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MAP OF KILLARNEY

XXVI.- VOL. III.

X

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self of the privilege, and save seven miles of dull road. With such associations and feelings to heighten her beau-
Sheldon Abbey is the most celebrated mansion at this ties, we too might admit the pre-eminence of Avoca.
end of Wicklow. It is a modern gothic structure of The spot we have now arrived at is the Second
very ornate character. The situation is low, but as Meeting of the Waters,'--sometimes said to be that
much has been made of its capabilities as possible. Moore has celebrated ; but this is evidently an error,
The grounds are of great extent and of great beauty, as the poet has himself in a note to the passage ex-
though not kept in as good condition as in English plained his allusion to be to the confluence of "the
parks where the owner is resident. Some of the roads rivers Avon and Avoca ;" whereas this is the meeting
too, on the outskirts of the demesne, are bordered by of the Augbrim and the Avoca. This is a charming
lines of beeches, which form rich umbrageous avenues, scene, Not alone have we here the meeting of the
with pleasant peeps between. From the grounds of rivers, but of the glens also, many and lovely. And
Sheldon, you may pass into those of Ballyarthur, the then the views both up and down the vale are full of
seat of - Bayly, Esq. These are especially worth beanty. While here, too, the visitor should, if possibie,
visiting. The house is not large, but plain and sub ascend the heights of Knocknamokill, for the sake of
stantial, like a moderate-sized old English Manor- the wider prospect not only down the vale but over
house. The grounds afford shady walks, with delicious Arklow to the sea. (Cut, No. 6.)
prospects : one immediately behind the house is espe- This Second Meeting of the Waters is otherwise called
cially worthy of note. Ballyarthur seems, in short, one Wooden Bridge; close to the bridge is the chief resting-
of the most enjoyable residences in all Wicklow : just place of tourists. Wooden Bridge Hotel is said to be,
the house and grounds one might wish for—if one “ with the exception of Quin's, at Bray, the most gene-
had Fortunatus' Cap--as a resting-place in these our rally frequented by tourists of all the Wicklow houses
later days.

of entertainment." (Curry's Hand-Book of Ireland.')
From Ballyarthur we pass into the famous Vale. Higher up there is another tourist's house, the Avoca
Wherever the English language is read, the beauties of Inn.
the Vale of Avoca are known ; and so long as music Ascending the vale some way, and having passed
married to sweet verse finds admirers, its loveliness Newbridge-a very pretty spot~quite a new feature
will be verdant :

opens in the landscape. The mountain sides are for “ There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet

some distance literally riddled with the works of the As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet."

copper mines.

These are the Ballymurtagh and CronThe Vale of Avoca is indeed extremely beautiful. It bane mines, the most extensive and valuable copperis a cheerful open valley, several miles long, nowhere mines in Wicklow: the Cronbane mine has yielded closing into a glen, nor expanding so as to leave the nearly 2600 tons of copper ore in one year. The quanopposites sides unconnected, but gently widening as tity raised is not now so great, but there are yet above it descends ; it is everywhere a delightful companion- | a thousand men employed in the two mines. It cannot able dale. The Avoca flows along the midst with a of course be said that the works add to the beauty or still quick current, but never disturbing the placid even picturesqueness of the scenery, but the strange scacharacter of the scenery. The hills on either hand are rification of the mountain sides, the apparently almost lofty, varied in surface and in outline, and presenting inaccessible spots in which some of the working gear is new and always pleasing combinations at every turn. piaced, and the enormous slow-moving water-wheels, The valley is now thickly covered with rich dark certainly give a very peculiar and striking character masses of foliage, and presently sprinkled over with to it. An iron tramroad is carried from these mines to single trees, or detached groups, of light feathery form. Arklow haven. Sometimes the trees climb the mountain sides ; at The First Meeting of the Waters, (Cut No. 7,) that others the slopes are only covered with bright verdure, which Moore has sung of, is even more beautiful than and again they are bare, rugged, and precipitous. And the other, and the general prospect of the vale more yet with all this beauty the stranger is apt at first to impressive. The Avonbeg has rolled down from Glenquestion whether it be equal to its fame. The bard of damore a rapid mountain stream ; the Avonmore* is Erin has stamped on it the title to such superlative gentle and placid as a lowland river. All around loveliness, that the vision which has been formed of it along the valley, in the water, and on the heights-is can hardly be realized. It is forgotten that he has luxuriant foliage. The hills are bold and lofty, their associated with its natural charms a moral claim on his admiration :

