Category Archives: Other

Ode: We Are the Music Makers by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems


With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory.
One man with a dream of pleasure
Shall go forth and conquer a crown,
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample and empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Ninevah with our sighing,
And Bable itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that it dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Ode: We Are the Music Makers by Arthur O’Shaughnessy.

The Others by Seumas O’Sullivan

From our hidden places
By a secret path
We come in the moonlight
To the side of the green rath.


There the night though
We take our pleasure
Dancing to such a measure
As earth never knew.

To song and to dance
And lilt without a name,
So sweetly breathed
‘Twould put a bird to shame.

And many a young maiden
Is there of mortal birth,
her young eyes laden
With dreams of earth.

And many a youth entranced
Moves slowly in the wildered round
His brave lost feet enchanted
With the rhythm of fairy sound.

Music so forest wild
And piercing sweet would bring
Silence on blackbirds singing
Their best in the ear of spring.

And now they pause in their dancing,
And look with troubled eyes,
Each straying children
With sudden memory wise.

They pause, and their eyes in the moonlight
With fairy wisdom cold,
Grow dim and a thought goes fluttering
In the hearts no longer old.

And then the dream forsakes them,
And sighing, they turn anew,
As the whispering music takes them,
To the dance of the elfin crew.

Many a thrush and a blackbird
Would fall to the dewy ground,
And pine away in the silence
For envy of such sound.

So the night through
In our sad pleasure,
We dance to many a measure,
The earth never knew.

The Others by Seumas O’Sullivan.

The Geraldines by Thomas Osborne Davis

I


The Geraldines! The Geraldines! – ’tis full a thousand years
Since, ‘mid the Tuscan vineyards, bright flashed their battle-spears;
When Capet seized the crown of France, their iron shields were known,
And their sabre dint struck terror on the banks of the Garonne;
Across the downs of Hastings they spurred hard by William’s side,
And the grey sands of Palestine with Moslem blood they dyed;
But never then, nor thence till now, has falsehood or disgrace
Been seen to soil Fitzgerald’s plume, or mantle in his face.

II

The Geraldines! The Geraldines! – ’tis true, in Strongbow’s van,
By lawless force, as conquerors, their Irish reign began;
And, O! through many a dark campaign they proved their prowess stern,
In Leinster’s plains, and Munster’s vales, on king, and chief, and
kerne;
But noble was the cheer within the halls so rudely won,
And generous was the steel-gloved hand that had such slaughter
done!
How gay their laugh! how proud their mien! you’d ask no herald’s
sign—
Among a thousand you had known the princely Geraldine.

III

These Geraldines! These Geraldines! – not long our air they breathed,
Not long they fed on venison, in Irish water seethed,
Not often had their children been by Irish mothers nursed;
When from their full and genial hearts an Irish feeling burst !
The English monarchs strove in vain, by law, and force, and bribe,
To win from Irish thoughts and ways this “more than Irish” tribe;
For still they clung to fosterage, to breitheamh, cloak, and bard;
What king dare say to Geraldine, “Your Irish wife discard” ?

IV

Ye Geraldines! Ye Geraldines! How royally ye reigned
O’er Desmond broad and rich Kildare, and English arts disdained;
Your sword made knights, your banner waved, free was your bugle call
By Glyn’s green slopes, and Dingle’s tide, from Barrow’s banks to
*Eochaill,
What gorgeous shrines, what Brehon lore, what minstrel feasts there were
In and around *Magh Nuadhaid’s keep and palace-filled Adare!
But not for rite or feast ye stayed, when friend or kin were pressed;
And foeman fled when “Crom-abu” bespoke your lance in rest.

V

Ye Geraldines! ye Geraldines! since Silken Thomas flung
King Henry’s sword on council board, the English thanes among,
Ye never ceased to battle brave against the English sway,
Though axe and brand and treachery your proudest cut away.
Of Desmon’s blood through woman’s veins passed on the exhausted tide;
His title lives —- a Sasanch churl usurps the lion’s hide;
And though Kildare tower haughtily, there’s ruin at the root,
Else why, since Edward fell to earth, had such a tree no fruit?

VI

True Geraldines! Brave Geraldines! – as torrents mould the earth,
You channeled deep old Ireland’s heart by constancy and worth;
When Ginckle ‘leaguered Limerick, the Irish soldiers gazed
To see if the setting sun dead Desmond’s banner blazed!
And still it is the peasant’s hope upon the Curragh’s mere,
“They live who’ll see ten thousand men with good Lord Edward here.”
So let them dream till brighter days, when, not by Edward’s shade,
But by some leader true as he, their lines shall be arrayed!

