Skip to main content

Full text of "Songs of the dawn, and Irish ditties"

See other formats





















Copyright, 1913, 


3 SO 3 
































iv Contents. 





























UNTO my own, the Irish, I send with smiles and 

This little book of melodies caught from the flying 


With all the love within me and all the best I know 
I d call them back o er many a track to lands of 

long ago. 

The cuckoo s call in Springtime, the thrush s song 

at morn, 
The rainy winds that whispered across the ripening 

The little daisies clustering where all their kindred 

I d bring them back o er memory s track, though 

seeing were to weep. 

For O, my kindred Irish, more tears than smiles we 

Whose feet across the nations still wander to and 


2 Songs of the Dawn. 

But maybe when the wistful shades from those old 

scenes are drawn 
You ll hear through all the homeward call of 

Ireland s Songs of Dawn. 


" SING us a song of the Dawn," we cried, 

" For night drags wearily by 
With never a star and the winds blow wide 

Through the leaden depths of the sky." 
Then one with a dream in his eyes arose, 

" I ll chant ye a rhyme," said he, 
" Of the Irish dawnings of gold and rose 

Remembered by you and me." 

Silvery shimmer of crystal dews, murmur of dark 
ling woods, 

Stir of a wet wind moving abroad in the high hills 

Flutter of wings in the hawthorn hedge, one golden 
note long drawn, 

Then, hush, hush, tis the thrush, aye tis the thrush 
and the Dawn. 

Dawn, dawn, dawn, from the doorway of night she 

Dawn, dawn, dawn, God s mystic hush on her lips, 

Songs of the Dawn. 3 

Slow moving on to her woodland herald with glim 
mering veils undrawn, 

Over the edge of the whirling world she cometh, 
the Dawn, the Dawn. 

Dripping with honey and fragrance, fraught with 

the passion of life 
With the ache of the soul s deep places, the call 

of a new day s strife, 
With tears and laughter and longing for things 

from our ways withdrawn, 
While the stars swing back from her misty track, 

she cometh, the Dawn, the Dawn. 

Oh, sure if the earth were piled this hour o er our 

senseless forms of clay 
Somehow we would thrill to the pulse of her, our 

Irish Dawn o the day, 
We would feel and stir in our sleeping where the 

curtains of death are drawn 
When the wee brown thrush on the hawthorn bush 

sang out " tis the Dawn, the Dawn." 

We would stir and wake for her beauty s sake for 

the gold of the highest star 
Hath never a wonder warm and close as the hues 

of her coming are, 
And the Angel of rest at His Lord s behest where 

the astral shades are drawn 
Would whisper, " Hush, tis the little brown thrush 

and the Dawn, Dawn, Dawn." 

4 Songs of the Dawn. 

The voice of the singer in silence died 

And no man spoke for a space 
For each was afar on some green hillside 

In the olden home of his race, 
Then, dashing a tear from his furrowed cheek, 

A veteran bronzed and grey 
Cried " Yea, tis the sob of our souls ye speak. 
But what of that other great Dawn we seek 

The Dawn of our Freedom s Day? " 

O, we leaped to our feet with a wild fierce cry, 

Tis the Dawn, Dawn, Dawn, 
God s finger is tracing it o er our sky where the long, 

long night hath gone. 
The stars are drenched with the glory of it and 

suns in its wake are drawn 
As out of the heart of the Infinite it cometh, our 

Dawn, our Dawn. 

Dawn, Dawn, Dawn! O, red is that break of day 
For the blood of a million veins has fed its stream 

of light on the way; 
Its heralding song was the centuried crash of steel 

upon vengeful steel 
And the trusty pike and the musket s flash are the 

spokes of its chariot wheel. 

O er broken gibbets and bitter graves, o er ruins 

of home and shrine, 

From God s own Face to His faithful race it 
beareth a sacred sign 

Songs of the Dawn. 5 

Fraught with the Truth that alone survives when 

the last earth fetter is gone, 
Down the bloody rack of the centuries track it 

cometh, our Dawn, our Dawn. 

With the awful wisdom of sorrow, yea, and the 

passion of deathless life, 
With Faith that has seen its promised day and joy 

of a gaining strife; 
With sobbing of prideful laughter for days that 

are dead and gone 
O er the clearing path of an outlived wrath it 

cometh, our Dawn, our Dawn. 

O, lay we to-day in the shrouding clay we would 

hark to its bugle call 
And our bones would wake with their fiery ache to 

follow its free foot-fall, 
For the Angel of Victory poised on high o er the 

currents of time and fate 
Would thrill the spheres with his gladsome cry 

when the gods had unbarred its gate. 
We would feel the surge of that upward urge 

though dark were the death shades drawn 
And the deepest deep could not bar our leap to the 

Dawn, Dawn, Dawn." 

Songs of the Dawn. 


A BIG road circles round the world, sure fine it is 

they say, 
But the little boreen of my heart runs lone and far 


Tis winding over weary seas with many a sigh beset 
But O, of all the roads I know it is the dearest yet. 

By common ways and common homes and common 

graves it goes 
But no one knows its beauty like the soul within me 

knows ; 
Its dawns are drenched with dews from heaven, its 

nights are tearful sweet, 
And sometimes One long crucified walks there to 

guide my feet. 

It leads me down by purple hills where fairies sport 

o nights 
It shows me many a hawthorn lane, the scene of 

dead delights, 

It clothes again with living fire the faces laid away 
Beneath the cold of grass and mould, my road of 


O twilit boreen of my heart, the world is vague 

and vast 
But you are holy with the balm of all my hallowed 


Mayo. 1 

You thrill me with the touch of hands my hands 

were wont to hold, 
You lure me with the lilt of dreams I dreamed and 

lost of old. 

The big road of the world leads on by many a 

stately town, 
But the little boreen of my heart keeps ever drifting 

By common ways and common graves and common 

homes, but Oh! 
Of all the roads in life it is the sweetest road I 



THE wild waves thunder for evermore at the feet 

of her standing there 
With the storm clouds lightning laden above the 

scarps of her mountains bare; 
But the sun on her heart is golden and the tenderest 

rain mists go 
Like whispers of God o er her sacred sod our Queen 

of the west, Mayo. 

The blood in her veins is vibrant with the pride of a 

mighty race 
And the deeds and souls of her deathless dead shine 

out from her fearless face, 

8 Songs of the Dawn. 

And though the wiles of her witcheries are soft as 

an April snow 
With a burning flame hath she seared her name on 

the hearts of her foes, Mayo. 

Yea, though her sons are scattered afar to the utter 
most winds of heaven 

And the sword of a million agonies the core of her 
soul hath riven, 

Seek not for a broken spirit there, a weeper in hope 
less woe, 

But a Watcher who waits with wide flung gates for 
her own to come back, Mayo. 

Seek not for a suppliant kneeling low to the lords 

of a Saxon land 
Mayo to kneel while the world holds steel to grasp 

in her fighting hand 
O, no, by Heaven, that world shall fall and the sun 

from its orbit go 
Ere knee she ll bend to stranger or friend for the 

Rights that she claims, Mayo. 

Then roll the call from her battlements o er the 

clamor of winds and waves, 
Here is place for the free and fearless, yea, but 

never a home for slaves, 
Here s the open hand and the open heart for those 

who her love would know 
But the crashing might of her arm to smite the foes 

of her hearth, Mayo. 

Mayo. 9 

Here s the welcoming word and the kindly way, the 

laugh and the voice of cheer, 
Here is faith to the nation in life and death and a 

courage that knows no fear; 
Here s the mind to plan and the will to dare and the 

veins that are all aglow 
With the passionate leap of souls that sweep to the 

front of the fray, Mayo. 

O, holy her sod as a dream of God and sweet are 

her home-lit ways, 
And the wind blown heights of her mountains thrill 

to the glory of greater days; 
With the storm clouds lightning laden above and 

the thunderous seas below 
She stands in the strait where the lords of Fate have 

willed her to reign, Mayo. 

To reign till the utmost heavens are rolled like a 

scroll in the Maker s hand 
For the stars are bright with her destiny, its pulse is 

quick in the land; 
O, Watcher, who waits with wide flung gates for 

the home turned tides to flow 
Look up to the dawn for the night has gone and 

Day s in the east, Mayo. 

10 Songs of the Dawn. 


WHAT Christmas gift shall I send you, Mother, 

What Christmas gift shall I send to you? 
Too poor am I to befriend you, my Mother, 

And my notes of praising are faint and few. 
But I ll send you my heart s love, Erin, my Mother, 

My love and the sob of a homesick cry, 
That God will yet lead me back to you, Mother, 

If only to die. 

O, sure I am haunted by visions forever, 

Of you in all weathers from laughing spring, 
When primrose blossoms are all aquiver, 

And winds go swift as a swallow s wing, 
To the beautiful summers with which God crowned 

When first He called you from starry space 
And throned you queen of the waters round you, 

His glory lighting your face. 

But lovely and dear to our hearts forever, 

Sure yours is the beauty that grows not old, 
The steadfast hope and the high endeavor, 

The faith and the dreams that will always hold. 
And I ll pray you ll be true to your destined promise, 

True to the soldiers that fought your fight, 
True to that faith never foe took from us. 

For truth shall reach to right. 

The Croppies Grave. 1 1 

Aye, I ll pray that the teachings by Patrick given 

Will help and keep you through ill and good, 
Till some fair morn the Lord in Heaven 

Will send you the crown of your nationhood. 
Nor alone am I in my prayers, mavourneen, 

Love of a race that is scattered afar, 
There are tears and prayers for your weal this 

Wherever your exiled children are. 

Sure the dust of our dead is laid in your bosom, 

With the hopes and the joys that our childhood 

And all in our lives of beauty and blossom 

Is shrined in the bygone there with you. 
Then this is my gift to you Christmas morning, 

My love and the sob of a homesick cry, 
That God will yet lead me back to my " stoirin," 

If only to die. 


