Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition

Background details and bibliographic information

The Penal Days

Author: Thomas Osborne Davis

File Description

T. W. Rolleston

Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber

Proof corrections by Beatrix Färber, Olan Daly

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 810 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—


Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: E850004-019

Availability [RESTRICTED]

Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


  1. First published in the Nation(?).
    Other writings by Thomas Davis
  1. Thomas Davis, Essays Literary and Historical, ed. by D. J. O'Donoghue, Dundalk 1914.
  2. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (ed.), Thomas Davis, the memoirs of an Irish patriot, 1840-1846. 1890. [Reprinted entitled 'Thomas Davis' with an introduction of Brendan Clifford. Millstreet, Aubane Historical Society, 2000.]
  3. Thomas Davis: selections from his prose and poetry. [Edited] with an introduction by T. W. Rolleston. London and Leipzig: T. Fisher Unwin (Every Irishman's Library). 1910. [Published in Dublin by the Talbot press, 1914.]
  4. Thomas Osborne Davis, Literary and historical essays 1846. Reprinted 1998, Washington, DC: Woodstock Books.
  5. Essays of Thomas Davis. New York, Lemma Pub. Corp. 1974, 1914 [Reprint of the 1914 ed. published by W. Tempest, Dundalk, Ireland, under the title 'Essays literary and historical'.]
  6. Thomas Davis: essays and poems, with a centenary memoir, 1845-1945. Dublin, M.H. Gill and Son, 1945. [Foreword by an Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera.]
  7. Angela Clifford, Godless colleges and mixed education in Ireland: extracts from speeches and writings of Thomas Wyse, Daniel O'Connell, Thomas Davis, Charles Gavan Duffy, Frank Hugh O'Donnell and others. Belfast: Athol, 1992.
Thomas Osborne Davis The Penal Days in , Ed. T. W. Rolleston Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry. The Talbot Press, Dublin and London, ([1910]) page 318—319


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Editorial Declaration


Text has been proof-read twice and parsed.


The electronic text represents the edited text.


There is no direct speech.


Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (and subsequent punctuation mark) crosses a page-break, this break is marked after the completion of the word (and punctuation mark).


div0=the poem. Page-breaks are marked pb n="".

Standard Values

Dates are standardized in the ISO form yyyy-mm-dd.


Names of persons, places or organisations are not tagged.

Profile Description

Created: by Thomas Davis (1840s)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The text is in English.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: E850004-019

The Penal Days: Author: Thomas Osborne Davis


Air: The Wheelwright
  1. Oh! weep those days, the penal days,
    When Ireland hopelessly complained.
    Oh! weep those days, the penal days,
    When godless persecution reigned;
    When year by year,
    For serf and peer,
    Fresh cruelties were made by law,
    And filled with hate,
    Our senate sate
    To weld anew each fetter's flaw.
    Oh! weep those days, those penal days—
    Their memory still on Ireland weighs.
  2. They bribed the flock, they bribed the son,
    To sell the priest and rob the sire;
    Their dogs were taught alike to run
    Upon the scent of wolf and friar.
    Among the poor,
    Or on the moor,


    Were hid the pious and the true—
    While traitor knave,
    And recreant slave,
    Had riches, rank, and retinue;
    And, exiled in those penal days,
    Our banners over Europe blaze.
  3. A stranger held the land and tower
    Of many a noble fugitive;
    No Popish lord had lordly power,
    The peasant scarce had leave to live;
    Above his head
    A ruined shed,
    No tenure but a tyrant's will—
    Forbid to plead,
    Forbid to read
    Disarmed, disfranchised, imbecile—
    What wonder if our step betrays
    The freedman, born in penal days?
  4. They're gone, they're gone, those penal days!
    All creeds are equal in our isle;
    Then grant, O Lord, thy plenteous grace,
    Our ancient feuds to reconcile.
    Let all atone
    For blood and groan,
    For dark revenge and open wrong;
    Let all unite
    For Ireland's right,
    And drown our griefs in freedom's song;
    Till time shall veil in twilight haze,
    The memory of those penal days.