Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/222

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Meagher, has written on the same theme in this rapturous strain: "So far as heaven has ordered, and the Divine Hand has blessed it, it is a beautiful, noble island. In most, if not all, of those gifts which constitute the strength, the true wealth, and grandeur of a country, it has been beneficially endowed. The seas which encompass it, the lakes and rivers which refresh and fertilise it, the woods which shadow, and the genial sky which arches it, all bear testimony to the bounteous will of its Creator; and, with sights of the brightest colouring, and sounds of the finest harmony, proclaim the goodness, munificence and power of God in its behalf. The climate is more than healthful: it is invigorating and inspiring. Breathing it, manhood preserves its bloom, vivacity, and vigour long after the period at which, in other lands, those precious gifts depart, and the first cold touch of age is felt. Breathing it, age puts on a glorious look of health, serenity, and gladness; and even when the gray hairs have thinned, seems able yet to fight a way through the snows, and storms, and falling leaves of many a year to come. Oh, to think that a land so blest, so rich in all that renders life happy, bountiful and great—so kindly formed to be a refuge and a sweet abiding place in these latter times for the younger children of the old, decrepid, worn-out world at home—to think that such a land is doomed to be the prison, the workshop, and the grave of the empire's outcast poverty, ignorance and guilt This is a sad, revolting thought, and the reflections which spring from it cast a gloom over the purest and the happiest minds. Whilst so black a curse lies on it, no heart, however pious, generous, and benignant it may be, could love this land, and speak of it with pride. May that dark destiny of hers be soon reversed! From the pillar to which she is