Tis under the Lia Fail they lie, quiet and lone and 

Where the winds of the world are roaming o er the 

summits of Tar a hill; 
Quiet and still and lonely with the things that have 

ceased to be, 
Tis under the Lia Fail they lie, the Stone of our 


1 2 Songs of the Dawn. 

Under the Lia Fail, O God, where the throne of 

our kings was set, 
And even the mould remembers the days of their 

glory yet; 
Under the Lia Fail that lifts its shoulder above the 


Like some high beacon of majesty that summons 
the eye of God. 

O, lonely it is in Tara where the beating of rain is 

And only the kine are sentinels by the place of our 

Crowning Stone; 
Where down in the dreary darkness of things that 

have ceased to be 
Our murdered Croppies are lying neath the Stone 

of our destiny. 

King and soldier and lordly knight, turret and door 

and hall, 
Bard and lover and lady bright, what lives of your 

life at all? 
A marking ridge in the sheathing grass, a mound by 

the Lia Fail 
And a wind going by like a Banshee s cry o er the 

broken dreams of the Gael. 

Aye, but that wind of Tara has swept over Aileach s 

And the four high roads of the world that have 

known the deeds of us all; 

The Croppres Grave. 13 

It has kissed Ramillies and Fontenoy, it has swung 

through a dawning s flame 
O er a grave in the heart of Dublin that waits for 

a hero s name. 

Behold, tis a mightly signal, that Stone of our 

Sealing the Erin of ancient days to an Erin that .KS 
to be, 

And where could a faithful Croppy find holier rest 
ing place 

Than here where the winds of Tara are blowing 
above his face? 

Tis under the Lia Fail they lie, quiet and lone and 

Neath the crowning place of an Ard Righ on the 

summit of Tara Hill; 
And sure twas a fitting burial, for king of his race 

is he 
Who flings his life on the altar stone of his country s 


1 4 bongs of the Dawn. 


O, TIS over beyant in Kerry the roots of my heart 

are set, 
And tis over beyant in Kerry the dreams of my life 

are yet, 
Sure the spirit was broken in me that desolate 

winther s morn 
When I turned away from ye, Kerry, where I and 

my race was born. 

The sun was hid in the heavens, the wind with a 

wild unrest 
Was moanin among the shadows, a rain cloud 

swung in the west ; 
There was no glimmer of brightness, no shinin on 

earth or sky 
When I kissed the sod of ye, Kerry, in a long and a 

last good-bye. 

Ochone, ochone for ye Kerry, if wishes were sails 

and ships, 
Tis I would be speedin to you with songs of joy on 

my lips. 
Sore sick of the exile s rovin I d go where my youth 

was passed 
To ease the ache in my bosom and sleep with my 

own at last. 

Kerry. 15 

My hands are so weary of toilin always on the 

sthranger s floor, 
There are no smiles on the faces I see by the 

sthranger s door. 
Tis little for me they re carin and little of them I 

And the core of my heart is lonesome for Kerry and 

long ago. 

For the old thatched home of my father, the turf 

fires warm and bright, 
The pleasant song and the story when neighbors 

dhropped in at night, 
The wild bogs purple with heather, the ring of the 

crossroads set 
For dancin on summer evenin s to tunes that I can t 


Sure all day long I am lookin at pictures like 

these instead 
Of the busy wonderful city where I earn my scanty 

Thinkin tis whitewashed cabins I m seein on 

Broadway sthreet, 
And the old road down to Killarney undher my 

achin feet. 

Oh, nowhere in all the world is the grip of a hand 

so thrue, 
Or the lilt of a laugh so cheerin as Kerry, asthore, 

with you. 

16 Songs of the Dawn. 

Misty with rain and sunshine, and filled with songs 

of the sea, 
Like fairy music at midnight, you re callin the heart 

from me. 

Callin and hauntin and callin , like the ghost of my 

mother gone, 
While every vein of my Irish heart leans out to you 

dark and dawn. 
O, home of the silver wathers, kingly and kind and 

God bless you old County Kerry, for He never made 

match for you. 


" MY lamp is almost extinguished and I go to my 

grave," he said, 
" There let me lie in oblivion, a nameless stone at 

my head, 
The charity of their silence I ask from my fellow 

Till Erin, a Nation, leaps to life from the ashes of 

death again." 

And they gave him the boon he craved for, a grave 

in a quiet place, 
The grave that has been the Mecca of all the hearts 

of his race 

Robert Emmet. 1 7 

In the track of their ceaseless wanderings, those 

Ishmaels faring forth 
To set the seal of their hand and heel on all the 

nations of earth. 

Outside in the heart of Dublin is the street where 

his gallows stood, 
And those that have ears to hear may list to the drip 

of his ghostly blood 
At the meeting of night and morning when Dawn 

like a priestess flings 
The mystic star of her breast ajar to the soul of 

unburied things. 

Behold the vision before you, what see you, a 

hangman s rope 
Or a life to redeem our manhood set high on the 

hills of hope? 
What see you, a young head severed in the name 

of a hated law 
Or set in his country s coronet a jewel without a 


O, Emmet, our unforgotten, though lone be your 

grave to-night 
The hands of a million earnest men are ready your 

name to write. 
The hands of a million fighting men are waiting 

with flags unfurled 
To set your name like a sword of flame o er all the 

names of the world. 

18 Songs of the Dawn. 

Above the fetters of ages, o er ruin and shame and 

Behold the star of our promise glows white on the 

heights of God, 
For never was life of martyr or dream of a hero 

In the alchemy of the centuries but blossomed to 

life at last. 

" With other men and with other times let my 

reckoning be," he said, 
And lo, upon Erin s battlements the feet of the 

Dawn are red. 
On the dial of Time and destiny the hour of our 

Fate is shown, 
Now who of the Gael shall faint or fail to stand 

by that nameless stone? 

Fling back the tears from your faces and swear by 

his grave again 
And swear by the broken body that died that you 

might be Men, 
By our hope of a freemen s future and the tears of 

our tortured past 
That Emmet s name like a sword of flame shall lead 

us to light at last. 

The Boy from County Down. \ 9 


A BOY with the dreams of a man was he, a lad from 

a lonesome place, 
And he turned away from his family the width of 

the world to face; 
Light of pocket and heavy of heart he started from 

Newry town 
And his soul grew sick as he paused to part from the 

meadows of County Down. 

He set his bundle beside the road and looked with 

a sob of pain 
To the Mourne mountains and all abroad where he 

never might come again; 
Then plucking a primrose from the hedge, for 

Spring was green on the sod, 
He fared away on his wanderings with his fate in 

the hands of God. 

O, many a tear did his mother weep in Rosaries 

said for him 
And his father s sorrow looked wide and deep from 

eyes that were growing dim, 
But the boy who parted from County Down was 

out in the world of men 
Seeking the wealth in a far off town that should 

carry him home again. 

20 Songs of the Dawn. 

Then when the hair on his head was white and the 

step of him faint and slow 
Said he " tis back by the morning s light to the land 

of my youth I ll go, 
" Though my parents both in the graveyard be and 

the noon of my life is set 
" Sure County Down is the same," said he, " and 

the mountains are standing yet." 

He journeyed back from the world of men and the 

soul of him leaped with joy 
To see the Mourne mountains again and the fields 

where he roamed a boy. 
But sure he had toiled to the doors of doom in 

many a far off town 
And he died when the primrose buds were in bloom 

by the hedges of County Down. 


WHIN daylight fades from the cabin floor 

And night winds stir in the big ash three, 
Tis meself sits lonesome beside the door, 

Missin the childher that s gone from me. 
Matt and Mary and Patsy and Mike, 

My three sthrong boys and my girleen dear; 
Sure, tis only a few short days belike 

Since I saw thim playin around me here. 

Missiri the Childher. 21 

Kind and dacint and aisy to rear, 

The bate of my childher was not on earth; 
And the only sorrow they made me bear 

Was an impty house and a silent hearth. 
But sure with so many to clothe and keep, 

And nothin behind whin rint was due, 
I made no moan whin they crossed the deep, 

But God and His Mother They knew, They 

My Mary s a sarvint in Boston town, 

And Mike and Matt are away out West; 
While Patsy, the rover, sthrays up and down, 

Wherever the foot of him likes it best. 
But never a wan of thim fails to write 

With the monthly money and news go leor; 
But, och, tisn t money I want to-night, 

But my four fine childher about the door. 

Mary keeps sayin , " In spring, plase God, 

I ll be landin back to you safe and sound; 
For nowhere is good as the good old sod, 

And no one like you in the four seas round. 
Sure, I m cravin a whiff of turf fire smoke, 

And a sight of my mother so snug and sweet, 
In her white-frilled cap and her big blue cloak, 

That bate all the fashions in Boston Sthreet." 

O, Mary, my girleen, never at all 

Do I be spakin of pain or ache; 
But at night whin the corncrakes call and call 

My heart goes wild for my darlins sake. 

22 Songs of the Dawn. 

When shadows lie on the lonesome floor, 
And night winds stir in the big ash three, 

Thin I sit by meself at the open door, 

And cry for the childher that s gone from me. 


O, BANNACHT Dhia leath go bragh old County 

Clare to you. 
From the roads that go by Ennis to the streets of 

Tis many a day I wandered there and drove my 

donkey s cart 
By rows of hawthorn hedges that are scenting 

all my heart. 

God made your face so beautiful and fashioned 

you so sweet, 
No wonder I am longing for your sod beneath my 

No wonder I am wearying where dust and dryness 

For a windy April morning on the headlands of 


O, Bannacht Dhia leath go bragh to all the ways I 

From the roads around by Ennis to the streets of 


Oh, Isle of Mine. 23 

Tis I ll be going back some day to see the hawthorns 

And rest my weary bones with you, Oh good old 

County Clare. 


