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Since his mother kept a sheebeen shop
Oh, success, &c.
Oh! was I but so fortunate
As to be back in Munster,
'Tis I'd be bound, that from that ground
For there St. Patrick planted turf,
Then my blessing on St. Patrick's fist,
Oh, he gave the snakes and toads a twist,
ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND, MY DEAR!
"This song," observes Dr. Maginn, its facetious author, "is theological, containing the principal acts of our national Saint-his coming to Ireland on a stonehis never-emptying can, commonly called St. Patrick's pot-his changing a leg of mutton into a salmon in Lent time-and his banishment of the snakes. Consult Jocelyn, or his translator, E. L. Swift, Esq."
Although the learned doctor's account of the per
+ My love, my darling.
formance of the buoyant "lump of a paving-stone," does not exactly accord with Jocelyn's version of the transaction, it is near enough, so far as the miraculous powers of St. Patrick are in question. According to Jocelyn (chap. xxvii.), our Saint, speeding on his journey toward Ireland, when about to embark with his disciples, was accosted by a leper, who craved to accompany him. The sailors objected, upon which St. Patrick "cast into the sea an altar of stone, that had been consecrated and given to him by the Pope, and on which he had been wont to celebrate the holy mysteries, and caused the leper to sit thereon. But the pen trembles to relate what, through the Divine power, happened. The stone, thus loaded, was borne upon the waters, guided by Him, the head-stone of the corner, and, diverse from its nature, floating along with the ship, held therewith an equal course, and, at the same moment, touched at the same shore. All, then, happily landed, and the altar being found, with its freight, the voice of praise and thanksgiving filled the lips of the holy prelate, and he reproved his disciples and the sailors. for their unbelief and hardness of heart, endeavouring to soften their stony hearts into hearts of flesh, even to the exercising the works of charity."
Jocelyn also records (chap. lxxvii.), how 14,000 men, who were collected by St. Patrick in his progress from Momonia (Munster) to the north of Ireland, were comfortably entertained by the Saint at supper on a cow, the property of his friend, Bishop Triamus, two stags, and two boars; which latter animals "most politely" presented themselves to be feasted upon. "And all the people ate," says Jocelyn, "and were abundantly filled;
and the remnants, that nothing might be lost, were gathered up; thus, with the flesh of five animals, did Patrick most plenteously feed 14,000 men." The miracle of the Saint's "never-emptying can, commonly called St. Patrick's pot," appears a suitable accompaniment to this feast, which Jocelyn has omitted to chronicle; for it can scarcely be credited, that any popular man in Ireland would attempt (especially at the house of a friend) to entertain a thirsty multitude upon beef, venison, and pork, without the addition of something to wash down these viands.
The Lyrist and Father Jocelyn, however, perfectly accord in their respective accounts of the transformation of flesh into fish by St. Patrick; the former, indeed, is rather more lucid than the monkish biographer, as he specifies the kind of fish. Jocelyn (chap. xxiii.) merely relates how the flesh-meat changed into fishes." appears that, after Patrick had become a monk, " a desire of eating meat came on him, until, being ensnared and carried away by his desire, he obtained swine's flesh, and concealed it, thinking, rightly, that he might thus satisfy his appetite privily, which, should he openly do, he would become to his brethren a stone of offence and a stumblingblock of reproach." However, the embryo Saint was saved from this heinous sin by an apparition, which warned him against backsliding. "Then," says Jocelyn, "St. Patrick, rising from the earth, utterly renounced and abjured the eating of flesh-meat, even through the rest of his life; and he humbly besought the Lord, that he would manifest unto him his pardon by some evident sign. Then the angel bade Patrick to bring forth the hidden
meats, and put them into water; and he did as the angel bade; and the flesh-meats being plunged into the water, and taken thereout, immediately became fishes. This miracle did St. Patrick often relate to his disciples, that they might restrain the desire of their appetites. But many of the Irish, wrongfully understanding this miracle, are wont on St. Patrick's day, which always falls in the time of Lent, to plunge flesh-meats into water; when plunged in, to take out; when taken out, to dress; when dressed, to eat, and call them fishes of St. Patrick."
What has been already said respecting St. Patrick's most famous miracle, the banishment of the snakes, is probably quite sufficient to satisfy the reader's curiosity on this point; and it is, therefore, only necessary to add, that the following song, which is adapted to the tune of "The night before Larry was stretched," originally appeared in "Blackwood's Magazine" for December 1821.
A fig for St. Denis of France ·
He's a trumpery fellow to brag on;
Which spitted a heathenish dragon;
He came to the Emerald Isle
On a lump of a paving-stone mounted;
Says he, "The salt water, I think,
To keep down the mulligrubs, burst ye-
He preached, then, with wonderful force,
At a pastor so pious and civil,
This ended, our worshipful spoon
Went to visit an elegant fellow, Whose practice, each cool afternoon,
Was to get most delightfully mellow.
It chanced he was treating a party;
So give me a pull at the pot!"
The pewter he lifted in sport
(Believe me, I tell you no fable), A gallon he drank from the quart,
And then placed it full on the table. "A miracle!" every one said,
And they all took a haul at the stingo;