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BLARNEY CASTLE.

99

Poor Isabel ! in vain thy grief,

In vain thy burning tears;
Thy sun is set ; and love no more

May gild thy sadden'd years.

Yet hope thou still! There is a land

Where love shall never die ;
And they who there their loved ones meet,

Meet them ETERNALLY!

B L A R N EY CASTLE, COUNTY COR K.

This noble structure was erected by Cormac Mac Carty, who was the fourth lord of the manor ; and who founded Blarney Castle soon after his accession to the lordship; an event which took place in the year 1449. A limestone rock forms the pedestal upon which this ancient castle stands; the appearance of which is in the highest degree picturesque and imposing; the building, embosomed by woods of luxuriant beauty, and washed by the limpid waters of the river Blarney, contains various apartments, greatly differing in age, and in architectural character. The principal tower, the walls

which are eighteen feet in thickness, rises to the height of one hundred feet above the smooth river; and contains, imbedded in the north-eastern angle of its embattled parapet, the renowned stone, the fame of which, immortalized in a popular Irish song, has been widely spread by the well-known “Prout Papers.”

“ There is a stone there,
That whoever kisses,
Oh ! he never misses

To grow eloquent.

A clever spouter,
He'll soon turn out, or
An out-and-outer.
Don't hope to hinder him
Or to bewilder him;
Sure he's a pilgrim

From the Blarney Stone !"

Somewhat to the dislocation, perhaps, of the metre of these burlesque verses, we have omitted a part of Father Prout's “additions” to the original ditty. The above quotation, however, may suffice to record the virtues of this marvellous stone; the legend attached to which is so generally associated with the name of Blarney Castle.

The building adjoining the tower, contains the apartment distinguished by the name of “ The Earl's Chamber.” This is a vaulted room, of small size; having a tiled floor ; and being lighted by a comparatively large and ancient window. Some cheerless tokens of the once magnificent garniture of this apartment, remain, in the shreds of tapestry which here and there flutter from its walls.

In the year 1646 Blarney Castle underwent a siege ; and was defended by its proprietor, the Lord Muskerry. On his surrender, the ancient fortifications of the fortress were destroyed.

The eastern portion of the Castle, originally containing the apartments applied to domestic purposes, is now unroofed, and in ruins. It was finally dismantled, so lately as the year 1821.

A modern mansion has since been attached to this magnificent structure of by-gone ages; and the adjacent grounds exhibit the perfection of ornamental planting and gardening.

At the distance of about a quarter of a mile from Blarney Castle, is a beautiful lake, having well-wooded banks, and covering about thirty acres. In addition to its picturesque loveliness, this little lake has the further advantage of being well stocked with fish; principally perch and eels. Near to this sheet of water is a romantic terrace, overshadowed by flowering - shrubs, and by some forest - trees. Several statues of

“ Heathen goddesses, and nymphs so fair," ornament this abode of rural beauty, and a flight of steps, known by the singular name of “The Witches' Stairs," leads down to the water's edge.

The historical associations connected with it, together with its great natural advantages, must ever render the ancient structure, of which the accompanying plate presents a view, a point of interest to the tourist in Ireland. The visit paid to it in the year 1825 by the great Sir Walter Scott, who was deeply impressed by its picturesque beauty, will long be remembered as one of the many interesting circumstances connected with BLARNEY CASTLE.

THE KING'S BRIDGE, DUBLIN.

The name by which this bridge is distinguished, sufficiently suggests the occasion of its erection. The inhabitants of Dublin-always loyal-being deeply gratified by the visit to their ancient city of King George the Fourth, in the year 1821, resolved to commemorate an event so flattering, by some permanent architectural structure. The requisite funds were readily supplied, and a committee was elected, to whom their management was entrusted ; but still the question remained, “How are these funds to be applied ?” This difficulty being at length submitted to the monarch himself, for solution, his Majesty was pleased to intimate his desire, that the loyal tribute thus offered to him

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TGE KING'S PRILGE, DUBLINY, (WEST VIEW.

PETER JACYCN, LONDON & PARIS.

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