Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/286

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In the autumn of this year the exiled poet enjoyed a welcome visit from Father Anderson, of Drogheda, a typical Irish patriot priest. On the latter's return to Ireland, O'Reilly wrote him the following tender and touching letter:

November 7, 1884.

Dear Father Anderson:

God speed you on your home voyage. I am glad I have met you, and I hope to meet you again. I may never go to Drogheda, but I send my love to the very fields and trees along the Boyne from Drogheda to Slane. Some time, for my sake, go out to Dowth, alone, and go up on the moat, and look across the Boyne, over to Rossnaree to the Hill of Tara; and turn eyes all round from Tara to New Grange, and Knowth, and Slane, and Mellifont, and Oldbridge, and you will see there the pictures that I carry forever in my brain and heart—vivid as the last day I looked on them. If you go into the old grave-yard at Dowth, you will find my initials cut on a stone on the wall of the old church. Let me draw you a diagram. (Here follows a diagram of church, with place marked.) This is from the side of the church nearest the Boyne. I remember cutting "J. B. O'R." on a stone, with a nail, thirty years ago. I should like to be buried just under that spot; and, please God, perhaps I may be. God bless you. Good-by! Fidelity to the old cause has its pains; but it has its rewards, too—the love and trust of Irishmen everywhere. You have learned this, and you have it. I will send you photographs of all my girls when you get home. Always tell me what you want done in America and it shall be done if it be in my power.

I am faithfully yours,
John Boyle O'Reilly.

Rev. J. A. Anderson, O.S.A.