguish and despair;
But mercy for them was no more—it died away in air,
Again the lurid light gleamed out—the ship was still at rest,
The crew were standing at their ports: with arms across his breast
Still stood the captain on the poop—but bent and crouching now
He bowed before that fiat dread, and o'er his swarthy brow

Came lines of anguish, as if a thousand years of pain
Had lived and suffered—then across the heaving angry main
The tempest shrieked triumphant, and the waves in madness dashed
And hissed their scorn o'er the ship round which their fury cashed
And ever, ever, ever thus, that doomed crew will speed,
They try to round the stormy cape, but never can succeed.
And oft when storms are fiercest, 'mid the lightnings vivid sheen,
Against the tempest struggling, still the phantom ship is seen
Across the billows dashing; and 'tis said that every word
Of her captain's awful blasphemy upon the gale is heard.
But heaven help the hapless crew that impious sentence hears;
The doom of those is sealed to whom that fatal ship appears:
They'll never reach their destined port—they'll see their homes no more
They who see the flying Dutchman, never, never, reach the shore

J.B. O'Reilly.



"A Merry Christmas!"

A "Merry Christmas" each one sends
To-night across the foam,
To all the loved ones—all the friends
Who think of us at home.

From them a "Merry Christmas!" flies
On angel's pinions bright;
'Tis heard upon the breeze that sight
Around our ship tonight.

Though on our ears no voices fall,
Our hearts—our spirits hear—
"A Merry Christmas to you all,—
And happy, bright New Year!"

Then brothers! though we spend the day
Within a prison ship,
Let every heart with hope be gay,—
A smile on every lip.

Lets banish sorrows—banish fears,
And fill our hearts with glee,
And ne'er forget in after years
Our Christmas on the sea.

J.B. O'Reilly.

Holly Leaves.

What flower so gay as the holly spray,
With berries so red and bright;
In the frosty rime of the Christmas time,
Hearts gladdened are at the sight.
'Tis the rarest tree in all Christendie!
When recalling old Christmas time,
We link the sheen of its leaves so green
With the merry joybells' chime.

Oh! dear to me is the holly-tree—
Dear the robin's carolled song!
And the mystic bough of the mistletoe,
That to Christmas times belong.
When the earth is white, and the sky is bright,
On the silent frosty air,
From the holly bush, how sweet the gush
Of the robin's song of prayer

When with wassail bowl we cheer the soul,
While the yule-logs cheery glow,
We kiss our girls beneath the pearls
Of the mystic mistletoe.
When hearts are light and eyes are bright,
And lips like the berries shine,
And draughts of joy, without alloy,
We quaff with the rich red wine.

Oh! red and white are the berries bright
Of holly and mistletoe;
When Winter's breath breathes frozen death
On all else—still bright they glow,
To gladden the walls of princely halls,
And the peasants cottage hearth,
In the happy time when the joyous chime
Rings "Peace to men on earth!"

No holly have we, or revelry,
Nor robin's song to cheer;
From the mistletoe away we go,
To a distant hemisphere.
Where all is strange and full of change
But still wheree'er we roam,
My heart yet clings to the hallowed things
Of Christmas time at home.

Binn Eider.

Welcome Merry Christmas.

Tune your voices full of laughter,
Dash away the dark hereafter,
Fling the cup of sorrow down, boys;
Laugh tonight at Fate's dark frown, boys;
Banish sorrow,
And joy borrow;
To welcome merry Christmas time.

Quaff of mirth a brimming measure,—
Mirth tonight our only treasure,
It will warm our hearts like wine, boys;
None tonight should weep or pine, boys.
Not with sadness,
But with gladness,
We'll welcome merry Christmas time.

What are all life's joys and troubles?
Nought but empty fleeting bubbles;
But heaven lends a joy divine, boys,
More bright and warm than ruddy wine, boys.
—Joy that fires us,
And inspires us,
To welcome merry Christams time.

Binn Eider.


Kate.

