SONGS OF THE DAWN
P. J. KENEDY & SON
3 SO 3
ANCIENT RACE, THE 79
As THE BANDS Go BY 67
AT THE FOOT OF THE HlLL 42
BOY FROM COUNTY DOWN, THE 19
BONFIRE NIGHT IN IRELAND 88
CHRISTMAS GIFT, A 10
CUCKOO S CALL, THE 83
CHRISTMAS SONG, A 53
CROPPIES GRAVE, THE 1 1
CONNAUGHTMAN S RAMBLES, THE 56
CAPPAGH HILL ; 65
FIDDLER PHIL 69
HUNTING THE WREN 36
IRISH RANK AND FILE 30
INDEPENDENCE DAY 51
IN THE SPRING o THE YEAR 74
JERRY CONNOR S FORGE 28
JOGGIN INTO NAAS 34
MISSIN THE CHILDHER 20
NOGGIN OF BUTTERMILK, A 66
OLD LAND, THE 40
OLD BOREEN, THE 47
OLD COUNTY CLARE 22
OH, ISLE OF MINE 23
OLD NORTH WALL OF DUBLIN, THE 55
OUR MARTYRED THREE 58
OLD FIRESIDE, THE 61
OLD BOG ROAD, THE 77
OLD ROAD HOME, THE 91
PATSY MAGUIRE 49
PLACE WHERE I M WANTING TO BE 27
ROADWAY OF MY HEART, THE 6
ROBERT EMMET 16
ROSARY TIME 33
ROCKY ROAD TO DUBLIN, THE 43
ROLL BACK THE STONE 84
SONGS OF THE DAWN 2
SOD FROM GAL WAY, A 25
SPRING MEMORY, A 38
TAKIN TAY AT RIELLYS 72
THRAMPIN DOWN TO SLIGO 86
WHEN I WAS LEAVING IRELAND 63
WHEN MIKE CAME BACK 71
A DHOC AN DHORRIS 92
SONGS OF THE DAWN.
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
The cuckoo s call in Springtime, the thrush s song
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.
SONGS OF THE 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
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.
THE ROADWAY OF MY HEART.
A BIG road circles round the world, sure fine it is
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
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
It shows me many a hawthorn lane, the scene of
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
But you are holy with the balm of all my hallowed
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
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
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
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.
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.
A CHRISTMAS GIFT.
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.
THE CROPPIES GRAVE.
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
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
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
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
And where could a faithful Croppy find holier rest
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
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
And tis over beyant in Kerry the dreams of my life
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
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
Ochone, ochone for ye Kerry, if wishes were sails
Tis I would be speedin to you with songs of joy on
Sore sick of the exile s rovin I d go where my youth
To ease the ache in my bosom and sleep with my
own at last.
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
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
For dancin on summer evenin s to tunes that I can t
Sure all day long I am lookin at pictures like
Of the busy wonderful city where I earn my scanty
Thinkin tis whitewashed cabins I m seein on
And the old road down to Killarney undher my
Oh, nowhere in all the world is the grip of a hand
Or the lilt of a laugh so cheerin as Kerry, asthore,
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
Callin and hauntin and callin , like the ghost of my
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
The charity of their silence I ask from my fellow
Till Erin, a Nation, leaps to life from the ashes of
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
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
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
THE BOY FROM COUNTY DOWN.
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
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.
MISSIN THE CHILDHER.
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.
OLD COUNTY CLARE.
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
OH, ISLE OF MINE.
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
A SOD FROM GALWAY.
Tis a bit of earth, mavourneen, just a bit of Gal-
That I ve borne in my bosom many a weary night
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
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
And it sweeps me off in fancy like a sudden flash
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
And the hills of Connemara lift their foreheads to
Every neighbor s house I visit, every field and farm
And the wans long dead and buried live and laugh
again with me.
When I close my eyes in airnest never more to
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
In that owld graveyard in Galway by my father s
Just as if the earth above me was as green with
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
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
Wirra, but tis hard I m dying, poor and owld this
Me that once had full and plenty long ago and far
But sure betther died afore me, and I ll be no worse
That my very heart sthrings tighten round a bit of
THE PLACE WHERE I M WANTING
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.
JERRY CONNOR S FORGE.
BY the crossroads of Knockallen where the bog and
There s a tidy row of houses that the neighbors
call " the street" ;
It is free and independent, though it pays its tax
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
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
For the tangles of Westminster there s little
Where State affairs are settled in the shoeing of a
And bills that Whig and Tory view with sinking of
Are fixed while Jerry rims the wheel of Kelly s
Tis there the Kaiser s law is scorned, the Czar is
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
Thank God, I m still a Fenian, boys, and not
afraid to die."
So though Westminster debates Home Rule for
It long has passed the Parliament beside Knock-
Where destinies of nations, from the Caesars down
Are settled while a mare is shod in Jerry Connor s
THE IRISH RANK AND FILE.
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
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
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
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
And out of their chosen corners the voices of
At the fall of the night in Ireland, at Rosary time.
Outside the song of the robin is hushed in his shel
The wind with a rainy sweetness is sighing itself
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
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.
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.
HERSELF AT HOME "
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.
HUNTING THE WREN.
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.
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.
A SPRING MEMORY.
, 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.
THE OLD LAND.
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.
AT THE FOOT OF THE HILL.
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.
" ALONG THE ROAD TO DUBLIN
The Rocky Road to Dublin. 43
THE ROCKY ROAD TO DUBLIN.