OH, Isle of mine where the seas are sighing, 

Tis you are searing my soul with pain; 
Tis you are holding me, live or dying, 

With the grip of a loving that loves in vain. 
For though the clouds in your skies are massing 

Soft rains to fall on your breast like dew, 
The stars above in their age long passing 

Are marking the roads that I go from you. 

Oh, Isle of mine where the sunset lingers 

With soft sweet kisses on leaf and sod, 
As though twas fearing to loose its fingers 

From things so dear to the heart of God. 
Oh, tender Isle, where the Dawn comes breaking 

The mists before her with slow footfall, 
Sure the inmost core of my soul is aching 

To sit beside you and know it all. 

Oh, brave old Isle, with your face undaunted 
Set skywards still where the winds are free, 

Sure many a man by your loving haunted 

Is walking alone through the lands like me. 

24 Songs of the Dawn. 

Aye, dreaming we are of trusty rifles 

To voice our hate for your foes outhurled, 

But the stranger s toil at our elbow stifles 
The cries that we fling you across the world. 

Oh, Isle of mine where the ancient glories 

Of ages linger by hill and dell, 
The harper s song and the Druid stories, 

The old traditions that poets tell. 
Sure never a stranger s hand could fashion 

A love to better the love we knew, 
Whose faith and fancy and hope and passion 

Oh, Grah Machree, we have left with you. 

Oh, Isle of mine, where the winds are beating 

A mystic tally of things to be, 
The stars above in their nightly greeting 

Are telling a wondrous tale to me. 
" Behold," they cry, and their acclamation 

Is echoed again from the Throne Divine, 
" You shall kiss the feet of her yet, a Nation, "- 

Oh, Soul of the soul of me, Isle of mine. 

A Sod from Galway. 25 


Tis a bit of earth, mavourneen, just a bit of Gal- 
way clay, 

That I ve borne in my bosom many a weary night 
and day, 

For I thought whin lavin Ireland I could aisier 
toil and rest 

With this bit of poor owld Galway treasured here 
upon my breast. 

Deed you needn t laugh, alanna, when you re 

eighty years I vow 
You ll have many a whim and fancy that you d 

never dhrame of now, 
But not bein born in Galway tis a mysthery out 

to ye 
How such lovin thoughts are cinthered in a bit of 

earth for me. 

Often whin the heartache s on me and I m grievin 

for the past, 
Out I dhraw it from its hidin closin down my 

eyelids fast, 
And it sweeps me off in fancy like a sudden flash 

of light, 
To the breezy plains of Connaught with the brown 

hills left and right. 

26 Songs of the Dawn. 

There I see the town and river with the white road 

windin by, 
And the hills of Connemara lift their foreheads to 

the sky; 
Every neighbor s house I visit, every field and farm 

I see, 
And the wans long dead and buried live and laugh 

again with me. 

When I close my eyes in airnest never more to 
open thim, 

And you ll know the Lord has called me home to 
Heaven and rest and Him, 

Will you place within my coffin where my heart- 
bates used to be, 

By my beads and Cross, alanna, this, and I will 
pray for ye. 

Thin I ll sleep as calm and aisy as if restin with 

my own 
In that owld graveyard in Galway by my father s 

burial stone, 
Just as if the earth above me was as green with 

wavin grass, 
And the Connacht neighbors steppin to and from 

the Sunday s Mass. 

And I ll have no fear of risin whin the Angel 

sounds his call, 
With my native earth about me I can foot it with 

thim all, 

The Place Where I m Wanting to Be. 27 

Takin rank amongst my people in the Judgment 

Hall of God, 
I ll be neither odd nor lonesome with my bit of 

Galway sod. 

Wirra, but tis hard I m dying, poor and owld this 

blessed day, 
Me that once had full and plenty long ago and far 

But sure betther died afore me, and I ll be no worse 

with God 
That my very heart sthrings tighten round a bit of 

Galway sod. 


WHERE swallows are skimming and wheeling above 

an old roof that I know, 
And little winds weary of stealing the scent of the 

clover swing low, 
Where cowslips droop down in the meadow too 

drowsy with sweetness to see 
My soul flitting by with the shadows, tis there 

where I m wanting to be. 

Where dawning comes down in the valleys like 
saint from the footstool of God, 

A thousand wild airs in her chalice to whisper 
across the green sod, 

28 Songs of the Dawn. 

Where thrushes are dreamily chanting love songs 

in the sycamore tree 
That shelters the place of my wanting the home 

where I m wishing to be. 

There s beauty enough for the finding through 
earth from the east to the west, 

But little of that am I minding who love my own 
country the best; 

For her rain haunted skies and no other have heal 
ing and magic for me, 

And I cry for the breast of my Mother, the place 
where I m wanting to be. 


BY the crossroads of Knockallen where the bog and 

upland meet, 
There s a tidy row of houses that the neighbors 

call " the street" ; 
It is free and independent, though it pays its tax 

to George, 
For it runs its own Home Parliament in Jerry 

Connor s forge. 

In the quiet dusk of evening, when the iron hammer 

That mighty song of labor that has raised and 

routed kings, 

Jerry Connor s Forge. 29 

The members take their places, with their backs 

against the wall, 
And who but Jerry Connor should be leader of 

them all. 

For the tangles of Westminster there s little 

patience there, 
Where State affairs are settled in the shoeing of a 

And bills that Whig and Tory view with sinking of 

the heart 
Are fixed while Jerry rims the wheel of Kelly s 

donkey cart. 

Tis there the Kaiser s law is scorned, the Czar is 

roundly cursed, 
And every ruling head declared no better than the 

When the world around, from China to the 

Rockies farthest gorge, 
Is tried before the Parliament in Jerry Connor s 


Pat Murphy is Conservative, and likes to hold his 

Apart from other people s, like the bluest of the 

So when " you re right there, Jerry, lad," arises 

from the throng, 
He ll croak: " Bedad ye may be right but then 

ye may be wrong." 

30 Songs of the Dawn. 

Mat Reilly is a Socialist, Jim Byrne stands for 


But little Billy Hennessy has little time for these, 
With five feet two drawn up to look like six he ll 

fiercely cry 
Thank God, I m still a Fenian, boys, and not 

afraid to die." 

So though Westminster debates Home Rule for 
Erin still, 

It long has passed the Parliament beside Knock- 
alien hill; 

Where destinies of nations, from the Caesars down 
to George, 

Are settled while a mare is shod in Jerry Connor s 


AYE, give them a foremost place to-day, when you 

honor your patriot dead. 
With your bravest and best, Columbia, let the tale 

of their deeds be read; 
Chant forth in exultant chorus their annals so 

grandly true 
The rank and file of our mother isle who died in 

the dark for you. 

The Irish Rank. a ^d File. 31 

They came from the hills of Erin away from a 

tyrant s ban, 
Seeking a home on your kindlier shore, where a man 

may be a man; 
Holding your friends as chosen friends, your foes 

as their hated foes, 
Faithful to death in blood and breath were those 

loyal Mac s and O s. 

What matter if now your history s page record 

not the names they bore? 
To the corps of your Irish regiments be glory for 

evermore ; 
For shamed defeat nor craven retreat feared ye 

when their lines swung forth 
From the torrid scenes of the Philippines to your 

farthest outpost north. 

Sure they drew it out of their mother s breasts 

that love of a righteous strife, 
That ceaseless striving for Liberty, the crown of 

a white man s life. 
And where could their high ideal be found in a 

shackled earth, 
But here by your side, Columbia, whom the war gods 

blest in birth? 

In the mould of forgotten burial grounds the dust 

of their dead hands lies, 
And silence hangs on the battle fields once stirred 

by their charging cries. 

32 Songs of the Dawn. 

They sought no guerdon but victory, as they fell 

in a common pile, 
Unknelled, unknown, but their duty done the 

Irish rank and file. 

Then give them a foremost place to-day; for your 
summit of greatness stands 

By the blood of their veins cemented, the work of 
their resting hands; 

And the rags of those tattered war flags they car 
ried through flame and scars 

Shine forth this hour in the strength and power of 
your glorious Stripes and Stars. 

Columbia, Queen of the Western Gate, whose boun 
tiful hands outspread 

To the exiled poor of the older lands give succor 
of peace and bread. 

We ask no boon but the best you have, the highest 
you ever knew, 

For the rank and file of our ancient isle who has 
given its best to you. 

Rosary Time. 33 


AT the fall of the night in Ireland when Spring in 

the land is fair, 
At the fall of the night in Ireland when passionate 

June is there, 
When woods are ruddy in Autumn or hoary with 

winter s rime, 
At the fall of the night in Ireland tis Rosary time. 

With book and beads in her fingers the mother 

goes to her place 
The holy candle beside her, the peace of God in 

her face, 
And out of their chosen corners the voices of 

children chime 
At the fall of the night in Ireland, at Rosary time. 

Outside the song of the robin is hushed in his shel 
tered nest, 

The wind with a rainy sweetness is sighing itself 
to rest, 

The world with her old time longing swings low to 
a minor rhyme 

At the fall of the night in Ireland, at Rosary time. 

Oh, many a dream of beauty shines up from the 

lowest sod 
And many a golden duty binds men to the feet of 


34 Songs of the Dawn. 

But the sorest passion of living is stilled to a chord 

At the fall of the night in Ireland, at Rosary time. 


JOGGIN into Naas, my lad, 

Joggin to the fair, 
Sure many a pleasant day I had 

When I was younger there; 
Along the road from Timahoe 

With darkness on my face 
I d start before the first cock crow, 

Joggin into Naas. 

A load of good black turf I d have 

Or else a pig or two, 
A crate of fowl, a little calf, 

And butther fresh as dew, 
And then twould be " God save ye, Tim," 

From neighbors every place 
As day came breakin soft and dim 

Along the road to Naas. 

And sure tis often we d be pressed 
By friendly farmers there 

To stop awhile and take a rest, 
Meself and Moll the mare. 