I dream of thee, my bonny Kate,
And bow my heart
And mourn the bitter, bitter fate
That did us part.
As Autumn leaves, as sun is gone,
My heart is sore;
The sun of my life most brightly shone
When thou were near.
Dreams of thy beauty, darling Kate
So fresh and bright,
Come floating, and my soul elate
Wakes from its night.
A graceful lily in the wind,
I see thy form;
A lilly's incense is they mind:
Shed in the storm.
With heaven's best, holiest balm,
It fills each sense,—
Like prayer,—with a holy calm,—
Love's recompense,
Dreams of thy beauty, darling mine,
Thine eyes dark night,—
Those orbs from which floth Culuchy shine
Thy soul so bright,
Thine ached brow, and drooping lid,—
Thine eyes above;
Thy parting lips and laughing face,
And auburn hair,
Thy snowy neck, thy every grace
Beyond compare.
And in my dreams, thy hand I kiss
And search thine eyes
For the old, old look of love and bliss,—
My hearts best prize.
The pressure of thy hand I feel,
So soft and warm:
To worship that fair hand I kneel;
My heart a storm
Of love and anguish, bliss and pain,—
For ah! I dream.
I dream my Kate, how bright, thou art,
And when I wake,
The thorn is deeper in my heart,
That will not break.

Binn Eider.

Christmas Night.

'Twas Christmas Day, as the evening fell, and the gladsome sounds of mirth
O'er the City's darkening streets rang out from many a happy hearth:
The north wind loved the joyous tones, and he whistled his loudest blast
Of boisterous murth round those cheerful homes, as he rapidly hurried past.
Away o'er the fields and woods he rushed, but he paused in his wild career,
For again through the gathering gloom arose, those sounds he loved to hear.
Then down to a cottage far below he stooped in his rapid flight,
And he shouted with glee, did the old North Wind, on that happy Christmas night.
Away again o'er the woods and wilds—all wrapt in a stormy shroud;
But soon in the path of the old North Wind rose a castle's turrets proud;
The sound of the feast, and the song, and the dance, came cheerily up from below,
And the great yule-log in the castle's hall sent out its general glow.
The old Wind paused with a beaming smile, and peered at the happy throng,
Then round that noble castle's walls, he roared his boisterous song.
Ah! he loved those sounds, and he lingered a while to feats on the pleasing sight,
Then away again, with a laugh and a shout, making glad that Christmas night.
o'er country and city, and hamlet he sped, and from all came joyous sounds;
The old wind whirled and shrieked with glee, for he soon would finish his rounds.
Away o'er the forest and filed he swept and his voice grew hoarse and proud,
As low as the rude Old Tyrant's power the forest monarchs bowed.
A mighty oak from its roots he tore and hurled aloft from his path:
"How strong I am!" said the Old North Wind: "Oh! who can withstand my wrath!"
And this he spoke, as he onward sped—"Truly every heart is light;
In merry England, from the east to the West, no mortal is sad tonight!"

But now in his path stood a gloomy pile, ere the cheering thought had passed:
A prison, all massive, and silent, and stern, its darkening shadow cast.
The air grew cold and his boisterous mirth was struck with a sudden chill,
For tho' keen are the frozen blasts of the north, there are others more piercing still.
Sadly he blew round the ponderous walls, for he saw not a sign of mirth;
Though he peered into every grated cell, no sound of joy came forth.
"Now," said he, "I must blow a cheery blast;" and he essayed a merry tone,
But he failed, and he shook his grisly locks, as it died in a hollow moan.

