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concentrate too much on what is corporeal. 'The Hound of Heaven' is a poem in which a great poet with a surpassing wealth of imagery, with a choice of diction and depth of thought unrivalled in modern English verse, sings the fate of a soul flying from the love of God and the noble selfsacrifice and heroic sufferings which such love entails. It is a poem full of tragic happenings which pertain to the spiritual order. It is a miniature lyric tragedy, now dark and tumultuous, now sublime and awe-inspiring, but withal a tragedy which ends not with the tumult and terrors of tragedy, but in pathos, tenderness, and happiness. The prodigal has returned. Sorrow and tears give place to the whisper of peace and the smile of joy.
Faults Francis Thompson had, but they are the faults peculiar to greatness. The rich beauty of his poems is essentially spontaneous and far superior to the artificial baldness for which modern verse is so industriously making. His wealth of imagery, his beauty and sublimity of thought, his wonderful and sometimes quaint diction, his abrupt rhythm and virile verse-music are all pre-eminent in this poem, for it is typical. Conceits there are, but they are not the affected and ineffectual conceits peculiar to Crashaw and the old metaphysical school. They are, with few exceptions, the subtleties of one who has a clear vision, an unrivalled wealth of words; who effectively sings what he clearly understands.
Many poems are beautiful; few are sublime. Beauty inspires a vivid intellectual pleasure. Sublimity inspires awe. Milton is often sublime, and Dante when he turns from legend and political satire, and concentrates his vision on what is other-world and transcendent, is always sublime. Thompson is very often sublime, and nowhere more than in the following passage:
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds,
From the hid battlements of Eternity:
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpsed turrets slowly wash again,
But not ere him who summoneth
I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned.
There are many to whom this poem is meaningless. There are critics who will be profuse in epithets to deprecate the worth of this masterpiece. It cannot be fully understood
unless the reader has a sound grasp of the fundamental principles of Catholic asceticism. This is no sectarian poem with an atmosphere charged with vengeful fanaticism. It is the expression in verse, as rich as it is profound, of a great principle exemplified in the pathetic wanderings and ultimate happiness of a human soul. The verse is rich and virile; the verse-music and majestic rhythm sometimes jar with a sudden abruptness, but they often fill the soul like organ-harmonies heard in the dim twilight of some spacious cathedral. There are echoes everywhere. The poem is intensively subjective, as befits the true lyric.
It is the poem of one who suffered and was fugitive. Its moral could indeed be applied to the intellectual Hedonist. It may be interpreted as an illustration of the aberrance of the intellectual but not of the sensual Hedonist. Perhaps it was the story of the poet's own soul, for Francis Thompson erred and suffered. He was a wanderer upon the earth, for he was born in an age that knew him not. Yet never for a moment are we to infer that he discarded any of the essential doctrines of that Faith whose great hierophant he was. His life was truly a tragedy-the tragedy of a soul struggling to work out its true vocation in this world. Thompson was no Hedonist. He has left us a poem which is not only a masterpiece in art, but also in thought; a poem which is sublime and yet intensely human, full of those truths peculiar to the spiritual order-truths which go home to the soul and touch the human heart. It is sad with a divine sadness and wholly devoid of those grosser elements which are so often so often commingled with human sorrow. It was conceived by a great mind and executed with that artistic taste which discriminates between the crude realism which disfigures beauty and that other realism which borders on the ideal. This thorn-crowned laureate sang as some bright immortal-a nursling of the Muses, holy, sweet, and pure. His poem finds an echo in every heart which has known sorrow and joy, and which, dissociated from the mere grossness of life, is dissatisfied even with the lawful pleasures of intellect and imagination, and pines for the vision of that heaven where stand the promised mansions of Him who is Creator and Father.
THOMAS P. WHELAN.
DR. BERNARD'S NARRATIVE OF THE
STORM OF DROGHEDA IN 1649
By J. B. WILLIAMS
BEFORE giving some account of Nicholas Bernard (or Barnard), the Protestant incumbent of St. Peter's, Drogheda, in 1649, I had better first describe the pamphlet, the material portions of which are transcribed at the end of this paper.
Only one copy of Dr. Bernard's Narrative of the Storm of Drogheda in 1649 is known to exist, and this is in the possession of Mr. C. H. Firth. This tract was first mentioned by the late S. R. Gardiner, in his Commonwealth and Protectorate, and Gardiner quoted a short extract from it, in one of his footnotes to his account of the storm of Drogheda. Part of the same extract was again quoted in a recent controversy with the present writer, who, after a prolonged search, has arrived at the conclusion that Mr. Firth's tract is the only copy known to exist. No biographer of Dr. Bernard has ever noted the existence of the pamphlet, and it is not mentioned either by Anthony à Wood in his list of Dr. Bernard's works (in his life of Bernard in the Fasti Oxonienses), or in the similar list in the life in the Dictionary of National Biography-which, of course, is fairly up to date.