Joggin Into Naas. 35 

And many s the steamin cup of tea 

I ve lifted to my face 
From some goodnatured "vanithee" 

Along the road to Naas. 

Twas pleasant meetin neighborin men 

And swappin counthry chat, 
For papers then were far between 

And hard to get at that. 
And pleasant sure it was to go 

Sthravagin round the place 
For fairin s for herself at home 

When I d get back from Naas. 

Aye, aye, an owld man loves to talk 

Of things long passed away, 
But though tis feeble grows my walk 

I had my time and day 
Along the road from Timahoe, 

When dawnin lit my face, 
And joggin to the fair I d go, 

Joggin into Naas. 

36 Songs of the Dawn. 


O, DON T you remember over in Ireland when you 

went hunting the wren, 
And don t you wish you were over in Ireland this 

day of St. Stephen again? 
But sure the white-lipp d ocean is flowing in billows 

of drenching foam 
Between the way that your feet are going and the 

warm hearth lights of home. 

Twas Christmas time and the holly and ivy hung 

from rafter and wall 
And you slipped out to the garden slyly to answer 

your comrades call, 
Your mother looked up with a smile (God bless 

her), your father stood by the door, 
The firelight flickered on shelf and dresser and 

played on the earthen floor. 

Outside the ways were rigid in winter, the skies 

were heavy with snow, 
But you and the weather were friends together 

back there in the long ago. 
Through hill and hollow and brake and brier you 

scrambled the whole day through 
Till the wee brown bird of your heart s desire was 

lost in the dark on you. 

Fishing. 37 

There were Matt and Pat and Maurice and Andy, 

there was Tim the leader of all, 
There was Mike Malone, who could flip a stone 

straight over a ten foot wall; 
Brave lads, o er many a wearier way their feet have 

travelled since then, 
But their hearts are as true to the past as you 

when the wren days come again. 

Tis Christmas time in the old Land now, there is 

brooding snow in the wind, 
The turf light flickers on shelf and dresser with 

holly and ivy twined. 
But you and I by the stranger s hearth think back 

to old times again, 
To the dear home ways and the Stephen s days 

when we went hunting the wren. 


ONE day in summer I went a fishing 

Where Dublin reaches to meet Kildare, 
And nobly laden beyond all wishing 

The cool of the evening found me there. 
The bells from Leixlip were softly falling 

Across the meadows in vesper chime, 
And the song of a sleepy thrush was calling 

The world to rest with his silver rhyme. 

38 Songs of the Dawn. 

You came down walking beside the river, 

While corncrakes shrilled to the darkening skies, 
And I the fisher, was caught forever 

By the lure of Love in your dreamy eyes. 
The primrose blossoms were blooming round you, 

The winds were kissing your braided hair, 
Now the fish are safe since the day I found you 

Where Dublin reaches to meet Kildare. 


, it was in the pleasant spring weather, 

When daffodils shone on the lea; 
A new bloom was bright on the heather 

And spring winds blew in from the sea ; 
A blackbird sweet music was making 

Below in the blossoming dell, 
And nature to gladness was waking 

That day when we met at the well. 

Your eyes were like Avon s brown water 

When shaded by summer-clad trees, 
Your voice like the blackbirds in Oughter, 

Your step was as free as the breeze; 
And I with my brimming pail lingered 

To while the sweet moments away, 
Till evening came in dewy fingered 

And closed the dead eyelids of day. 

A Spring Memory. 39 

We talked of the news and the weather, 

And chatted of things round about : 
How bright was the bloom of the heather, 

How bravely the young leaves hung out; 
And then in a whisper you told me 

The story that ever is new, 
And I with the stars to behold me 

Repeated that love tale to you. 

Alas for the days that are over! 

Alas for the springs that are dead! 
Alas for the dusky-eyed lover 

Who lies with the mould at his head! 
And though a March wind there is blowing 

And daffodils shine on the lea, 
An ocean is foaming and flowing 

Between my far country and me! 

But in the dim palace of dreaming 

My fancy sees visions by night 
Of dewy eyes, dusky and gleaming 

Like Avon s waves checkered by light; 
And sun-like in rain-darkened weather 

This picture arises to me; 
A youth and a maiden together 

When spring winds blew in from the sea. 

40 Songs of the Dawn. 


I KNOW a land far, far away, 
Set in a northern sea, 

Her hills are green and her skies are grey 
And my heart is there by night and day; 
For she s dearer than life to me. 
Her sons are brave and her daughters fair 
And her ways are sweet and kind, 
And all that was best in my life is there, 
Left far behind. 

The days of my youth with their glooms and 


Of passing joy and pain; 
The golden hopes and the glorious dreams 
I never will know again. 
The meadow path and the sycamore shade, 
The valleys where cowslips blow, 
Where I and my comrades laughed and played, 
Long, long ago. 

How well I remember the old home place 

With the fireside circle there, 

The smile on my mother s gentle face; 

My father s silvery hair. 

O, the songs we sang and the tales we told 

While wintry storms drove past 

And the sands of life were as sands of gold 

From Time s best hour glass cast. 

The Old Land. 41 

Now my mother s lips are quiet and cold 

And my father s heart is still, 

The days are long and the world seems old, 

And I sigh for a far-off hill, 

Facing the track of the morning star 

Where my kindred s ashes are. 

Thus out of the clamor of toiling men 

My heart, like a homing dove, 

Flies back to the days of its youth again, 

And the land of its earliest love. 

For to be a child on those green field ways, 

My mother s kiss on my brow, 

Were better than all the glory and praise 

This world can give me now. 

O, beautiful Ireland! far away, 

There is nothing so sweet and true 

As your hills of green and your skies of grey 

And the whole-souled ways of you; 

Remembered as saints remember God 

Your children cannot forget 

The olden ways and the olden sod, 

(The cowslipped ways where their feet first trod) , 

And the churchyard grasses set 

With drifts of daisies all dewy wet, 

Where the graves of kindred are soft and deep. 

And its O, to-night for so sweet a sleep, 

In that Land I know, that old, old Land. 

42 Songs of the Dawn. 


WHAT did you say at the foot of the hill? 

The winds had died and the snow was fallin , 
The frosty hedges were white and still, 

A robin out of the dusk was callin . 
But Love cares nothin for winter s chill. 
O, what did you say at the foot of the hill? 

You said you would love me ever and ever, 
You kissed me thrice in the gloamin then, 

And then you crossed o er the big black River 
Whence never comes word from the sons of men. 

Where the frosty hedges are white and still 

I wait to-night at the foot of the hill. 

A lonesome wind from the dusk is callin , 
The robin sleeps in his sheltered nest, 

The velvety snow is fallin and fallin 

Above the grasses that clothe your rest; 

In the infinite Love of the Father s will 

My soul claims you from the foot of the hill. 

Over the woods that look to the west 

A white star shines through the wintry air 

And a thrill of peace from the world s unrest 
Tells me tis well with you over there. 

And so I ll be waitin my time until 

You seek me here at the foot of the hill. 


The Rocky Road to Dublin. 43 


IF I was on the rocky road, the rocky road to 

With nothing but a tinker s load, tis Tittle I d be 

throublin ; 
Within my fist a blackthorn stick and Irish brogues 

to walk in, 
I d fling my sorrows to old Nick and sing instead 

of talkin . 

Sthravagin on from town to town and down old 

boreens jauntin , 
The bite and sup and lyin down, sure, I d be never 

wantin , 
For there the doors stand open wide on friend and 

stranger waitin , 
And for an Irish turf fireside I ve yet to see the 

batin . 

I d pull primroses by the way and hear the larks 

and thrushes, 
I d watch the twilight shadows play among the 

greenin bushes; 
I d find the place where long ago, ere years began 

their throublin , 
I wandhered with a girl I know along the road to 


44 Songs of the Dawn. 

Och, och, my eyes are growin dim, or is it tears that 

blind me ? 
Sure many a day she s gone to Him who put that 

cross behind me, 
But still her spirit walks abroad, where many a 

sthrame is bubblin 
And winds are blowin down the road, the rocky road 

to Dublin. 

Aye, there tis not the chilly look, the distant nod of 

greetin , 
But "bannacht leath," "God save ye," and "good 

morrow," I d be meetin , 
Twould be, "Sit down and rest awhile," and 

"Arrah, what s your throublin "? 
For life has time for many a smile along the road 

to Dublin. 

Faith, sore, I m parched for mist and rain, I m sick 

of sunny weather; 
I want my blackthorn stick again, my brogues of 

Irish leather. 
Then give me but a tinker s load, tis little I ll be 

throublin , 
If undherneath me is the road, the rocky road to 


Kildare. 45 


SAY, what of Kildare is she waking or sleeping 

Now the day of our testing is growing apace? 
And mighty as winter-tossed billows onleaping 

Wild "farrahs" ring out from the lips of our race ! 
What of Kildare, ever foremost and ready, 

Whenever our war-flag was raised for the right, 
Has she lifted her standard, true-hearted and steady, 

Where Kildare ought to be in the thick of the 

The shrine of St. Brigid whose Lamp ever burning 

Shone out like a star on the ramparts of God, 
The home of Lord Edward, our eagle of morning 

Could traitors abide on so sacred a sod! 
Could fear of defeat or despair of a morrow 

Find place where the ashes of Tone are at rest 
Is there room for a coward or time for a sorrow 

With "Croom a boo" watchword and oak tree for 
crest ! 

No, from Naas to Maynooth rings the slogan of 

From Newbridge to Leixlip, Kilcock to Athy, 
The men of Kildarra are there when we need them 

They know how to fight and they know how to die. 

46 Songs of the Dawn. 

There the spirit of liberty hovers unsleeping 

Where rebels and martyrs found birth and a 

And the murdered of Mullaghmast watch still are 

O er fields never trod by the foot of a slave. 

