Nationality by Thomas Osborne Davis

A Nation’s voice, a nation’s voice –
It is a solemn thing!
It bids the bondage-sick rejoice –
‘Tis stronger than a king.
‘Tis like the light of many stars,
The sound of many waves;
Which brightly look through prison bars,
And sweetly sound in caves.
Yet is it noblest, godliest known,
When righteous triumph swells its tone.

A nation’s flag, a nation’s flag –
If wickedly unrolled,
May foes in adverse battle drag
Its every fold from fold.
But in the causes of Liberty,
Guard it ‘gainst Earth and Hell;
Guard it till Death or Victory –
Look you, guard it well!
No saint or king has tomb so proud,
As he whose flag becomes his shroud.

A nation’s right, a nation’s right –
God gave it, and gave, too,
A nation’s sword, a nation’s might,
Danger to guard it through.
‘Tis freedom from a foreign yoke,
‘Tis just and equal laws,
which deal unto the humblest folk,
As in a noble’s cause.
On nations fixed in right and truth,
God would bestow eternal youth.

May Ireland’s voice be ever heard
Amid the world’s applause!
And never may her flag-staff stirred,
But in and honest cause!
May freedom be her very breath,
be justice ever dear;
and never an ennobled death
May son of Ireland fear!
So the Lord God will ever smile,
With guardian grace, upon our isle.

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