Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/301

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HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES

Lowell come back to America to be honored as a great American poet and a man of letters; and we now as earnestly protest against his new character of a shallow English politician. We want his other self, his old self, his higher self, redeemed from this weak and bastardizing influence. Let him love England; it is right that Americans of English blood should love their kindred so far as their kindred deserve. But spare us the sight of a great American poet singing his love for the hoary evils of English social classification, which true Englishmen mean to cure or cut out; and the atrocities of English misrule, which honest Englishmen condemn and apologize for . . . . O Mr. Lowell, you of all men to speak lightly of an oppressed race! Do you remember these lines addressed to the terrible sisters, 'Hunger and Cold,' and when you wrote them?

"'Let sleek statesmen temporize;
Palsied are their shifts and lies
When they meet your blood-shot eyes
Grim and bold;
Policy you set at naught,
In their traps you'll not be caught,
You're too honest to be bought,
Hunger and cold.'"

The successor of Mr. Lowell in the English mission was a Vermont lawyer, Mr. E. J. Phelps, who excelled the former in love for English institutions, and by his conduct abroad succeeded in alienating a large section of the Democratic party from the administration. This and other appointments of Mr. Bayard, coupled with his singular disregard of American interests wherever they conflicted with those of England, aided largely in the defeat of President Cleveland in 1888.

The death of General Grant, on July 23, called out another fine poem by O'Reilly, who admired the simple straightforward conduct of the soldier, although he had frankly opposed the hero's policy as a President.

A soldier of a very different type, and another race, died in October of the same year. His title was Lord Strath-