Sure the challenge she threw in the face of the 

Of old when her clans flashed their falchions in 

Is still to the fore for a finish, and no man 

Shall humble the shield of Fitzgerald s Kildare. 
Unconquered, invincible, steadfast forever, 

With a hand for the south and the north and the 

The foremost in onset, the latest to waver, 

She stands with the Counties, the first of the best. 

Kildare is awake for she never has slumbered 

Whenever the summons to battle went forth, 
The deeds of her dead with the bravest are numbered 

The sons of her soil are the salt of the earth. 
As true as the Liffey that sweeps ever onward 

Through sunshine and storming, through shadow 

and light. 
Kildare holds her standard aloft in the vanguard 

Where Kildare ought to be in the thick of the 

The Old Borecn. 47 


OH, do you remember the old boreen that is many a 
mile away, 

And the rushy pool where the shades lay cool at the 
close of a summer day? 

And do you remember the robin s song in the haw 
thorn hedge that grew 

By the garden gate that so long must wait for a 
home-coming sight of you ? 

Oh, do you remember the low white house with its 

coating of yellow thatch, 
The earthen floor and the open door that swung to 

a ready latch, 
The fire of turf and the cheery hearth where you 

gathered at evening s fall, 
The dresser shelf with its shining delph and the old 

clock on the wall? 

Come, let us away from the noisy town, the clamor 

of crowded marts; 
We will go where the pulse of life beats low to the 

music of quiet hearts, 
Where corncrakes shrill through the scented dusk 

and dew-drenched meadows are sweet, 
And the green, green sod like a balm from God hath 

healing for tired feet. 

48 Songs of the Dawn. 

Down the winding ways of the old boreen we will 

wander on spirit wings, 
While the haunted air like a mystic s prayer is 

a-quiver with namelesss things; 
The crickets will chirp a welcome home and the 

daisies look up to see, 
While the long, long years that have drained our 

tears shall fall from us, you and me. 

We will take our way to the fairies well, for deep in 

its crystal flow 
May linger gleams of those broken dreams we left 

in the long ago; 
Gazing again in its murmuring deeps we may see in a 

blinding light 
The care-free ways of our childhood days shine out 

to our souls to-night. 

Then when the low moon sinks in the west, and the 

thrill of dawn is at hand, 
We will wing our flight with the dying night to the 

shores of this other land; 
But the strength and peace of our reveries and the 

balm of that sod so green 
Will ease the strife of our exiled life so far from the 

old boreen. 

Patsy Maguire. 49 


OLD Patsy Maguire lived down in Athlone, 

He d a neat little cot and a field of his own, 

His singing began with the first risen lark 

And that same old "come all ye" would welcome the 


For only one song in the world did he know 
And that was "a colleen dhas cruithin am bo." 

His hair was as white and as thick as the frost 
That lies on the meadows the phooka has crossed, 
But the glint of his eye was as roguish and bright 
As a daisy in May looking up to the light, 
And the voice of him never a tremor did know 
As he chanted "a colleen dhas cruithin am bo." 

In the long winter nights there was never a fire 
Could draw all the boys like the hearth of Maguire, 
For he d tell you of fairies and ghosts till your skin 
Like a dead goose was puckered without and within, 
And the road to your home was a horror beset 
By all the dark "sperrits" that Patsy had met. 

With the end of his stick in the ashes he d show 

How many a battle was fought long ago 

When his grandfather shouldered the pike that was 

By the side of his bed with the notch on its blade. 

50 Songs of the Dawn. 

"Sure some of thim yeomen were tougher than wire 
And steel couldn t stand thim," said Patsy Maguire. 

He had starved in the famine, the fever had known, 
He had stood with the boys who struck out for their 

He had dreamed with the dreamers, had met what 

they met, 

"But failure s a word that we haven t spelt yet, 
And fightin s a game that all true men require 
To keep thim continted," said Patsy Maguire. 

Tis many a year since his footsteps were known 
By the bridge and the river of storied Athlone, 
And many a summer its riches has cast 
O er that sturdy old Fenian so true to the last; 
But never a death chill could conquer the fire 
That beat in the heart s blood of Patsy Maguire. 

For far in those realms where brave men are blessed 
And nothing s too good for earth s truest and best, 
He is seated to-night in a place of his own 
With a welcome for all from the town of Athlone; 
And, whatever the songs of the seraphs, I know 
He still sings "a colleen dhas cruithin am bo." 

Independence Day. 51 


WHEN God unbarred the eastern gates for that 

great Day to rise 
A burning flood of glory sped across His trackless 

It circled round the slumbering world in tongues of 

ghostly flame, 
And fired the farthest tribes of men with Freedom s 

sacred name. 

It rocked the thrones of despot kings as though an 

earthquake spoke; 
It bade the cowering serf arise and spurn his galling 


It whispered to the beaten slave of other days to be, 
When he amongst his fellowmen should stand a 

Man, and Free. 

By burning sands and icy wold that high Evangel 

Till east and west and north and south in one red 

flame were blent; 
And mankind, with a surging joy, felt in his soul the 

Of God s eternal Liberty acclaim Columbia s deed, 

O Land, whose flag the stars in heaven salute with 

answering call! 
Whose stripes proclaim the bonds you broke for 

freemen one and all ! 

52 Songs of the Dawn. 

Whose hovering eagle screams abroad across the 

struggling earth 
"No power can hold a Nation down that claims its 

rights of birth!" 

You hold the greatness of the days unborn to 

History yet ; 
You hold the sequel of the ways whose guiding stars 

are set; 
The keys of time are yours, O Herald, who guards 

the future s fate, 
For all the life streams of the world commingle in 

your gate. 

In you the old world s dreams come true, the cry for 
breadth and space; 

The yearning for a fuller life with sunshine on the 

You are the goal of shackled feet, the covenantal ark 

Of many a storm-tossed soul who sees your light 
nings through the dark. 

You taught in words of flaming fire a gospel fierce 

and free; 
And sealed it with your blood before the shrine of 

You flung your challenge in the face of tyranny, and 

Invincible, triumphant, rose a Mecca unto men. 

A Christmas Song. 53 

All hail, all hail, Columbia ! God s high anointed 

With feet upon His southern verge and forehead 
to His sun ! 

You caught the scattered lights of earth in one en 
during ray 

When Freedom s fires were loosed from Heaven 
that Independence Day. 


O LORD, as You lay so soft and white, 

A Babe in a manger stall, 
With the big star flashing across the night, 

Did you know and pity us all? 
Did the wee hands, close as a rosebud curled, 

With the call of their mission ache, 
To be out and saving a weary world 

For Your merciful Father s sake? 

Did You hear the cries of the groping blind, 

The woe of the leper s prayer, 
The surging sorrow of all mankind, 

As You lay by Your Mother there? 
Beyond the shepherds, low bending down, 

The long, long road did You see 
That led from peaceful Bethlehem town 

To the summit of Calvary? 

54 Songs of the Dawn. 

The world grown weary of wasting strife, 

Had called for the Christ to rise; 
For sin had poisoned the springs of life 

And only the dead were wise. 
But, wrapped in a dream of scornful pride, 

Too high were its eyes to see 
A Child, foredoomed to be crucified, 

On a peasant Mother s knee. 

But, while the heavens with glad acclaim 

Sang out the tale of Your birth, 
A mystic echo of comfort came 

To the desolate souls of earth. 
For the thrill of a slowly turning tide 

Was felt in that grey daybreak, 
As if God, the Father, had sanctified 

All sorrow for One Man s sake. 

O Child of the Promise! Lord of Love! 

O Master of all the earth! 
While the angels are singing their songs above, 

We bring our gifts to Your birth. 
Just the blind man s cry, and the lame man s pace, 

And the leper s pitiful call; 
On these, over infinite fields of space, 

Look down, for You know them all. 

The Old North Wall of Dublin. 55 


THE old North Wall of Dublin, O, well tis it I know 
Where lazy tides keep drifting in ceaseless ebb and 


The old North Wall of Dublin with the seagulls cir 
cling low. 

The old North Wall of Dublin, tis there I d be 

With salt winds sweeping in my face the breath of 

dancing spray 
As tender as the mother s hands I left in Irish clay. 

O, sure the paths are wearisome that exiled feet must 

And many a wistful dream of home hangs round the 

exile s bed, 
And many a bitter tear they know who eat the 

stranger s bread. 

But over all the weariness and all the pains that be 
Asthore, tis looking back we are o er lonely leagues 

of sea 
To the old North Wall of Dublin with the long tides 

running free. 

56 . Songs of the Dawn. 

Thank God in all our wandering for olden dreams 

that stay, 
For gleams beneath a scorching sun of dancing Irish 

And a wet wind blowing gladness o er the old North 

Wall to-day. 

Thank God that somewhere in the years that circle 

round the sun 
One day is speeding swiftly when our exile will be 

And down beside the old North Wall we ll see the 

grey tides run. 

We ll watch the seagulls wheeling out across the 

misty strand 
Where many a flower is blooming in that far and 

pleasant land, 
And the old North Wall of Dublin, we will kiss it 

where we stand. 


PLAY it again till the rill and the thrill of it 
Gladdens my soul like a voice over seas, 

Sing it and swing it till I get my fill of it 
And all the sore places of life are at ease. 

The Connaughtman s Rambles. 57 

Fling it right up to the skies high admiring, 
For many a Connaughtman s rambles afar 

Have touched such a passion of earthly aspiring 
Twas only the heavens that set him a bar. 

There, sure I m seeing a primrose in blossom, 

There, sure I knew twas a shamrock I met; 
Beauty of blooming and dreams of my bosom 

God couldn t live if you weren t there yet. 
Daisies and buttercups, fields full of clover, 

Dawning and twilight and wonder of sod, 
God couldn t live if I was not your lover 

For worship of beauty is worship of God. 