Then the Old Wind heaved a mighty sigh; "Oh! woe is me!" did he say,
"That I must return with such sad dining thoughts from such a cheerful day."
As thus he mused from a windows sill, he gazed o'er the dismal place;
Then turning, he looked within the cell and beheld an upturned face,
All rigid and pale, and with lowering brow looking out on te gathering night,
The Old King gazed through his mortal's soul, and with pity was moved at the sight.
He looked in the depths of the troubled heart, and an evil spirit was there:
"Ah!" said he, as he gazed at the stormy eye, "'tis the work of grim Despair,
Who is seeking his prey on this blessed night but I swear by my crown of snow
That I’ll thwart his plan 'gainst this wretched man ere I back to my ice caves go!
Then a cheering note did the Old Wind blow, as he entered the gloomy cell;
But all in vain were his cheering tones—still the restless footstep fell.
Again he blew in a stronger key, till at length his loudest roar
he had tried in despair: still the wretched man was heedless as before;
And with hasty step his dungeon paced, with a fevered throbbing brain,
And the spirit of evil triumphant laughed at the Old Wind's efforts vain.
But once more he paused in his weary walk to gaze with abstracted eye
Through the massive bars that in bold relief stood out 'gainst the wintry sky.
Again as the Old Wind scanned that face his courage revived; and now
Like Zephyr, soft as an angels wing, he played o'er that troubled brown,
He gently fanned the fevered cheek and cooed the throbbing brain,
Till the heart grew calm and the eye had lost its weary look of pain;
The broken spirit he mildly soothed with a low and plaintive air,
Till at length the weary soul he lured from the grasp of dark Despair.
The troubled heart was now at rest, and borne on the cadence mild,
came long-forgotten scenes of youth when he played a happy child;
But softer still the Old Wind blew, and recalled his father's death,
And his mother's voice—and a sob burst forth, for he felt her loving breath
Again on his brown: then he bowed his head 'neath the father's chastening rod,
And the penitent tears gushed freely forth as he raised his soul to God.
Then as he prayed, a heavenly voice brought peace to his heaving breast,
Saying—"Come to me all you weary ones, and I will give you rest."
"Oh! how glad I am!" said the Old North Wind; "now back again I'll go
to my own loved north, 'mid the icebergs vast and the pure eternal snow,"
Ah! well might he sing his boisterous song on his rapid homeward flight;
For a stricken soul made its peace with God on the blessed Christmas night.

J.B. O'Reilly.

Christmas Eve.

With holly branch, and ivy bough
And mistletoe is gaily dight
Each homestead, and old Christmas brow
Is crowned with evergreen tonight.
A snowy mantle's on the grass—
Old frozen Winter placed it there.
And trooping to the midnight mass,
Our hearts are filled with holy prayer
To welcome blessed Christmas.

The church is all ablaze with light,
And pious hands have placed there
Festoons of brilliant green and white:
The crib arranged with holy Care,
From God's high altar there ascends
A light, like glory's brightest beam;
The organ's peal, that melting blends
Our souls into blissful dream,
To welcome holy Christmas.

The acolytes and priest arranged—
The "Glorian" breaks on the ear,
The grosser thoughts of earth then fade,
And falls a bliss from holier sphere.
Oh! there are souls so pure and bright
That hear the angel host that sings
His praise, and "peace to men" tonight,
And hear the rustle of their wings,
This holy blessed Christmas.

Then homeward trough the frosty night,
With kindly hearts and eyes aglow;
With spirits buoyant, stepping light,
We crunch the white and frozen snow;
And hands with cordial grasp are pressed,
And laughing voices cheerful greet
each other, and in every breast
A kindred heart doth warmly beat,
To wish "a merry Christmas."

Binn Eider.


News has just reached us that the Grand Llama of Thibet has broken the awful stillness of the hall of Silence by a sneeze. The Oracle, having been consulted, sentenced him to remain on his knees (sneeze) for one year. This was viâ the Thracian Chers'nese.


Our passage.— We congratulate ourselves on our rapid voyage since leaving England. It is probable that, with the continuance of such weather as we have had for some days, we may arrive in Fremantle on or about the 8th January 1868. The following is the log for the last week, and the number of miles run:—

15th Dec. S 45°5" E 28.29" 19th Dec. S 49°.8. E 49.25
16 " S 48.8 34.2 20 " 48.45. 54.48.
17 " 48.18. 39.29. 21 " 48.37. 58.54.
18 " 48.49. 44.44. Total miles: 1426

To be disposed by Private Treaty the goodwill and interest in the Copyright and Plant of the "Wild Goose," together with a valuable mass of unpublished m.s.s.— Apply to the Editors.


Notice.

Our subscribers are earnestly requested to send in their subscriptions before Christmas. The editors have not the slightest objection to receive them in kind, as they Kinder like such a mode of payment.


Printed and published at this office, No. 6 Mess—"Intermediate Cabin," Ship "Hougoumont," for the editors, Messrs John Flood and J.B. O'Reilly.

Registered for transmission abroad.


  1. Our readers will not suppose us to have any admiration for the crime of Cotter, above depicted by the narrator of this story. Of course, no honourable marriage could take place, and if attempted, it would be null and void in these circumstances — Editor W.G.