I don't know where one could look, even in Thackeray, for so perfect a pen-picture of the manly man. It was my great pleasure to know Mr. O'Reilly somewhat intimately for several years; and it has often been my still greater pleasure to speak most warmly of him; but in the future, in referring to him, I shall only quote "Taverner's" description, "He is one whom children would choose for their friend, women for their lover, and men for their hero. "
Was the sans peur et sans reproche, which has characterized anotherknight for centuries, worth more than this? C.
And here is another graceful tribute from a brother poet on the occasion of "In Bohemia" reaching its second edition:
WRITTEN IN JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY'S "IN BOHEMIA."
Singers there are of courtly themes—
Drapers in verse—who would dress their rhymes
In robes of ermine; and singers of dreams
Of gods high-throned in the classic times;
Singers of nymphs, in their dim retreats,
Satyrs, with scepter and diadem;
But the singer who sings as a man's heart beats
Well may blush for the rest of them.
I like the thrill of such poems as these—
All spirit and fervor of splendid fact—
Pulse and muscle and arteries
Of living, heroic thought and act,
Where every line is a vein of red
And rapturous blood, all unconfined.
As it leaps from a heart that has joyed and bled
With the rights and the wrongs of all mankind.
James Whitcomb Riley.
The unveiling of Bartholdi's great statue of "Liberty" took place in New York Harbor, on October 28. O'Reilly wrote for the New York World, on this occasion, his poem "Liberty Lighting the World." In it he propounds, in capital letters, the creed of Liberty:
Nature is higher than Progress or Knowledge, whose need is ninety enslaved for ten;
My words shall stand against mart and college: The planet BELONGS TO ITS LIVING MEN!