* We asked a countryman the meaning of these names :

"Sure, then," said he, “ Avon is a river, and bg (which he “Yet it was not that Nature had shed o'er the scene

pronounced lig) is little: and more” -is more little? “Ah! Her purest of crystal and brightest of green ;

no-more is great; and so it is just the great river and the 'T was not her soft magic of streamlet or hill,

little river.” Moore was mistaken in speaking of the meeting Oh! no-it was something more exquisite still.

of “the rivers Avon and Avoca.” On the maps they are 'T was that friends, the belov'd of my bosom, were near, written as we have said, and we were assured they are so Who made ev'ry dear scene of enchantment more dear; called there: they take the name of Avoca after their conAnd who felt how the best charms of Nature improve fluence, and retain it, as we have seen, to the estuary at When we see them reflected from looks that we love." Arklow.

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even

sides well covered with trees; gray crags protruding Hall's guide, God bless her! and more power to her! from leafy canopies, or soft sunny slopes of brightest and many a good word she has bestowed upon me verdure. On either side other valleys open and exhibit therefore," says one; while another claims Sir Walter fresh beauties. In the distance are mountain summits Scott, and a third is content with Mr. Fraser. On the clad in aërial hues, and the higher grounds are equally whole, there is not much choice between the three, for delightful. It is as sweet a spot wherein to spend a just so many there are. We tried two, and gossipped summer with good company as a poet could with the third, and moreover climbed into St. Kevin's desire.

Bed, and therefore are privileged to speak authoritaThe castellated mansion seen on the hill is Castle- tively. We would just as soon credit one as the other ; Howard, the seat of Sir Ralph Howard—a modern their power in fabling appearing, as far as we could structure, more eminent for its noble site than for its judge, nearly balanced-the older one had the larger beauty. The views from it and from the grounds are, store and more experience, but the younger was the as will be readily imagined, of surpassing beauty. Our more vivacious. way onward lies along the Vale of Avon ; the tourist The name is suggestive of the character of the place; may pass through the demesne of Avondale, which is Glen-da-lough, is the glen of the two lakes. The lakes three miles long, and very charming, with the Avon- lie in a deep hollow between immense mountains, whose more winding through the midst the whole distance. sides rise bare and precipitous from the valley to the Thence he passes by Rathdrum, and along the road height of some three or four hundred feet. The which keeps above the Avonmore to Laragh. There is further end seems entirely closed in, but there is a another road from the Meetings Bridge to Rathdrum narrow and alınost impassable ravine, down whose along the higher grounds by Castle-Howard, which, rugged bed the Glenealo, the chief feeder of the lakes, though perhaps not so beautiful as that through forces its way. The other stream which supplies the Avondale, is shorter, and affords wider and very fine lakes has to leap over a lofty wall of rock, forming a prospects.

waterfall, called from it the Poolanas. The glen is

about three miles long; the upper lough is a mile GLENDALOUGH.

long, and nearly a quarter of a mile wide. It is around Very striking is the first glimpse of Glendalough. this lough that the wilder features of the glen are You proceed from Laragh up a mountain road, which combined ; and nothing hardly can be finer or more appears to have an outlet only by a narrow pass at the sublime than the scene from its bosom as night is further end; but a slight turn brings before you first setting in, and heavy storm-clouds are gathering over a few rude cottages, then a round tower, which rears its the mountain summits, and thin gray mists are creeping tall head beyond, with apparently several ruined build along the sides of the cliffs which rise in frowning ings spread around it; and as a back-ground is a dark blackness at once from the water, and the deep purple hollowed coomb, formed by perpendicular rocks of waves are curling up and lashing menacingly against great altitude, which then fall back into mountain the boat, as the wind sweeps along in a hollow proslopes. It is not till you are nearer that the lakes longed sough. become visible :-unless, indeed, you ascend the hill- It is here that some little height up the rock is the side somewhat-a point from which as good a general | famous Bed of St. Kevin. It is a hole piercing into conception of the whole glen, and lakes, and antiquities, the rock far enough and large enough to admit two or can be obtained as anywhere. (Cut, No. 8.)

three persons at a time. Here it was that the famous Long before you get near the ruins a crowd of beg. St. Kevin retreated, in order to escape from the persegars has beset you, intreating alms by the recital of cutions of love and the allurements of the world. The every kind of distress; others beg you to purchase reader of course knows the legend-all the world fragments of rock or crystal. Next come some two knows it-as told by Moore, how or three wild-looking fellows, who each assures you

“By that lake, whose gloomy shore that he is the best possible guide, and no other knows

Skylark never warbles o’er ; anything in comparison with him, and, moreover, he

Where the cliff hangs high and steep, won't deceive your honour with any false lies at all.

