Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
O'Byrne's Bard to the Clans of Wicklow (Author: Samuel Ferguson)
- God be with the Irish host,
Never be their battle lost!
For, in battle, never yet
Have they basely earned defeat.
- Host of armour red and bright,
May ye fight a valiant fight!
For the green spot of the earth,
For the land that gave you birth.
- Who in Erin's cause would stand,
Brothers of the avenging band,
He must wed immortal quarrel,
Pain and sweat and bloody peril.
- On the mountain bare and steep,
Snatching short but pleasant sleep,
Then, ere sunrise, from his eyrie,
Swooping on the Saxon quarry.
- What although you've fail'd to keep
Liffey's plain or Tara's steep,
Cashel's pleasant streams to save,
Or the meads of Croghan Maev;
- Want of conduct lost the town,
Broke the white-wall'd castle down,
Moira lost, and old Taltin,
And let the conquering stranger in.
- 'Twas the want of right command,
Not the lack of heart or hand,
Left your hills and plains to-day
'Neath the strong Clan Saxon's sway.
- Ah, had heaven never sent
Discord for our punishment,
Triumphs few o'er Erin's host
Had Clan London now to boast!
- Woe is me, 'tis God's decree
Strangers have the victory:
Irishmen may now be found
Outlaws upon Irish ground.
- Like a wild beast in his den
Lies the chief by hill and glen,
While the strangers, proud and savage,
Criffan's richest valleys ravage.
- Woe is me, the foul offence,
Treachery and violence,
Done against my people's rights
Well may mine be restless nights!
- When old Leinster's sons of fame,
Heads of many a warlike name,
Redden their victorious hilts
On the Gaul, my soul exults.
- When the grim Gaul, who have come
Hither o'er the ocean foam.
From the fight victorious go,
Then my heart sinks deadly low.
- Bless the blades our warriors draw,
God be with Clan Ranelagh!
But my soul is weak for fear,
Thinking of their danger here.
- Have them in Thy holy keeping,
God be with them lying sleeping,
God be with them standing fighting,
Erin's foes in battle smiting!