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Ah dream too full of sadd’ning truth !
Those mansions o'er the main
and as vain!
LAY HIS SWORD BY HIS SIDE.
Lay his sword by his side,* —it hath served him
too well Not to rest near his pillow below; To the last moment true, from his hand ere it fell,
Its point was still turn’d to a flying foe. Fellow-lab’rers in life, let them slumber in death,
Side by side, as becomes the reposing brave, That sword which he loved still unbroke in its
sheath, And himself unsubdued in his grave.
pause — for, in fancy, a still voice I hear, As if breathed from his brave heart's remains ; Faint echo of that which, in Slavery's ear,
Once sounded the war-word, “ Burst your chains !” And it cries, from the grave where the hero lies
deep, “ Tho' the day of your Chieftain for ever hath
* It was the custom of the ancient Irish, in the manner of the Scythians, to bury the favourite swords of their heroes along with them.
“Oh leave not his sword thus inglorious to sleep, —
“ It hath victory's life in it yet!
“Should some alien, unworthy such weapon to wield,
“ Dare to touch thee, my own gallant sword, " Then rest in thy sheath, like a talisman seald,
“Or return to the grave of thy chainless lord. “ But, if graspd by a hand that hath learn'd the
proud use “Of a falchion, like thee, on the battle-plain, “ Then, at Liberty's summons, like lightning let loose,
Leap forth from thy dark sheath again!”
OH, COULD WE DO WITH THIS WORLD OF
Oh, could we do with this world of ours
What a heaven on earth we'd make it!
By the week or month to take it.
Like those gay flies that wing thro' air,
Whenever they wish to use it;
So, in this world I'd make for thee,
Break forth whenever we choose it.
While ev'ry joy that glads our sphere
Such shadows will all be omitted :-
Each spot where it hath Aitted !
THE WINE-CUP IS CIRCLING.
The wine-cup is circling in Almhin's hall, *
And its Chief, 'mid his heroes reclining, Looks up, with a sigh, to the trophied wall.
Where his sword hangs idly shining.
The Palace of Fin Mac-Cumhal (the Fingal of Macpherson; in Leinster. It was built on the top of the hill, which has retained from thence the name of the Hill of Allan, in the county of Kildare. The Fenians, or Fenii, were the celebrated National Militia of Ireland, which this Chief commanded. The introduction of the Danes in the above song is an anachronism common to most of the Finian and Ossianic legends.
When, hark! that shout
From the vale without, “ Arm ye quick, the Dane, the Dane is nigh!”
Ev'ry Chief starts up,
From his foaming cup, And “ To battle, to battle !” is the Finian's cry.
The minstrels have seized their harps of gold,
And they sing such thrilling numbers, 'Tis like the voice of the Brave, of old, Breaking forth from their place of slumbers !
Spear to buckler rang,
As the minstrels sang, And the Sun-burst * o’er them floated wide;
While rememb'ring the yoke
Which their fathers broke, “On for liberty, for liberty!” the Finians cried
Like clouds of the night the Northmen came,
O'er the valley of Almhin lowering;
With the mingling shock
Rung cliff and rock,
And the shout, that last
O'er the dying pass'd, Was “victory! victory !” — the Finian's cry.
* The name given to the banner of the Irish.
THE DREAM OF THOSE DAYS.
The dream of those days when first I sung thee is o'er, Thy triumph hath stain'd the charm thy sorrows
then wore; And ev'n of the light which Hope once shed o'er
thy chains, Alas, not a gleam to grace thy freedom remains. Say, is it that slavery sunk so deep in thy heart, That still the dark brand is there, tho' chainless
thou art; And Freedom's sweet fruit, for which thy spirit long
burn'd, Now, reaching at last thy lip, to ashes hath turn'd ?
Up Liberty's steep by. Truth and Eloquence led, With eyes on her temple fix'd, how proud was thy
tread! Ah, better thou ne'er had’st liv'd that summit to gain, Or died in the porch, than thus dishonour the fane.
FROM THIS HOUR THE PLEDGE IS GIVEN.
From this hour the pledge is given,
From this hour my soul is thine:
Weal or woe, thy fate be mine.