IF I was on the rocky road, the rocky road to
With nothing but a tinker s load, tis Tittle I d be
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
For there the doors stand open wide on friend and
stranger waitin ,
And for an Irish turf fireside I ve yet to see the
I d pull primroses by the way and hear the larks
I d watch the twilight shadows play among the
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
Aye, there tis not the chilly look, the distant nod of
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
Faith, sore, I m parched for mist and rain, I m sick
of sunny weather;
I want my blackthorn stick again, my brogues of
Then give me but a tinker s load, tis little I ll be
If undherneath me is the road, the rocky road to
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
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
Kildare holds her standard aloft in the vanguard
Where Kildare ought to be in the thick of the
The Old Borecn. 47
THE OLD BOREEN.
OH, do you remember the old boreen that is many a
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
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
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
"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
And fired the farthest tribes of men with Freedom s
It rocked the thrones of despot kings as though an
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
Whose stripes proclaim the bonds you broke for
freemen one and all !
52 Songs of the Dawn.
Whose hovering eagle screams abroad across the
"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
The keys of time are yours, O Herald, who guards
the future s fate,
For all the life streams of the world commingle in
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 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
When Freedom s fires were loosed from Heaven
that Independence Day.
A CHRISTMAS SONG.
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.
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
The old North Wall of Dublin, tis there I d be
With salt winds sweeping in my face the breath of
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
To the old North Wall of Dublin with the long tides
56 . Songs of the Dawn.
Thank God in all our wandering for olden dreams
For gleams beneath a scorching sun of dancing Irish
And a wet wind blowing gladness o er the old North
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
Where many a flower is blooming in that far and
And the old North Wall of Dublin, we will kiss it
where we stand.
THE CONNAUGHTMAN S RAMBLES.
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
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.
OUR MARTYRED THREE.
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.
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
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
And Billy Daly followed with "A Nation Once
And Micky Moore the fiddler, who loved me fond
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
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
Beyond in dear old Ireland, beyond in Carrickdhu.
THE OLD FIRESIDE.
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
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
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
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
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
Among the flickering shadows of the old fireside.
I wondher w r here they are to-night, for sure when all
Tis feelin out of place they d be on shinin sthreets
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
I know I ll meet my neighbors by God s own Fire
WHEN I WAS LEAVING IRELAND.
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
Beyond the darkling waters that surged about the
Then, with a cry of longing none heard save Heaven
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 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
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
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.
A NOGGIN OF BUTTERMILK.
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.
AS THE BANDS GO BY.
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
Listen to the music, sure New York is goin wild
O, Harp that once old Tara knew tis you is great
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
Although I m now an old man with sthrappin sons
To-day I m just a gorsoon still beyant in Donegal.
Aye, you re right, I m cryin but my tears like rain
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
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."
WHEN MIKE CAME BACK.
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.
TAKIN TAY AT RIELLYS .
ARRAH, did you know the Riellys that lived near
A fine old-fashioned place they had as snug as snug
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
And thin we d have potato cake and a cup of Irish
Such tay it was, with cream, bedad, and plinty more
And sure the hot potato cake I m tastin here
Twas butthered in the middle with the butther
And faith, with all respects to ye, my face was
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
Ye d never lave her table while a crumb was on
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
On the scroll of eternal liberty the place of his fame
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
THE OLD BOG ROAD.
MY feet are here on Broadway this blessed harvest
But O, the ache that s in thim for the sod where I
My weary hands are blisthered from toil in cold and
And tis O, to swing a scythe to-day through fields of
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
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
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
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
Since no one cares a rush for me what need to make
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.
THE ANCIENT RACE.
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
And many a proud dominion went down with its
thrones and kings
Like a story heard in the twilight to the place of
I saw the slave in his bondage shrink back from the
scourger s hands,
And the blood of a million martyrs flow red over
80 Songs of the Dawn.
Then, lo, on a shifted morrow the slave by his
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
"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
And then with a shock of vision I saw what the high
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
* 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
"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
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
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
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
With a Victor s smile on her forehead and peace
in her chainless hands;
While out of the highest Heavens the jubilant cry
"With the leaven of this my daughter I have
leavened the tribes of earth."
THE CUCKOO S CALL.
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
Tis callin me to Ireland with a cry that will not
To buddin branch and bramble and sloe threes
And little sthreams that whisper there down every
wind of night.
O, greenin heart of Ireland three thousand miles
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.
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.
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-
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
So I m thrampin down to Sligo, to my own heart s
Where Maurya s waitin for me in her grey-
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.
BONFIRE NIGHT IN IRELAND.
TlS Bonfire Night in Ireland, God, but the years go
And here s myself a lonesome man who lives but in
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
When Tommy Casey whistled up " The Rising of
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
Beginning soft and easy with u The Harp " or
" Shrule Aroon "
Tis soon he d have you fighting mad with some old
But when he d start the " Rocky Road " or
" Humors of Glandore,"
A blind and bothered cripple couldn t help but welt
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
Aye, flinging all the years behind, I live that night in
When Tommy Casey whistled up " The Rising of
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
And there stood Tommy Casey whistling up to
Heaven the tune,
That made us freemen for a while, "The Rising of
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
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
While Murphy s cross-roads echo to the thrill of
There s laughter, love, and music, and a big moon
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
THE OLD ROAD HOME.
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
The road that leads to Ireland, aye, the old road
Sure the angels up in Heaven would be pointing it
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
If the world was all a jumble on the great Creator s
I would know the road to Ireland, aye, the old
92 Songs of the Dawn.
A DHOC AN DHORRIS.
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
UNIVERSITY OF C VLIFORNU