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The banks of the river, beneath the lofty wall, afford an agreeable promenade to the inhabitants of the populous city of Kilkenny; and the summit of the hill is crowned by the stately Castle, adorned by its military towers, and now enclosed on either side by magnificent forest-trees.

The situation of Kilkenny Castle, is advantageous in a two-fold point of view. That noble building is not only in itself a beautiful and stately object, but it commands a landscape rarely to be equalled. One of the most accomplished of our Irish tourists, the author of the Survey, compares Kilkenny Castle, with the country surrounding it, to the views of and from the royal Castle of Windsor.

Though the country around Kilkenny,” he writes, “is not improved, like that around the most princely of royal residences, yet the site of Kilkenny Castle is at once bold and beautiful, with almost every advantage that could be wished, to decorate the scene.

This fine structure stands upon a precipice overhanging the head of a deep and rapid river, which is crossed by two stately bridges, of which the Castle commands a view. The more distant of these two bridges is composed of seven arches; that nearest to the Castle has but three; but they are of a very wide span, and are constructed of hewn marble, and in fine elliptical proportions. The banks of the river are richly planted, and the adjacent town has all the appearance of having been formed merely to decorate the landscape. Every object in the neighbourhood, worth viewing, may be seen from the Castle; while everything of an unpleasing character is screened from observation. In one direction, the horizon is shut in by mountains, situated at a due distance, and affording variety to the whole splendid scene. The immediate views around the Castle, gains, too, in imposing effect, from the circumstance, that the middle distances are destitute of that richness of cultivation, and that embellishment of country seats, which constitute the capital beauty of Windsor.

“ As when a limner has a landscape drawn,
Some master-piece of mountain, lake, or lawn ;
When he would give his work the perfect touch,
If to his eye the back-ground glare too much,
To make the distant scenery soften more,
He slightly draws a tint of azure o'er.
Such is the character this region wears,
As tow'rds the horizon's verge it disappears,
Gracefully blending with the haze of blue,
That rises half to intercept the view;
While yonder pile's majestic towers are seen,
Lending their solemn grandeur to the scene.

Those towers ! in what a glorious group they stand,
The ornaments and bulwarks of the land.
'Mid all that wooes it in the prospect round,
In them, mine eye its proudest joys hath found;
To them it turns, attracted by a spell,
A fascination irresistible !



That beauty theirs, of which we never tire ;
We look and look, and more and more admire.
Each little change of light or shade that plays
Along their features, some new charm betrays;
As they, one moment bright, the next o'ercast,
Pour each expression, finer than the last,
As balancing upon their dizzy steep,
They look majestic on the vales beneath.

Windsor Castle is an august and venerable object to behold; but to the spectator who looks from it, there is nothing to inspire imposing ideas. Not Eton's spires, nor Cooper's classic hill, nor Cleveden's gay alcove, nor Gloster's gayer lodge, can furnish such a lavish variety to the landscape-painter, as is to be found in these Hibernian scenes. There, nature has painted with her most correct pencil ; bere, she has dashed with a more careless hand; this is the fanciful and fiery sketch of a great master; that, the re-touched and finished work of a studious composer. Windsor Forest was a theme exactly suited to the mild genius of Pope; but a scene of rude magnificence, like the castle and neighbourhood of Kilkenny, demands the genius of Spenser or of Milton. Here we have

“Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do darkly rest.”

The place, in short, with its noble towers and battlements,

“ Bosom'd high in tufted trees," is one of the finest of the many fine places which adorn the sister-island.


Lovest thou Shakespeare, Lady ? Then thy soul,
As days, and years, and seasons, onward roll,
Feeds on such glorious thoughts as ne'er before
Creative poet breathed; and as no more
May burn in human words. The "golden key"
Which opens the soul's inmost treasury,
Unlocking the deep source of hopes and fears,
And, more than all, of “sympathetic tears,"
Has open'd thy heart's chambers, and in thee
The Poet hath his fittest votary.
Less in thy “wonder and astonishment,”
Than reverent love, he hath his monument;
His magic touch hath roused within thy heart
Responsive feelings, which no painful art

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