Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/260

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a lover as had ever lived, and sung, and literally consumed her heart away in its setvice, Fanny Parnell, sister of the Home Rule leader. Nearly a year previously she had written her greatest verse, prophetic in its spirit, entitled "After Death." O'Reilly, who had been her warm friend, wrote for her his beautiful poem, "The Dead Singer." In his paper he wrote:

There was something almost mystical in her nature and her life. Like the sacred Pythoness, unlike her own slight physical self, she drew her songs quivering with force and passion. Thinking of Ireland made her soul so tremulous with grief, and love, and hatred of the brutal hand on her country's throat, that her body long ago began to suffer from the terrible strain. Her friends warned her that she must stop writing, stop thinking; that she must go away from those who talked to her of Ireland, or brought her newspapers with Irish reports. She knew, too, herself, that her strength was giving way. It is not quite a year ago since the poem "Post Mortem" was written. She was measuring then with her soul's eye the distance to be traveled to the consummation—to Ireland free—and measuring, too, her own strength for the journey We shall never be able to read these lines without streaming eyes; this unequaled picture of national love.

"Ah, the tramp of feet victorious! I should hear them
'Mid the shamrocks and the mosses.
My heart should toss within the shroud and quiver
As a captive dreamer tosses ;
I should turn and rend the cere clothes round me.
Giant sinews I should borrow
Crying, 'Oh, my brothers, I have also loved her,
In her lowliness and sorrow.
Let me join with you the jubilant procession.
Let me chant with you her story;
Then contented I shall go back to the shamrocks.
Now mine eyes have seen her glory.'"

The Papyrus Club was old enough in this year to begin to indulge in reminiscences. Since its foundation, in 1872, it had had seven presidents, of whom one, its first and long-mourned ruler, Mr. N. S. Dodge, was dead. The surviving ex-presidents were Francis H. Underwood, Henry M. Rogers, John Boyle O'Reilly, William A. Hovey, George M. Towle, and Alexander Young. To these poetically styled