O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 54

O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 54
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periodical Publisher
Regan Printing House, Chicago, 1913
periodical Editor
periodical Title
O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians
volume Number
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I 06Iris / i Minstrels and MusiciansOLD TIMESIWhere is that spirit of our prime,The good old day!Have the life and mirth of that honored timeAll passed away!When old friendship breathed,And old kindness wreathedThe cot and castle in kindred claim,And the tie was holy,Of high and lowly,And neighbor was a brothers name.Then kindly welcome held the portal free,To none denied.His song the wandering minstrel broughtFrom far and wide;The strains rose lightly,And young eyes shone brightly;And in sunshine ever lifes stream rolled on,And no thought came hitherHow fate could wither;Yet time stole by, and they are gone !CHAPTER XIIRISH FOLK MUSIC WANINGIN olden times music was the only avocation or profession available to the blind;hence we find that so many harpers, pipers, and fiddlers were bereft of sight.The renowned harpers, Rory Dali OCahan, Turlogh OCarolan, Denis Henipson,and Arthur ONeill were blind, and so were most of the celebrated Union pipers.Some, like ONeill, lost their sight through accident, but the great majority werevictims of the ravages of smallpox. Pitiable indeed was the plight of the young.to be thus deprived of the blessings of vision at an age when the blossoms ofintelligence had btit just awakened an interest in the delights of life. Sadderstill was the misfortune of those stricken in infancy, at the very threshold ofexistence, who had no conception of light or colors, and to whom even the memoryof departed pleasures was denied. Their eyes may have been transplanted intotheir ears, as some say; but who can read unmoved of their yearnings and despairas pictured in Hannah F. Goulds pathetic poem?A Bi ixn Boys SONGOh! tell me the form of the soft summer air,That tosses so gently the curls of my hair!It breathes on my lip, and it fans my warm check,Yet gives me no answer, tho often I speak.I feel it play oer me, refreshing and kind,Yet I cannot touch itIm blind! oh! Im blind!And music, what is it? and where does it dwell?I sink and I mount with its cadence and swell;While touched to my heart with its deep, thrilling strain,Till pleasure sweet pleasure. is turning to pain.What brightness of hue is with meekness combined?Will anyone tell me? Im blind! oh! Im blind!The perfumes of flowers that are hovering nigh.What are they? on what kind of wings do thy fly?Are not they sweet angels who came to delightA poor little boy that knows not of sight?The sun, moon, and stars are to me undefined:Oh! tell me what light is: Im blind! oh! Im blind!The harpers from time immemorial were the great composers. Honored.fostered, and glorified, they produced the best that was in them. Ufl(listurbedby the present and unmindful of the future : and though their melodies wereunwritten, many of the thousands which have survlve(l are listened to withdelight the world over in this late day of musical culture and advancement.Despite a concatenation of untoward circumstances, Irish Folk Music exists in107
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O'Neill, Capt. Francis
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O'Neill - Irish Minstrels and Musicians

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