Young St. Kevin stole to sleep: You will do well to escape from the annoyance by

Here, at least,' he calmly said, selecting one ; let him lead you round to all the

• Woman ne'er shall find

my

bed.'

new

Ah! the good saint little sights, tell you all the legends, induct you into St. Kevin's Bed, and persuade you, if he can, that you

What that wily sex can do!” are one of the knowingest gentlemen and best walkers The rest it is needless to repeat. Since St. Kevin so he has been along with in all the years he has ungallantly hurled the fair Kathleen from his chamber been there : submit to it all patiently, and you will into the deep waters below--and it is fourteen hundred then be left to stroll about in quiet and at leisure years ago-every lady who has ventured there bas afterwards and see things for yourself. Some of the borne a charmed life, for so the good saint in his rebooks have recommended particular guides ; and the morse prayed it might be. More than a few fair ladies men themselves boast of the great folks and fine writers have tested the charm in our day by scrambling into they have conducted. “And it's myself that was Mrs. the Bed, and all have returned in safety. But besides the immunity purchased at so costly a price by that There is a marvellously fine echo in this glen. One Kathleen, there is a living Kathleen here, as guardian an- of the guides, a man of Stentorian voice and leathern gel of the rock, whose whole care is to avert all chances lungs, chaunts, in a delectable sort of slow sing-song, of a mishap in the adventure. This Kathleen is unhap- that might be heard a mile almost, Moore's legend pily not so lovely as her namesake, but she has (what of St. Kevin, and the echo rings it out again to the is of more importance here) a strong hand and a steady last syllable clear as a bell. Pat then shouts a heap of foot. She lives in a dog-hole of a cabin up among the nonsense, adds some Irish, and winds up with an rocks, and gets a living by helping all hardy adven- Hibernian Och, arrah !' All this is duly returned, turers into St. Kevin's bed. She has been here, she and the Irish is done as sharply, and the brogue hit off says, for above thirty years. The scramble into the as nicely as though native to it. Bed is certainly rather a rough one, and it looks dan- The Seven Churches, as the ruins are called (and gerous, as you have to crawl along a narrow ledge of oftentimes the whole place is so named from them), are rocks which overhangs the water: but the danger is at the lower end of the glen. They consist chiefly of merely in appearance ; by the assistance of the guide, what is called the cathedral; of the chapel of the Virgin; and the help of Kathleen's hand at the critical point, a church, with a turret at the end, which is commonly the least skilful climber might get up without difficulty. called St. Kevin's Kitchen : these, with some other Inside the cave are numerous names and initials of remains of buildings, and the vestiges of several stone those who have accomplished the feat : among others, crosses, are, with a round tower, contained within an Kate will point out that of Sir Walter Scott, though it enclosure which is still used as a grave-yard. Other is not easy to decipher it. Scott's ascent into the Bed ruins of churches are to be seen within a short distance. is told by Lockhart, in a letter printed in the · Life.' Why such buildings, and so many of them, should be The danger, he says, has been exaggerated ; “Yet I placed in a spot like this, seems quite unaccountable ; never was more pained than when, in spite of all re

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but there is evidence that there was an ecclesiastical monstrances, he would make his way to it, crawling establishment here in the fifth or sixth century, and along the precipice. He succeeded, and got in; the that it was several times plundered and devastated in first lame man that ever tried it. After he was gone, succeeding years. Glendalough was early constituted a Mr. Plunkett told the female guide he was a poet. bishopric, and it so continued till it was united with Kathleen treated this with indignation, as a quiz of the see of Dublin : even now the full title of the MeMr. Attorney's. "Poet!' said she : 'the devil a bit of tropolitan is Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough. him ; but an honourable gentleman : he gave me half- The ruins are remarkable, and have been the subject a-crown.""

of much inquiry. We cannot afford space to enter

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8.—GLENDALOUGII.

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