Over the world and down to the soul of it 

The "Connaughtman s Rambles" have sounded 

their call, 
Deep in our hearts is the mystical roll of it, 

The passion for home that is tearing us all. 
O, ye of her breast with the blood of her best in ye 

Faring afar o er so many a track, 
Listen and hear tis to ye and the rest of ye 

Old Connaught is calling "O, Childher, come 

58 Songs of the Dawn. 


AYE, set them high on your gallows tree 

Where the noose of a hangman waits, 
And the ribald cries of your rabble rise 

Outside of their prison gates; 
Let them stand in the dawn of your murky skies 

So the nations of men may see 
How Erin offers a sacrifice 

On the altars of Liberty. 

The world hath plenty of mouthed wars 

And aims that the gods despise, 
Was ever a victory blessed by Mars 

Achieved by a braggart s cries? 
No, the hero s blood and the bullet s hum 

Are Liberty s pangs of birth, 
And by these must be settled the awful sum 

Of tyranny s debt to earth. 

Then stand them high with their eyes to the light 

Those sons of a soldier race, 
Each strand of their halter marks their right 

To glory s innermost place ; 
And their "God Save Ireland" boldly hurled 

From the portals of death will fling 
Its echoes forever around the world 

While the soul of the Celt is King. 

Caniel^dhu. 59 

This day will die at the setting of sun, 

But the fame of our noble Three 
Will live till the uttermost sands are run 

Of the Land that they died to free. 
For the justice of God is lightning shod 

And tyrants pass in a day 
But the hero s word and the martyr s blood 

Shall be saviors of men for aye. 

And not for the land of their birth alone 

Do they swing from your beams of shame, 
But for every struggle the world has known 

In Liberty s holy name. 
For the striving Right against ruthless might 

Wherever the bonds may bind 
Young Allen, O Brien and Larkin die 

A ransom for all mankind. 


LAST night tis I was dreamin and dreams are 

queer you know; 

I dreamt I was in Ireland the same as long ago. 
And Micky Moore the fiddler played all the tunes I 

Who danced the Rinnca Fadha beyond in Car- 


60 Songs of the Dawn. 

And there was Patsy Callaghan, and there was Mat 

And little Timmy Sullivan, though long he s dead 

and gone ; 
And there was Kitty Shaughnessy, and all the girls 

I knew 
Who danced the Rinnca Fadha with me in Car- 


A silver moon was shining above the mountain s 

And in the graveyard down below my mother lay at 

And Mickey Moore the fiddler played low, for old 

time s sake, 
" The Coulin " and " The Blackbird " till I thought 

my heart would break. 

Then Jamesy Murphy sang a song about the 

"Fenian Men," 
And Billy Daly followed with "A Nation Once 

And Micky Moore the fiddler, who loved me fond 

and true, 
Played all his music out to me that night in Car- 


O, when the ship that bore me sped to a stormy 


And all I ever loved were left so many a mile behind, 
Tis I was feeling sorely, the best in life I knew 
Was there behind in Ireland, behind in Carrickdhu. 


The Old Fireside. 61 

And so in nightly visions and dreamin day by day 
Ts many a thing I m seein still is lyin far away, 
And many a tune I m listenin to from one who loved 

me true 
Beyond in dear old Ireland, beyond in Carrickdhu. 


Tis sittin by the stove I am where all the fire in 

Would never raise a blisther on a baby s arm 

The wind goes tearin down the sthreet as though the 

imps below 
Were out upon a picnic playin ball with sleet and 

But I am seein in my mind a hearthstone broad and 

And a pile of Irish turf ablaze on the old fireside. 

Wan side my mother sits and knits a stockin meant 

for me 

My father s in the corner seat, his paper on his knee 
A candle on the shelf beside gives all the light he 

And granny s prayin for I hear the rattle of her 

And there s meself with naked shins a happy boy 

The blessed heat and comfort of the old fireside. 

62 Songs of the Dawn. 

Sometimes the wind and rain comes down the chim 
ney with a shout 

And mother signs the Cross to see the ashes dance 

And father laughs and says "bedad, the phooka s 
out to-night," 

And granny whispers "hush, avic, some poor sowl s 
on its flight." 

And then we get to thinkin of the lonesome wans 

For evermore the comfort of the old fireside. 

The latch keeps liftin now and thin as neighbors 

saunther in 
With many a kind "God save all here" and "God 

save you agin," 

And soon from talkin politics at fairy tales they ll be 
With stools dhrawn up around the hearth as close 

as close can be; 
Then no one wants to look behind afraid a ghost 

might hide 
Among the flickering shadows of the old fireside. 

I wondher w r here they are to-night, for sure when all 

is told 
Tis feelin out of place they d be on shinin sthreets 

of gold; 
But in the many mansions of the Father s House 

There may be humble corners where the poor can 

feel His love, 

When I was Leaving Ireland. 63 

So in some friendly place apart where all their tears 
are dried 

I know I ll meet my neighbors by God s own Fire 


WHEN I was leaving Ireland the leaves were falling 


A dreary mist was drifting above old Derry town; 
The sun itself was clouded and frosty was the wind 
When I was leaving Ireland who left my soul behind. 

When I was leaving Ireland my parents wept full 

The kindly neighbors gathered in to bless me o er 

and o er, 

I clung around the doorway, I gazed on sky and sod 
When I was leaving Ireland that bitter day of God. 

When I was leaving Ireland I watched the shore 

line dip 
Beyond the darkling waters that surged about the 

Then, with a cry of longing none heard save Heaven 

on high, 
My soul sped back to Ireland to linger till I die. 

And there at home in Ireland it is this blessed day 
Though both my parents dead and gone have found 
their house of clay; 

64 Songs of the Dawn. 

It sees the dawns and twilights, it feels the winds 

and rain, 
And when I go to Ireland I ll find that soul again. 

It may be that in living some ship may bear me o er, 
It may be that in dying the Saviour I adore 
Will bid a kindly angel convey me to the sky 
O er some old road in Ireland I trod in years gone 

But I ll go back to Ireland, in life or death I ll go, 
For there my soul is waiting with all the loves I 

know ; 
By windy dawns tis waiting and twilights grey with 

And I must go to Ireland to find that soul again. 


O, LIMERICK, Limerick, Limerick, your name on the 

tip of my tongue 
Is sweether than singin of linnets when May on the 

meadows is young, 
Tis kindher than dhrippin of honey or foamin of 

milk to the lips, 
O, Limerick, Limerick, Limerick, my blessed old 

Town of the ships. 

Cappagh Hill. 65 

As you sit on the banks of the Shannon, a Queen on a 

beautiful throne 
You are sealin the right hand of Erin with the gem 

of the Threaty Stone, 
And the kindness and lovin good nathure that fall 

from the shine of your face 
Though spread o er the rest of creation would leave 

us enough for the race. 

Though over the ways of the world my feet may 

go lonesome and wild 
Tis ever the breast of the mother is sweetest repose 

for the child ; 
So some day, please God I ll come joggin back to 

you with songs on my lips 
O, Limerick, Limerick, Limerick, my blessed old 

Town of the ships. 


TWAS just last night a dream I had 

( Tis strange how dreams can thrill) 
I dreamt I was a little lad 

Beyond on Cappagh Hill. 
Twas neither cap nor coat I had 

For summer days were fair, 
And I was just a happy lad 

Among the meadows there. 

66 Songs of the Dawn. 

I saw the village roofs below, 

The beeches green and cool, 
The paths through " Cullen s fields " that go 

Along the way to school. 
I heard my mother s voice ring clear, 

And then I woke to know 
The crash of Broadway on my ear 

For that was long ago. 


You may boast of your drinking for time and a day, 
You may talk of the " nectar of gods " as you may, 
Sure they d be like the drip of a faucet to me 
By a noggin of buttermilk home in Kilfree. 

In summer and winter, in autumn and spring, 
The churn was there and the noggin in swing 
And tinker and beggar and peddler were free 
To drink Ian a baile beyond in Kilfree. 

I can see that big dairy with crocks full of cream 
As yellow as gold in an old miser s dream, 
I can taste how the butter like nuggets would be 
On top of the noggins at home in Kilfree. 

A sycamore fluttered its leaves by the latch 
And swallows built year after year in the thatch, 
And many a neighbor s tin bucket would be 
Filled up in that dairy at home in Kilfree. 

As Ike Bands Go By. 67 

There was turf by the clampful and cows in the 


There was bacon in flitches and room by the fire, 
There was lashings and leavings flahoolah and free 
With a "cead mille failthe" beyond in Kilfree. 

I m sick of your wine and I m sick of your ale, 
Your champagne is tasteless, your liquor is stale, 
For the draught of my childhood is calling to me, 
Tis a noggin of buttermilk home in Kilfree. 


AYE, aye, aye, sure all day long I m hearin thim, 
The blessed tunes I m knowin since I wasn t two 

foot tall ; 

Aye, aye, aye, sure all day long I m cheerin thim, 
The Irish lads, avourneen, that you cannot bate 
at all. 

Listen to the music, sure New York is goin wild 

with it. 
O, Harp that once old Tara knew tis you is great 

this day, 
And the green, green, green, sure the city like a 

child with it 

Has dhressed itself in verdure like the bushes 
home in May. 

68 Songs of the Dawn. 

"Pathrick s Day" and "Garryowen," The Meetin 

of the Wathers," 
With "Come Back to Erin" ( tis the dearest of 

thim all) 
Although I m now an old man with sthrappin sons 

and daughters 
To-day I m just a gorsoon still beyant in Donegal. 

Aye, you re right, I m cryin but my tears like rain 

in Erin 
Are just a kind of tindherness because I love them 

The music and the marchin and the Irish voices 


For all the things I used to love at home in 

And when beyant in Calvary my long, long rest I m 

One day in all the year, bedad, I ll wake and claim 

my own, 
For when Saint Pathrick s Day is here how could a 

man be sleepin 

While all the world is thrillin to the lilt of Garry 

Fiddler Phil. 69 


"COME give us a scrape of the fiddle" we sai-d 

And drew from the kitchen shelf 
A fiddle as battered and old, bedad, 

As Fiddler Phil himself; 
For many a summer and winter had thrown 

Their heat and cold in his face, 
But his eyes held the beauty of old Tyrone 

And the pride of a princely race. 

