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Introduction I IF in my childhood I had been asked to give the name of an Irish poem, I should certainly have said "Let Erin remember the days ofold," or "Rich an:d rare v/ere the gems she wore" for ; although among the ornamental books that lay on the round drawmgrobm table, the only one of Moore's was Lalla' Rookh, some guest would now and then sing one of his melodies at the piano; and I can remember vexing or trying to vex my governess by triumphant mention of Malachi's collar of gold, she no doubt as well as I believing the "proud invader" it was torn from to have been, like herself, an English one.
Introduction 4 country had awakened in me, perhaps through the wide beauty of my home, from whose hill- sides I could seethe mountain of Burren and lar Connacht, and at sunset the silver western sea; or it maybe through the half revealed sympathy of my old nurse for the rebels whose cheering she remembered when the French landed at Killala in '98; or perhaps but through the na- tural breaking of ayounger child of the house from the conser;va:t'.i;s;m'-':o'-'f her -elders. So when we were taken somet'i-mi,e'.s,-as.'.a.treat thefive mile drive to our market ''to*w*n;"*Ldughrea, I would, on tiptoe at the cou' nttler, :hVoltd'*u--p *the six pence earned by saying without a mistake my Bible lesson on the Sunday, and the old stationer, looking down through his spectacles would give me what I wanted saying that I was his best customer for, Fenian books; and one of my sisters, rather doubtfully consenting to my choice of The Spirit of the Nation for a birthday present, qualified the gift by copying into it "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.".