||Memory recaptures a song or two echoing wistfully through the generations of Delacy in the voice of old Fearless Danny. He was wont to rune to himself as he sat alone, thrust aside by his sons as childish, his eyes glazed with absence--that retreat of the aged when time has wrung the colours from the present and left the rose and green only on the distant fields of youth.
"Oh, moi! Oh, moi!" he would ejaculate, conversing to himself. Rarely was there an understanding listener. When there was, he would gaze backward into what long ago had been the future, and belatedly indulge in nostalgia. He would linger on the picture of his mother taking her farewell of him, and his father lacking the courage to see young Danny being picked up by the coach that was to bear him away for ever.
The wild Murrumbidgee sinking into the bunyip hole, and tumbling therefrom into Delacy's Crossing, would vanish, the Shannon take its place, graciously traversing its ancient plain by Limerick, the beauteous city. The road ran by Sarsfield Bridge to old Ennis in County Clare, to the ruined Abbey where the boys played, and to Clare Castle. The day would be in May with the whinchats merry in the furze, the larks high in the air, such a day as the Isle of Destiny knows, a cajoling day, a day to caress the heart of a youth to water in the presence of a maid, and to turn a maid's heart to a man; and the era was a hundred years from now, for young Daniel Brian Robert M. Delacy, born in the year of Waterloo, was stretching towards eighteen.