With brick and mortar and sand and stone 

His hands were roughened and brown, 
But that fiddle had come from his own Tyrone 

And spoke of his native town; 
So he touched the strings unto passionate cries 

That swept the breath from our lips, 
While years of toiling and alien skies 

Were bridged in a time eclipse. 

We were back again in the wind-swept north, 

Above us the low clouds sped, 
Beneath our feet was our native earth 

And the graves of our resting dead; 
We saw the glories of old unroll 

O Neill went forth to the fray, 
And our hands were clenched in a storm of soul 

For joy of a battle day. 

70 Songs of the Dawn. 

Then came a rushing of Maytime rain 

From the purple peaks of the hills, 
We saw the young leaves sway in the rain, 

The shimmer of daffodils. 
We heard the calling of mating birds, 

The laugh of a mountain stream, 
While loch and fen and valley and glen 

Were a glory of glint and gleam. 

Then Fiddler Phil with his grey eyes set 

O er the verge of an unseen world 
Muted the strings unto awful things 

From the edge of a black night hurled; 
The Banshee cried and our souls replied 

As we shivered like reeds astir, 
For the spirit of Erin was scourged again 

And we wailed to the gods with her. 

Then rising up to the heights of life 

In a frenzy of joy and pride 
He drew us out of the stress and strife 

To the place where our dreams abide; 
We saw the Land of our yearning stand 

In Liberty s flame of day, 
And the Lords of the law arise to draw 

The veils from her face away. 

That wonder of melody died away, 

Phil laid his fiddle aside, 
"Sure its old and cold like meself " said he 

"For it died when my young days died." 

When Mike Came Back- 71 

"O, there is no death for your fiddle or you," 

We whispered in broken tone 
"While hearts are loyal and souls ring true 

To the spirit of old Tyrone." 


WE stood beside the door, meself and Kate, 

Watchin and listenin down the boreen s thrack, 

A wild rose swung above the garden gate 
When Mike came back. 

The ripened meadows waited for his hand, 
The praties lingered for his spade to sthrike, 

And sure meself and Kate could hardly stand 
That watch for Mike. 

And then he came, we heard the pony s throt, 
A blackbird whistled from the garden dyke, 

But Kate and I saw nothin but a blot 
Of tears and Mike. 

"Avic machree," said I, but Kate flung wide 

Her arms to hold him where his life had sthrike, 

And like a baby on her breast he cried 
Our big son, Mike. 

72 Songs of the Dawn. 


ARRAH, did you know the Riellys that lived near 

A fine old-fashioned place they had as snug as snug 

could be, 
And sure for dacint people you couldn t bate thim 

The two and thirty counties of Ireland s blessed 


Tis often I am thinkin of Sundays afther Mass 
Whin down the mossy boreen that skirts their door 

I d pass, 
And "Come inside and rest yourself agra," Herself 

would say, 
And thin we d have potato cake and a cup of Irish 


Such tay it was, with cream, bedad, and plinty more 

in sight, 
And sure the hot potato cake I m tastin here 

Twas butthered in the middle with the butther 

runnin through 
And faith, with all respects to ye, my face was 

butthered too. 

Takin Tay at Riellys. 73 

My stomach s sick and tired of the food tis gettin 

With "buttherine" and milk in tins that never saw a 

And once a woman says to me "I always take my 

With a slice of limon in it for that s the Russian 


I never was a Russian, a Frinchman or a Jew, 
I m Irish every inch of me and my tastes are Irish 


I like a dish of cabbage with corned beef or pork 
But O, for hot potato cake I d go from here to 


And Bridget Rielly was the one to make ye dhrink 

and ait, 
Ye d never lave her table while a crumb was on 

your plate, 

She never kept an impty pot nor griddle on her floor 
Or shut agin a neighbor s face the latchpin of her 


It isn t goold I m wantin , though money s good ye 

And sure my health is fine, thank God as twinty 

years ago. 
But I m lonesome for the Riellys, this many a weary 

And I m hungry for potato cake and a cup of Irish 


74 Songs of the Dawn. 


IN the spring o the year we two went walkin , 

O, but the greenin meadows were sweet, 

And God to His world of love was talkin 

In every daisy about our feet. 

My heart was singin with joy arid laughter, 

O, soul of my bosom, if I but knew 

The desolate days that, were speedin afther 

When I d go walkin no more with you. 

In the spring o the year you lay adyin , 
The greenin meadows were wild with rain 
And God to His world of woe was sighin 
In every splash on the window pane ; 
Dhroopin to rest like a sea beat swallow 
I felt you slippin away from me, 
And the pitiful feet of me could not follow 
Beyond those shadows of mysthery. 

Now years keep comin and years keep goin , 
Tis little I heed them green or grey, 
Watchin the river of life whose flowin 
Must sometime bring me a brighter day. 
Then spring o the year or depth of winther 
God will be talkin of joy agin 
To me and His world when I shall inther 
The same soft shadows where you went in. 

Parnell 75 


LIFT him up in the place of his people, let him stand 

where the crowds go by, 
The man who was pledged for our liberty, the man 

who can never die, 
O er the streets of that ancient city where the breath 

of his soul was blown 
Let him stand like a mighty Ard Ri that hovers 

above his own. 

Let the lips that unleashed our passions and the 

hands that for us threw down, 
The challenge of Man for his liberty be set over 

Dublin town; 
Let the dawn of our day be golden and the rain of 

our night be sweet 
Where the glory and pride of Erin are wreathed 

about his feet. 

Lift him up in the place of his people, let the surge 

of their love be hurled 
To the face that was turned in strength to them 

from all the claims of the world, 
While the nations of men are travailing in joy of a 

ransomed birth 
Set him here where the Celt is fashioning the crown 

of his fate on earth. 

76 Songs of the Dawn. 

Patriot, hero or demagogue what matter the cry 

he met, 
On the scroll of eternal liberty the place of his fame 

is set, 
And there will the royal greatness that shadowed 

the might of kings 
Be one with the spirit of man that lies at the core 

of created things. 

Lift him up in the place of his people, for the earth s 

soul quickens apace, 
And the nations of men are standing heart riven 

and face to face 
Gauging the dreams that a race may dare whatever 

that race may be, 
For the tribes of God know but one free sod on the 

summits of Liberty. 

Lift him up in the place of his people, on the road 

that is free to men, 
Where never a tyrant dares to flaunt the shame of 

our bonds again; 
O er the streets of that ancient city, where the 

breath of his soul was blown, 
Let him stand like a mighty Ard Ri that hovers 

above his own. 

The Old Bog Road. 77 


MY feet are here on Broadway this blessed harvest 

But O, the ache that s in thim for the sod where I 

was born; 
My weary hands are blisthered from toil in cold and 

And tis O, to swing a scythe to-day through fields of 

Irish wheat. 
Had I my choice to journey back or own a king s 

Tis soon I d see the hawthorn tree by the old bog 


Whin I was young and innocent my mind was ill at 

Through dhramin of America and goold beyant the 

Och, sorra take their money but tis hard to get that 

And what s the whole world to a man whin no one 

spakes his name! 
I ve had my day and here I am with buildin bricks 

for load 
A long three thousand miles away from the old bog 


78 Songs of the Dawn. 

My mother died last springtime whin Ireland s 

fields were green, 
The neighbors said her wakin was the finest ever 

There were snowdrops and primroses piled up 

around her bed 
And Ferns Church was crowded whin her funeral 

Mass was said. 
And here was I on Broadway with buildin bricks for 

Whin they carried out her coffin from the old bog 


There was a dacint girl at home who used to walk 

with me, 
Her eyes were soft and sorrowful like moonbames 

on the sea, 

Her name was Mary Dwyer, but that is long ago 
And the ways of God are wiser than the things a 

man may know. 
She died the year I left her, but with buildin bricks 

for load 
I d best forget the times we met on the old bog road. 

Och, life s a weary puzzle, past findin out by man, 
I take the day for what it s worth and do the best 

I can, 
Since no one cares a rush for me what need to make 

a moan, 
I go my way and dhraw my pay and smoke my pipe 


The Ancient Race. 79 

Each human heart must know its grief though bitther 

be the load 
So God be with old Ireland and the old bog road. 


I DREAMED that from Time s high threshold I saw 

a vision of earth 
Since out of primeval chaos the first lands blossomed 

And the warring hosts in battalions for Right and 

Wrong were arrayed 
Gainst the souls of men and of nations when God s 

first laws were made. 

And up through the changing ages strange forms and 

tribes of men 
Arose from the gloom to vanish like wraiths in the 

gloom again. 
And many a proud dominion went down with its 

thrones and kings 
Like a story heard in the twilight to the place of 

forgotten things. 

I saw the slave in his bondage shrink back from the 

scourger s hands, 
And the blood of a million martyrs flow red over 

ruined lands; 

80 Songs of the Dawn. 

Then, lo, on a shifted morrow the slave by his 

master stood 
And the crimson tide was a ruby in the crown of 

man s brotherhood. 

Then spake I unto the Watcher who stands for aye 

in the Gate. 
Keeper he of the records men write on the books 

of Fate, 
"Show me with clearer vision, O, Thou of the scrolls 

The story of mine own people in the house of their 

life and mine." 

The Watcher smiled as he answered, "Dost fear 

for the Celtic race ! 
Behold by the north star s shining they stand in their 

destined place." 
And then with a shock of vision I saw what the high 

gods see 
Whose hands on the Nations heartstrings make 

failure or victory. 

