Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 16: No 1) >> Simms as ''Nemo'': The Rediscovered Letters to the Charleston Mercury >> Page 11

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Page 11

Correspondence | [1860]
Transcription more successful here, in the dingy cellar of HAVERTY, and turning over his
dusty old volumes.
His publications of Irish literature are quite numerous, and include
all the best productions of young and patriotic Ireland. Your columns have
already notice44 the admirable poems of MANGAN, that most remarkable and
eccentric of men and poets, whose effusions combine some of the most
exquisite qualities of fancy and feeling, passion and tenderness, love and
patriotism, that have been given to us by the muse of any country for many
years. It is introduced to us by the editorial hands of JOHN MITCHEL, the
patriot, who has written a fine life of the poet, and made a judicious estimate
of his qualities as a writer. To the same accomplished gentleman we owe
another collection from one of the youthful and patriotic poets of Young
Ireland "The poems of Thomas Davis" a lyrical poet, also of great
affluence, warmth, fire, enthusiasm and energy. He has made the history of
Ireland, her struggles, sacrifices, defeats and triumphs, tributary to modern
song, in the hope to unite and to arouse the Irish people to the proper efforts
at independence.
But DAvIs is now a historical name, and to those who know
anything of those conflicts between Great Britain and Ireland, in recent days,
his career must be generally familiar. He wrote for the famous Nation, and in
his premature death, which happened in 1845, the paper, to use the language
of MITCHEL, "lost its strength and inspiration." DAVIS was one of those
patriots of the Young Ireland party, whom the British Government punished
for his patriotism, by imprisonment, in 1844. This was the period of
O'CONNELL'S power. MITCHEL- says boldly, that at that period, "one
movement of O'CONNELL'S finger for only he could give the signal and
within a month no vestige of British power could have remained in Ireland."
MITCHEL adds "For his refusal to wield that power, then unquestionably in
his hands, may God forgive him!"
DAvIs died at the early age of thirty-one. His lyrics are wholly
devoted to Ireland its cause, character, genius, rights, and histories. He
employed the Past to incite and inspirit the Present to proper action. His lays
are bold, free, vivacious, and warm not much characterized by mere grace,
and not often by simple tenderness; but distinguished by a rude inspiration, a
gushing force and impulse, a wild enthusiasm, an ardent passion for glory
and liberty! He may be distinguished as the KOERNER of Ireland, but will be
found to be very far superior in energy, vigor, and a fresh native impetuosity,
in which passion blends happily with tenderness, to his German predecessor.
Let me commend your readers to provide themselves with that, and the other
Irish publications of Mr. HAVERTY. Of these I may send you other advices
hereafter as they are severally read.
DAVIS' prose essays, by the way, from which MITCHEL frequently
quotes, are warm and vigorous, and marked by the fanciful and the forcible