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O'Rourke, obiit 1799, erected by his wife Elizabeth. -To Thady Mac Dermott, 1794, and his family.— To Mary Mac Manus, otherwise Berne, died 1822, and her descendants, &c. &c. A singular custom prevails in this churchyard: up the rising ground, which the cemetery occupies, uninscribed tombstones are ranged in long levels, like disjointed steps, one resting on the edge of another, to the summit. Standing on the corner parapet of the north-eastern angle of the grave-yard, a most lovely view is obtained, of which the annexed plate can but exhibit a section. At left those of Knockranný are seen sloping to the water—the woods of Annagh in the distant centre groupings of which thence guide the eye to Kilronan Castle and its demesne, and the steeple of Kilronan peering from the trees—the tranquil Lough Meelagh, with its islands, in front of this perspective, and, in the foreground, the old church with its ivied gable, eastern window, two burial enclosures, the escutcheon of the Mac Dermott armorials rising, in fine relief, from the black mural slab-St. Ronan's well, with its lonely circle of trees—and, between these and the spectator, the grave-yard, here overgrown with thorns, nettles, and thistles, there thickly (for it has ever been a favourite burial-place) flagged with tomb-stones, and, above all, hallowed with recollections, that induce the following brief
NOTICES OF CAROLAN. This last, as he was the most distinguished of the Irish Bards, was descended from an ancient and
respectable family, identified with the records and topography of Meath, where a district is still recognized as Carolanstown. Patrick Carolan, the bard's paternal uncle, appears, in 1691, to have possessed the lands of Muff, 300 acres, in the parish of Nobber, in that county; but John, the bard's father, lost all his property by his adherence to the Stuart line. Turlogh, alias Terence, the subject of this memoir, was born in the year 1670, at Newtown, near Nobber, and seven miles from Carolanstown. In the village of Cruisetown, in his own neighbourhood, he received the rudiments of his education, and his first instructions on the harp; where, becoming acquainted with Miss Bridget Cruise, a consequent attachment inspired the earliest of his poetical and musical compositions. In his sixteenth year, however, he was seized by that then most formidable complaint, the small-pox, and utterly deprived of sight by its visitation; but, as he used to say, himself, his eyes were transplanted to his
His father was soon afterwards obliged to emigrate from Meath, and, settling at Carrick-onShannon, became soon acquainted with the family of Mac Dermott Roe, of Alderford. The lady of that house, perceiving the talent of the boy, had him instructed, as far as his infirmity permitted, in class with her own children, particular attention being applied to the Irish language, then universally learned, and to his favourite study, music. There he remained an almost constant resident for years, and, as these were his first friends and patrons, he continued attached to them through life by the most sacred ties of gratitude and affection. He also, at this period, became acquainted with Denis O'Conor, the great great grandfather of the present O'Conor Don, and who, at that period, before the restoration of any part of his inheritance, was living on a farm at Knockmore, near Alderford.
Carolan, in his twenty-second year, conceived the notion of adopting the profession of an itinerant musician at the houses of the resident gentry, whereupon his benefactress, Mrs. Mac Dermott, provided him with a horse and an attendant, and thus commenced the career of this celebrated Bard. Amongst the places, which he first visited, was Letterfyan, an ancient seat of the family of Reynolds, situated near the beautiful lake of Lough Scur, in the County Leitrim, and here he composed his celebrated “Sheemor and Shee-beg,” as also his “Planxty Reynolds." Ilis subsequent visits through the Counties of Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Mayo, and Galway, elicited similar local and family effusions. He also visited Meath and Louth, and, amongst his songs of the latter locality, is one in praise of Miss Macneill of Ballymacscanlan. His visits in Ulster were confined to the family of Maguire of Tempo, County Fermanagh, with a young relative of whom, Mary Maguire, he intermarried, and, on that event, appears to have fixed his residence on a farm near Mohill, in the County of Leitrim. “Here,” says Mr. Walker