A continent old and hoary, grown mad in its vain 

O erthrown in a swirl of waters and crash of a thou 
sand fires,* 

* According to an ancient legend, Ireland arose from the ocean after 
the old continent of Atlantis was submerged thereby. 

The Ancient Race. 81 

Then, lo, as the darkness lifted in an aura of light 

Uprose the home of my people neath the star of 

their fates and mine. 

Purified, holy and verdant stood Eire in safe retreat, 
With the winds of dawn on her forehead, the surges 

about her feet; 
While out of the highest heavens I heard the decree 

roll forth 
"With the leaven of this my daughter I shall leaven 

the tribes of earth." 

O, many the days of glory when the light of her 

learning shone 
Through the dim byways of a world that sighed for 

a glimpse of dawn. 
When the fame of her saints and sages was bright as 

her own green sod 
Ere the awful hour of her testing was struck from 

the chimes of God. 

Then saw I her altars shattered, her shrines in the 

dust laid low, 
And through the halls of her broken kings the feet 

of a foeman go, 
With her eyes to the north star lifted she stood by 

her slaughtered dead, 
The Lord s Handmaid of the world a beggar for 

alms and bread. 

82 Songs of the Dawn. 

In bondage and persecution, in famine and fever 

Were her children beaten and scattered, their death 

cries searing her lips. 
And as ever the blood-stained ages grew darker with 

woe and dread 
I turned me unto the Watcher, "Have pity, and 

spare," I said. 

But the Watcher smiled as he answered, "Would st 

weep for the Celtic race? 
Behold in the noonday shining they go to their 

destined place." 
And then with unveiled vision I saw in a blazing 

The exiled ranks of my people to the heart of the 

whole world go. 

Raising temples and cities, sailing o er trackless seas, 
Priests and soldiers and pioneers, builders in war and 

While ever their homage and yearning went back 

with a love divine 
To the shrine of their souls behind them the land 

of their hearts and mine. 

Again I turned to the Watcher "How endeth the 

tale?" I said, 
"Shall this mother of heroes and sages be a land 

of the quick or the dead?," 

The Cuckoo s Call. 83 

But ever he smiled in answer, "Fear not, for the 

Celtic race 
Is tested and weighed by the gods who made their 

first and their final place." 

Then, lo, in a blaze of glory stood Eire, our love of 

the lands, 
With a Victor s smile on her forehead and peace 

in her chainless hands; 
While out of the highest Heavens the jubilant cry 

rang forth 
"With the leaven of this my daughter I have 

leavened the tribes of earth." 


O, WHAT is it I m dhreamin of from weary day to 


Tis Spring beyant in Ireland and me so far away. 
And what is it I m hearin clear above the city s 

Och sure it is the cuckoo s call at home in old Kildare. 

Aye, Spring is there in Ireland with lambs upon the 

And rainy breezes playin with the yalla daffodils, 

Primroses peepin by the hedge and daisies every 

While thrushes sing their songs of love from green- 
in bushes there. 

84 Songs of the Dawn. 

Across the wild Atlantic it is beatin on my lips 
That little wind of April like a baby s finger tips, 
Tis dhrivin me to madness for the things I want 

With Spring beyant in Ireland and me so far away. 

Tis beatin on my heartsthrings and tis beatin on 

my breast 
Tis callin me to Ireland with a cry that will not 

To buddin branch and bramble and sloe threes 

glimmerin white 
And little sthreams that whisper there down every 

wind of night. 

O, greenin heart of Ireland three thousand miles 

from me 

My arms to you I m reachin out across the salty sea ; 
The cuckoo s call rings through my blood, across 

the world tis blown 
For Spring is there in old Kildare and I m alone, 



ROLL back the stone, for the Lord hath spoken 
And dawn is white where her night was known, 

Behold her fetters of death are broken 
And Erin is risen roll back the stone! 

Roll Back the Stone. 85 

Do you feel the thrill of her coming, nations, 

Whose proud feet trampled her, blood and bone, 

Or wist ye not that her centuried patience 

But bided His summons? Roll back the stone! 

Roll back the stone, for the truth and glory 

Of every aeon since time was young 
Are shrined in the dreams of her unwrit story, 

From deep to deep of the ages swung; 
For the lords of life at the first words spoken 

Set seal on the Celt as their chosen own 
To toil and serve till the bonds where broken 

From man and his mission. Roll back the stone ! 

O ! hers was a spirit no death could stifle, 

The greatest in loving, the least in hate, 
The foremost where Liberty primed her rifle 

And Freedom was wrung from the depths of fate. 
Yea, when her own green flag was lying 

A broken reed by a broken throne, 
Her soul from the ramparts of life was crying 

Defiance to tyrants. Roll back the stone ! 

Roll back the stone, for she stands immortal, 

A watcher of time by the war lords shod, 
And who but her heroes shall guard the portal 

Whence laws swing down from the courts of God? 
And who shall reign on the heights forever 

But she who lay in the dust alone, 
And who will rule but the soul that never 

Was stained with dishonor? Roll back the stone ! 

86 Songs of the Dawn. 

Roll back the stone, for with hell below her 

And arms outspread on a centuried cross 
She won all the ways of the world to know her 

And agonize there with her, loss by loss. 
And so in a passion of joy and wonder 

She stands in the dawn where her night was 

While the angels of Liberty chant in thunder 

" She is risen, is risen." Roll back the stone ! 


THRAMPIN down to Sligo with my peddler s cart, 
There s Dublin left behind me and the plains of 


Thrampin down to Sligo and the ways of my heart 
Where Maurya s waitin for me in her grey- 

sthreaked hair; 
Just the same dear woman that I kissed by Loch 

Thirty-seven years ago and my Maurya still. 

I m sick of Dublin city with its noise and its fret, 

I m sick of sellin vanithees my wares by the road, 
For down beyond the Shannon the blackthorn bushes 


Their little blossoms out to say that Spring is 

Thrampin Down to Sligo. 87 

And one old thrush I m knowin these five years and 

Is settin up her nest beside my own cabin door. 

My little donkey s tired and I am tired too, 

When sixty years are on you what joy is there in 

But to rest beside the things you know are always 

And what to man is thruer than his home and his 

wife ! 
So I m thrampin down to Sligo, to my own heart s 

Where Maurya s waitin for me in her grey- 

sthreaked hair. 

The nights are sweet about me and the dawns rain 


And every step I go is over good Irish sod, 
Were you ever in America? " a man said yesther- 


" Begor, I never was," said I, " I thank my God;" 
So I m thrampin down to Sligo where the sea winds 

And there s welcome waitin for me in my Maurya s 


Songs of the Dawn. 


TlS Bonfire Night in Ireland, God, but the years go 

And here s myself a lonesome man who lives but in 

the past, 
The long day s work is over and stars come out 

But sure they re not the stars of home, the ones I 

used to love ; 
And neither is this burning night like that old night 

in June 
When Tommy Casey whistled up " The Rising of 

the Moon." 

Sure that same boy could make the dead get up and 

stir their feet, 
I d rather spend an hour with him than all I drink 

or eat, 
Beginning soft and easy with u The Harp " or 

" Shrule Aroon " 
Tis soon he d have you fighting mad with some old 

Fenian tune; 
But when he d start the " Rocky Road " or 

" Humors of Glandore," 
A blind and bothered cripple couldn t help but welt 

the floor. 

Bonfire Night in Ireland. 89 

O, Lord, those nights in Ireland with the meadows 

ripe to mow 
And corncrakes voices telling you old things of long 

I can see the big moon rising now, a globe of silver 

I can smell the hawthorn blossoms here across this 

scorching night, 
Aye, flinging all the years behind, I live that night in 

When Tommy Casey whistled up " The Rising of 

the Moon." 

With our kippeens on our shoulders where our 

fathers pikes were drawn 
We marched about the ashes as the day began to 

And the call of all the ages flung its challenge in our 

As we pledged our lives to Ireland and the glory of 

the race; 
And there stood Tommy Casey whistling up to 

Heaven the tune, 
That made us freemen for a while, "The Rising of 

the Moon." 

Oh, well, tis all a memory now, and I m a lonesome 

While Tommy Casey sleeps to-night below by San 


90 Songs of the Dawn. 

Aye, sure he died for liberty for when she lifts her 

What better henchmen has she than the sons of that 

old land, 
Whose lives and souls and deeds for her have woven 

such wondrous tune 
That Gabriel s trumpet knows by now u The Rising 

of the Moon!" 

Tis Bonfire Night in Ireland, and the hawthorn still 

is sweet, 
While Murphy s cross-roads echo to the thrill of 

dancing feet; 
There s laughter, love, and music, and a big moon 

shining white, 
But, O, my God, the weary miles that part us all 

And there is none to take his place, who stood that 

night in June, 
And made us freemen for a while with " The Rising 

of the Moon." 

The Old Road Home. 91 


I WOULD know it in the darkness were I deaf and 

dumb and blind, 
I would know it o er the thrashing of a million 

miles of foam, 
I would know it sun or shadow, I would know it rain 

or wind, 

The road that leads to Ireland, aye, the old road 

Sure the angels up in Heaven would be pointing it 

to me 
From every track that man has made since first 

he learned to roam, 
And my feet would leap to greet it like a captive 

thing set free 

The road that leads to Ireland, aye, the old road 

I would find the hawthorn bushes, I would find the 

boreen s gap 

With one old cabin standing mid the soft green 
ing loam, 
If the world was all a jumble on the great Creator s 


I would know the road to Ireland, aye, the old 
road home. 

92 Songs of the Dawn. 


HERE where my rhymes are ended and you leave the 

old for the new 
I m pledging a dhoc an dhorris, O, friends of my 

heart to you, 
I know that my simple singing will fade from your 

ears as soon 
As the song of a wayside robin you heard by the 

road in June; 
But the dreams I have dreamed for Ireland, please 

God they will never die 
Till we re drinking a dhoc an dhorris to the world 

itself, Good-bye. 



^000919791 4