Going out of Ireland

The dark night had come, my trunk was packed, and the vessel was in readiness that was to bear me away. When I entered that pretty isle in June, 1844, all was green and sunny without, water, earth, and sky all united to say this is indeed a pleasant spot, but why I had come to it I knew not, and what was my work had not been told me; step by step the voice had been "onward," trust and obey—obey and trust. The ground had been traversed, and in tempest and darkness my way was made to the packet, on the Liffey, with one solitary Quaker, who was compelled to hurry me among the tumultuous crowd without time to say "Farewell." A few friends had assembled to meet me there, who had been tried ones from the beginning, but so great was the crowd, and so dark was the night, that they found me not.

The spires of Dublin could not be seen, and I was glad—I was glad that no warm hands could greet me; and above all and over all, I was glad that the poor could not find me; for them I had labored, and their blessing was mine, that was a rich reward; and when my heart shall cease to feel for their sufferings may my "tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."

"They that Sow in Tears shall Reap in Joy."

"Sow thy seed, there is need, never be weary,

Morning and evening withhold not thine hand;

By the side of all waters let faith and hope cheer thee,

Where the blessing may rest is not thine to command.

"Do thy best, leave the rest, while the day serveth—

Night will assuredly overtake noon;

Work with thy brother, while he thine arm nerveth,

Without him, or for him, if holding back soon.

"As the grain, oft in pain, doubt, care, and sadness,

The husbandman needs must commit to the soil,

Long to struggle with darkness and death, if in gladness

He may hope e'er to reap the new harvest from toil.

"Sow thy seed, there is need, never mind sorrow,

Disappointment is not what it seems to thee now;

Tears, if but touched by one heavenly ray, borrow

A glory that spans all,—the bright promised bow!"

Read "Annals of the Famine in Ireland" at your leisure

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Read Annals of the Famine in Ireland at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord's field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be apalled and distressed.

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.