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gallant ship re-appeared, not lying in stranded helplessness upon the bank, but, majestically floating in deep water, she ploughed the dancing tide right onwards towards the town.
"That broadside saved her!" shouted Walker. "She has bounded from the shore, she has passed the boom! Derry and Victory!"
Loud and long, varied and strange, were the sounds that pealed from those invincible walls. The shout of triumph again and again burst forth, mingled with passionate tones of devout thanksgiving. "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be the praise!" was the language of many a lip; while streaming eyes, and outspread hands were raised towards the dwelling-place of HIM to whom out of the depths they had called, and from whom they had received so gracious a reply.
"Hush, baby, hush!" said the mother, while the laughter of joy mingled with her agitated sobs; "look yonder at the pretty ships: they come like birds-they come like angels to us. There is food for my baby bread for my child, meat, meat for us all : Oh God of mercy, ever mindful of thy covenant, thou wilt open thy hand and fill us all with plenteousness!"
Leaping from the walls, the men of Derry now hastened to throw wide the Ship-quay Gate, and in the bustle of rapturous preparation, they made
all ready for receiving their precious freight. The other ships had fought their passage past Culmore, and followed the Mountjoy, whose gallant captain had fallen in the moment of success. A musket ball had terminated his mortal career, the last effective shot discharged by the baffled foe.
Magrath had hastened to his favourite post, the bedside of Colonel Murray, whom he found in joyous exultation, too great for language to express. A silent grasp of the hand bespoke their mutual congratulations, and then Magrath sat down, and burying his face in his palms, wept like a child.
Many a stout heart has melted to-day, my lad,” said the Colonel, after a short pause, " and I should not envy the feelings of the man who could be ashamed to weep, when he looks upon our living spectres, and thinks upon our martyred dead."
"True for you, Colonel Murray: and the last soul that passed hasn't left its fellow among us."
"Do you mean the gallant Browning?"
"No, Sir; I mean the Lady O'Neill."
"The Lady of M'Alister!" exclaimed Murray, almost starting from his pillow and before Magrath could resume, Bryan entered with Morrison and Ross.
The smile with which M'Alister greeted his friend met no response; Murray's brow was contracted, and he said, in a tone almost resentful, "Surely, surely, she might have been spared to rejoice a while with us!"
"Ay, surely," said Morrison. "She is spared indeed; spared all farther conflict with a body of sin and death; spared to rejoice with us for ever."
"Don't teach me rebellion, dear Colonel," said Bryan, smiling through his tears; "my own heart is ready enough to prompt that lesson. The liberated saint whom we would fain have kept, a longer tenant in this dreary dungeon, lingered till our deliverance was certain. At her own request, she was taken to the church battery, where we were stationed; and there, upon that hallowed roof, she poured forth the supplications of a soul that truly wrestled unto death for us and for our cause."
"When the minute guns of distress were fired," observed Morrison," she expressed her thankfulness that even our engines of destruction had laid aside their character, uttering only the voice of sorrowful entreaty."
"She called them a goodly passing knell," said Ross," and seeing that I both understood and felt her meaning, she added, All, all is peace :
full pardon, full salvation, joy unspeakable, and full of glory.""
"But the flag," said Magrath.
"Aye," rejoined M'Alister, "we waved our flag, the signal of distress, and reeled beneath its weight. She gazed upon its crimson folds, and, in a tone of holy triumph ejaculated, Jehovah-nissi! In thy name, O Lord, we first set up our banners: for thy name's sake, put to thy hand, hear, behold, and save.'
"It was then that Browning's vessel ran aground, and every shout from the enemy, every cry from the walls, seemed to infuse new energy into her prayers. Life was ebbing fast away; I gave her my support, and strove to join her fervent supplications; but I think my head and heart were failing together, for never did so fearful a darkness overspread my soul, as during that season of suspense."
"It was not yourself only, Mr. Bryan," said Magrath. "Every man's face was changed, and blackened as if by a spell. Such looks were never seen among living men, as we beheld this day.”
"And did she rally again?" asked Murray, whose interest appeared intense.
"Yes: when the ship gave that successful broadside, she raised her head in earnest expectation: and then the shout, the clamorous joy, that told
its glad result, came pealing on our ears; our comrades on the battery exclaimed, she floats! she floats!' and I raised my dying charge, and bore her to the point from whence she might descry the stately vessels bearing down in unimpeded approach. She uttered a sound of joy, and spreading abroad her hands, exclaimed, Lord, I have lived to pray— I come to praise Thee!' She sunk back, breathed the name of Jesus, and departed to abide with Him for ever."
There was a pause of solemn silence, broken at last by Magrath.
"There's a rest and a glory, Colonel Murray, prepared for the people of God: a city where nothing can enter that has not been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Outside its gates is another place, and that place is hell. 'Tis an awful question to put, which dwelling is for us? That question was once put to me, within these walls, and it stuck like a barbed hook in my conscience; till God gave me the peace that only He can give. The question is here," he continued, drawing forth his beloved Irish Bible, "and here, too, is the answer; and sorrow a sun, that may rise upon Larry Magrath, shall set, till he's told both question and answer to the ignorant people of his own poor country. Over mountain and bog, I'll bear this precious word, this story of peace, and many a knee that's now bent in sinful worship before an image of wood or clay, may learn to bow at the