1846 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

Denis Florence M'Carthy, in Poets and Dramatists of Ireland (1846) 130-31.



He was the first great Anglo-Irish writer who felt that he was an Irishman, and that his injured and despised country was worthy even of the affectation of patriotism. The flame which he was first to kindle has warmed many a noble heart since. The doctrines which he preached, as one in the wilderness, have now become the creed of millions; but if on the roll of our patriots the names of Lucas, of Flood, and of Grattan, of Charlemont and Leinster, of Tone and Fitzgerald, of Drennan and Davis, and the great living embodiment of the principles of Swift — O'Connell — stand emblazoned, we may thank for all these the illustrious, mysterious, half-understood Dean of St. Patrick!

We should love in our inmost hearts this strong, weak, mirthful, melancholy, light-hearted, gloomy, affectionate, selfish, whimsical compound of light and darkness, of heaven and earth, which for seventy-eight years of penury, dependence, faction-fighting, patriotism, discomfort and insanity, bore the name of Jonathan Swift on this earth! Peace! peace! to his ashes. May his name ever live in the memories of his countrymen!