VII

These Geraldines! These Geraldines! – rain wears away the rock,
And time may wear away the tribe that stood the battle’s shock;
But ever, sure, while one is left of all that honoured race,
In front of Ireland’s chivalry is that Fitzgerald’s place;
And though the last were dead and gone, how many a field and town,
From Thomas’ Court to Abbeyfeile, would cherish their renown!
And men will say of valour’s rise, or ancient power’s decline,
“‘T will never soar, it never shone, as did the Geraldine.”

VIII

The Geraldines! the Geraldines! and are there any fears
Within the sons of conquerors for full a thousand years?
Can treason spring from out a soil bedewed with martyr’s blood?
Or has that grown a purling brook which long rushed down a flood?
By Desmond swept with sword and fire, by clan and keep laid low,
By Silken Thomas and his kin, by sainted Edward! No!
The forms of centuries rise up, and in the Irish line
Command their son to take the post that fits the Geraldine!

Written by Thomas Osborne Davis.

Note: * Eochaill == Youghal, co. Cork *Magh Nuadhaid == Maynooth, co.Kildare Taken from “BREATHES THERE THE MAN” – – Heroic Ballads & Poems of the English-Speaking Peoples. Edited by Frank S. Meyer (La Salle, Illinois Open Court 1973. “Geraldines” is pronounced in our part of Ireland to rhyme with ‘lines’ and ‘fines’.

The Ballad of Reading Gaol

I know not whether Laws be right,
Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long.


But this I know, that every Law
That men hath made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother’s life,
And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
With a most evil fan.

This too I know – and wise it were
If each could know the same –
That every prison that men build
Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
How men their brothers maim.

With bars they blur the gracious moon,
And blind the goodly sun;
And they do well to hide their Hell,
For in it things are done
That Son of God nor son of Man
Ever should look upon!

The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde.

The Wreck of the Gwendoline by C. J. Boland

From the day I was nine, the wish was mine
A sailor bold to be ;


I began to pine for the stormy brine,
And a life on the deep blue sea.

And so one day on the old Bridge Quay,
I kissed my blue-eyed Nell,

And I shipped with joy as a cabin-boy
To a boatman of Clonmel.

‘Tis a dreadful shock to leave Poulslough
When the heart is young and bright,

The street called Hawke, and the Gravel Walk,
And Duckett Street by night.

My sweet abode on Kerry Road
Is shrined in memory’s cell ..

Ah, cruel fate! Good-bye, West Gate,
And Shambles Lane-farewell.

The morn was still; near Hughes’ mill
The Gwendoline was moored.

Wo laid in grog, and a terrier dog,

And a cargo of oats-insured.

So we poled away at break of day
And waved all friends adieu ;
And a loud farewell rang the friary bell
As the brewery hove in view.

At the word” Avast” we manned each mast,
And we cheered for Murphy’s stout,

As the cheer arose, we frightened the crows
On the Waterford bow with the shout.

But the day grew dark, and our bounding barque
Was struck by a sudden squall;

The captain grew pale in the driving gale,
As we swept by the gashouse wall.

Her timber creaks, and now she leaks;
With a shovel we try to bale,

Hli t not even that, nor the captain’s hat,
Nor all old top-boot avail.

We neared the bank and threw a plank
To the Tipperary shore;

One whirl it gave, then in the wave
It sunk, to rise no more.

I cried “Farewell” to my blue-eyed Nell,
And I brushed away a tear,
But my heart gave a bound as we ran aground
On the wall of Dudley’s weir ;
Then we walked ashore, half dead or more,
The dog, and myself and the tar,
And we shouted “Ahoy” to a creamery boy,
and went home in an ass’s car.

And the captain cried, as we homeward hied
That his luck for eer was gone,
For a gipsy foretold in the days of old,
He’d be wrecked at “Kilnawan”
“What harm,” said he, “if it chanced to be
Where Kilnashan’s bellows foam?
But the Board of Trade will me degrade,
For it’s half a mile from home.”

She was stuck in weeds, but some twenty steeds
That were chargers in their day,

They towed her back, on the sternward track,

To her berth beside the quay.

And other boats with Tartary oats,
May sail to Carrick Green,

But never more, by sea or shore,
Will sail the Gwendoline.

Written by C. J. Boland.

Am I Remembered in Erin? by Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Am I remembered in Erin?
I charge you, speak me true!
Has my name a sound – a meaning,
In the scenes my boyhood knew?
Does the heart of the Mother ever
Recall her exile’s name?
For to be forgot in Erin,
And on earth, were all the same.


Oh, Mother! Mother Erin!
Many sons your age hath seen –
Many gifted constant lovers
Since your mantle first was green;
Then how in may I hope to cherish
The dream that I could be
In your crowded memory number’d
With that palm-crowned company?

Yet faint and far, my Mother!
As the hope shines on my sight,
I cannot choose but watch it
Till my eyes have lost their light;
For never among your brightest
And never among your best,
Was heart more true to Erin
Than beats within my breast.

Written by Thomas D’Arcy McGee.