The pamphlet is a small quarto of 12 pages, without date or title-page. Mr. Firth thinks that possibly there may never have been a title-page. Page 1 is headed, 'A Letter of Dr. Bernard's to a friend of his at Court,' and sets forth that to vindicate himself from a misapprehension of me at Court, but such as knew me not, because of my acquaintance with Oliver Cromwell,' he thinks it expedient
1 I have to thank Mr. Firth for his kindness in furnishing me with a copy of the Narrative, to be printed in a collection of contemporary accounts of the Storm of Drogheda and Wexford, which I hope to have published before long, as well as for the description of the tract itself.
2 Vol. i., published in 1894.
to set forth his sufferings and services to the Royal Cause, and to explain the nature of his dealings with Cromwell. 'Whereunto,' he continues, I have added a brief relation of my sufferings (being so variously reported) in the storme of Drogheda and after it.'
Pages 2 to 8 are 'A Brief Relation of Dr. Bernard's sufferings for His Majesty.'
There is no doubt, therefore, that this pamphlet was printed either about the end of 1660 or during_1661. Pages 9 to 12 inclusive are set out at the end of the present paper.
Nicholas Bernard was born about the commencement of the seventeenth century, and must have been an Englishman. He matriculated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on July 5, 1617, graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1621, and Master of Arts in 1624.1 In 1626 he was ordained by the famous Usher, Archbishop of Armagh, in St. Peter's, Drogheda, and became the Archbishop's Chaplain and Librarian. In 1627 Dr. Bernard was given the titulary deanery of Kilmore, worth about £20 a year, and in 1637 he exchanged this deanery with Henry Jones, D.D., for that of Ardagh, to which, perhaps, the benefice of St. Peter, Drogheda, was attached. On July 13 of the same year Bernard became prebendary of Dromore. On July 15, 1628, Dr. Bernard was incorporated M.A. at Oxford, and to this we owe Anthony à Wood's account of his life and writings, but the date of his subsequent degree of D.D. has not been traced. From this time up to 1649 Dr. Bernard was inseparably connected with Drogheda, so that he was present during the siege of 1641, as well as during the capture of Drogheda by Lord Inchiquin in 1649, and the storm of the town by Cromwell a few weeks later on. Of the first siege of Drogheda, Dr. Bernard has left two accounts, in addition to some other tracts, describing the progress of the Irish Rebellion. He appears in all these as a very great enemy of the Catholic religion, and as a bitter Protestant, some of whose scandalous tales about priests and friars are patently false; but, nevertheless, details of the progress of the war, as well as other incidents not to be found elsewhere, are contained in his pamphlets.
1 Anthony à Wood. Fasti Oxonienses, i. p. 445, and the recently published Book of Matriculations and Degrees at Cambridge, by Dr. J. Venn and Mr. J. A. Venn.
He is described in the Dictionary of National Biography as a keen observer.'
In 1650 Dr. Bernard was permitted by Cromwell to return to England, and in 1651 he was appointed preacher at Gray's Inn, becoming also, at some uncertain date, Almoner to Cromwell himself. When Archbishop Usher died in London, in 1655, Dr. Bernard preached his funeral sermon, and Cromwell directed £200 to be paid to him in order to defray the cost of the funeral.
Chiefly from his appointment to be Cromwell's Almoner, and perhaps, also, to a certain extent, from his controversy about the same time with the celebrated Laudian divine, Dr. Peter Heylyn, whose standard of churchmanship was diametrically opposed to that of Usher and Bernard, the scandal arose that caused the pamphlet I am describing to be printed.
John Crouch, in his congratulatory verses to Charles II, published in 1660, and entitled, A Mixt' Poem, seems to hint that Bernard's relations with Cromwell had been unfavourably commented upon outside Court circles, for he mentions him as one who had praised Cromwell, at the end of the lines referring to Drogheda 1 :
Ask poor Tredah the number of her slaine,
The last lines undoubtedly convey a reproach to Dr.
Before leaving Ireland Dr. Bernard preached a farewell sermon at Drogheda. It is necessary to quote this in order that it may be compared with his narrative of the storm. The sermon was printed in London in 1651, with a dedication prefixed, to the Mayor and Corporation of Drogheda, and dated, London, May 20, 1651.' It forms a little book of 337 pages, and includes a very bitter attack upon the Catholic religion. On page 247 Dr. Bernard says:'The religion of the Papists is superstitious and idolatrous,
1 There is a life of this John Crouch in the Dictionary of National Biography. I think he must have been an Irishman. Most of the Crouch family were Irish. 2 Dr. Bernard,' in a marginal note.