Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/221

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183
HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES

She offers a bribe—All, God above!
Behold the price of the desecration:
The hearts she has tortured for Irish love
She brings as a bribe to the Irish nation!

We know her—our Sister! Come on the storm!
God send it soon and sudden upon her:
The race she has scattered and sought to deform
Shall laugh as she drinks the black dishonor.

To his fellow-soldier and friend. Corporal Chambers, he sent this wise and kindly letter of welcome to freedom:

Boston, U. S. A., February 6, 1878.

Dear Chambers:

I shall not weary you with many words just now. Welcome, my dear, dear old fellow, welcome a thousand times. You mention a long letter you wrote me in November; I never received it, or any other real letter from you during the eight years that I have written to you. When you have time to sit down and write me at length, do so.

McCarthy's death was a great shock to me; God rest the poor murdered old fellow.

I sent you a book the other day; I shall publish another in a month or two and shall send that also. Tell me precisely how you are situated and what you propose doing.

I beg of you to avoid the kindly -meant demonstrations in your honor, either at home or here, should you come here. It is frothy excitement; there is nothing of it left after a few weeks. It has a good moral effect, perhaps; but the same effect can be better secured in another way. You will have to look around now for the means of earning a good livelihood. Pardon my prosaic suggestions, Tom, but I have seen so many men lionized that I have learned to fear the effect on them and to regret it on the behalf of those who make the noise.

Should you decide to come to America, come straight to me, and I will put a stouter chain on you than ever you saw in Dartmoor.

O'Reilly had written a noble poem for the O'Connell Centenary in the year 1875. The hundredth birthday of another, and even more beloved, because more unfortunate, Irish patriot, Robert Emmet, was celebrated on March 4, 1878. The exercises at Tremont Temple, Boston, consisted of an oration by Mr. Anthony A. Griffin, of New York, and a poem, "The Patriot's Grave," by John Boyle O'Reilly,