Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/138

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sun; but under the dark cloud also. The rays of golden glory fell down from behind the dark cloud—fell down like God's pity on the beautiful, tear-stained face of Ireland—fell down on the dear familiar faces of my old home, on the hill, the wood, the river, lighting them all once more with the same heaven-tint that I loved to watch long ago. Oh! how vividly did that long ago rise up before me then! the happy home, the merry playmates, the faces, the voices of dear ones who are there still, and the hallowed words of dearest ones who are dead,—down on all fell the great glory of the setting sun, lighting that holy spot that 1 might never see, a mother's grave, and lighting the heart with sorrow-shaded devotion. Home, friends, all that I loved in the world were there, almost beside me,—there, 'under the sun,' and I, for loving them, a hunted, outlawed fugitive, an escaped convict, was sailing away from all I treasured,—perhaps, forever."

After a safe and uneventful voyage he landed at Philadelphia on the twenty-third day of November, 1869, just two years from the date of his taking passage on the Hougoumont for the Australian penal colony. His first act after landing was to make a votive offering to Liberty. He presented himself before the United States District Court and took out his first papers of naturalization.