Sports of Children gone

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter IV (5) | Start of Chapter

The next day, a ride of eight miles took me to the house of Mr. Griffith; and here was a family made up of that kindness which the husband and father possessed. He occupied a spot among the honest poor indeed. We went over the bleak waste, to visit a romantic pile of cliff, upon the sea-coast, and on our way the laughing sport of children suddenly broke upon the ear, the first I had heard since the famine; it was from behind a little hillock, and the sound was mournfully pleasant. We hurried on to greet the joyous ones; and, unperceived, saw two little ragged girls, not wasted entirely by hunger, who had come out of a little dark cluster of stone cabins, and forgetting their sufferings, were playing as other children play. We saluted them, and told them to "play on, we are glad to see your sports." We spoke of the allusion of the prophet, when boys and girls are again "to be seen playing in the streets of Jerusalem," as a token of its happiness—a happiness which, until the famine of Ireland, I never valued enough, but now it is one of the brightest sunbeams that shine across my path. We at last reached one of the most fearful, sublime, and dangerous broken piles of rocks imaginable, tumbled together, and standing almost perpendicularly over the ocean. Deep and frightful caverns yawned between them, and how they came tumbled in this mass never has been made out; they appeared as if shaken together by some sudden crash, and stopped while in their wildest confusion, each seizing hold of its contiguous one to save it from falling. I was glad, quite glad to get away, for had my foot stumbled or slipped, some dark deep gulf might have placed me beyond help or hope. Ossian might have made his bed among these caves, when he says—

"As two dark streams from high, rocks meet and mix."