Jean le Rat

TILL eighteen seventy-seven or eight-
I’m never exact as regards a date-
A cobbler sat on his bench all day,
And rapped, and cobbled, and stitched away
At the foot of the old West Gate,
In state–


Poor waxy Jean le Rat!

His eye was bright with the light of fight,
As he welted and heeled from morn till night,
And almost the only words he’d say
Were “Garratt-ow-dat” as he hammered away
At the foot of the old West Gate,
till late –

Laconic Jean le Rat.

Now school-boys might, when the days were bright,
And summer’s exams not quite in sight,
Have kinder been to poor old Jack,
As he waxed wax-end or drove a tack,
As he sat at the old West Gate,
Irate-

Forgive us, Jean le Rat!

But Jean Ie Rat was a testy cuss,
And he told us to go be blowed, or wuss.
As he drove a peg, or drank a few
With Con Soho and a friend or two,
At the foot of the old West Gate,
Elate

At times was Jean le Rat.

But when one day in his cellar he lay,
Where the sun endeavoured his swiftest ray,
He turned up his eyes to the distant skies.
“I’ve stuck to my last,” to Heaven he cries,
And then, at the old West Gate,
Kind fate l

Took poor old Jean le Rat.

Likewise, if we, when our task is done,
When the field is fought and the fight is won,
With poor old Jack as humbly cry,
“Twas ours to work, ’tis ours to die,”
In trust at the Golden Gate
We’ll wait

Along with Jean le Rat.

Written by C. J. Boland.

Lament of the Irish Maiden

On Carrigdhoun the heath is brown,
The clouds are dark o’er Ardnalee,
And many a stream comes rushing down
To swell the angry Ownabwee ;
The moaing blast is sweeping fast
Through many a leafless tree,
And I’m alone, for he is gone,
My hawk has flown, ochone, machree!


The heath was green on Carrigdhoun,
Bright shone the sun on Ardnalee,
The dark green trees bent trembling down
To kiss the slumbering Ownabwee;
That happy day, ’twas but last May,
‘Tis like a dream to me,
When Donnell swore, ay, o’er and o’er,
We’d part no more, astor machree!

Soft April showers and bright May flowers
Will bring the summer back again,
But will they bring me back the hours
I spent with my brave Donnell then?
‘Tis but a chance, for he’s gone to France,
To wear the fleur-de-lys;
But I’ll follow you my Donnell Dhu,
For still I’m true to you, machree.

Lament of the Irish Maiden by Denny Lane.

Kearney’s Queue

AT the Main Guard there’s a dram-shop
And a woollen-draper’s too,
Whilst overhead there stands a dumb clock,
All since Kearney lost his queue.


Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

Kearney’s maid went to the market
To get some meat to make a stew,
She spied a pigtail in a basket,
And cried out, That’s the master’s queue.

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

The Whisky Club went round the town
To see, and try what they could do
To raise the wind and get near blind,
Looking for Mick Kearney’s queue.

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

The Club went then to Billy Stiff’s (1) shop,
His window and his wares to view;
In vain they searched but couldn’t find out
Any trace of Kearney’s queue.

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

(1) Stiff, called Stiffe, was then a barber at Clonmel.

Billy Stiff went to Major Chaytor
To complain the motley crew;
The Mayor, he said he’d send James White
And Allen in search of Kearney’s queue.

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

The Club went then to Mr. Butler’s,
A conscientious man ’tis true,
They would not hang a man but one,
And that the one who stole Mick Kearney’s queue.

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

The Club men then went down the quay
The gas house chimney for to view,
And saw Mick Kearney under the bridge, sir,
Seeking for his lovely queue.

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

Great news, my boys, to cheer us all,
I now transmit to you,
For coming home is the great Glengall
To seek for Kearney’s queue.

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,

Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

Aby Grubb he built a new house,
Henry Pedder built one too,
Grier and Murghy built a brewery
All since Kearney lost his queue

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

Anthony Whitton’s as yellow as bacon,
Tommy Taylor says, This will not do,
And Billy Oakley stopped his preaching
Since old Kearney lost his queue.

Round by Tommy Murphy’s brewery,
Where old Kearney lost his queue,
Rig a dig a dig dum, dig dum dairee,
Rig a dig dum dig dum dee.

The Dead Antiquary O’Donovan by Thomas D’Arcy McGee

He toiled to make our story stand,
As from Time’s reverent, runic hand –
It came, undecked
By fancies false; erect, alone,
the monumental arctic stone
Of ages wrecked.


Truth was his solitary test,
His star, his chart, his east, his west ;
Nor is there aught
In text, in ocean, or in mine,
Of greater worth, or more divine
Than this he sought.

With gentle hand he rectified
The errors of old bardic pride,
And set aright
The story of our devious past,
And left it, as it now must last,
Full in the light.

The Dead Antiquary O’Donovan by Thomas D’Arcy McGee.