Category Archives: Thomas Osborne Davis

The Dungannon Convention, 1782

The church in Dungannon is full to the door,
And sabre and spur clash at times on the floor,
While helmet and shako are ranged all along,
Yet no book of devotion is seen in the throng,
In the front of the altar no minister stands,
But the crimson clad chief of those warrior bands:
And though solemn the looks and the voices around,
You’d listen in vain for a litany’s sound.
Say! What do they hear in the temple of prayer?
Oh! Why in the fold has the lion his lair?


Sad, wounded, and wan was the face of our isle,
By English oppression, and falsehood and guile;
Yet when to invade it a foreign fleet steered,
To guard it for England the North volunteered,
From the citizen soldiers the foe fled aghast –
Still they stood to their guns when the danger had past,
For the voice of America came o’er the wave,
Crying : Woe to the tyrant, and hope to the slave!
Indignation and shame through their regiments speed:
They have arms in their hands, and what more do they need?

O’er the green hills of Ulster their banners are spread,
The cities of Leinster resound to their tread,
The valleys of Munster with ardour are stirred,
And the plains of wild Connaught their bugles have heard;
A Protestant front-rank and Catholic rere –
For – forbidden the arms of freemen to bear –
Yet, foemen and friend are full sure, if need be,
The slave for his country will stand by the free.
By green flags supported, the Orange flags wave,
And the soldier half turns to unfetter the slave!

More honoured that Church of Dungannon is now
Than when at its altar communicants bow;
More welcome to heaven thananthem or prayer,
Are the rites and the thoughts of the warriors there;
In the name of all Ireland the Delegates swore:
“We’ve suffered too long, and we’ll suffer no more-
Unconquered by Force, we were vanquished by Fraud;
And now in God’s temple, we vow unto God,
That never again shall the Englishman bind
His chains on our limbs, or his laws on our mind.”

The church of Dungannon is empty once more –
No plumes on the altar, no cash on the floor,
But the councils of England are fluttered to see,
In the cause of their country, the Irish agree;
So they gave as a boon what they dare no withhold
And Ireland, a nation, leaps up as of old,
With a name and a trade, and a flag of her own,
And an army to fight for the people and throne.
But woe worth the day if to falsehood or fears
She surrenders the guns of her brave Volunteers!

Written by Thomas Osborne Davis.

The Sack of Baltimore by Thomas Osborne Davis

The summer sun is falling soft o’er Carbery’s hundred isles
The summer sun is gleaming still through Gabriel’s rough defiles
Old Inisherkin’s crumbled fane looks like a moulting bird,
And in a calm and sleepy swell the ocean tide is heard.
The hookers lie upon the beach; the children cease their play;
The gossips leave the little inn; the households kneel to pray;
And full of love, and peace, and rest – it’s daily labour o’er –
Upon that cosy creek there lay the town of Baltimore.


A deeper rest, a starry trance, has come with midnight there;
No sound except that throbbing wave, in earth, or sea, or air.
The massive capes and ruined towers seemconscious of the calm;
The fibrous sod and stunted trees are breathing heavy balm.
So still the night, these two long barques round Dunashad that glide
Might trust their oars – methinks not few – against the ebbing tide.
Oh! Some sweet mission of true love must urge them to the shore:
They bring some lover to his bride, who sighs in Baltimore!

All, asleep within each roof along that rocky street,
And these must be the lover’s friends with gently gliding feet –
A stifled gasp! A dreamy noise! “the roof is in a flame!”
From out their beds, and to their doors, rush maid, and sire, and dame,
And meet upon the threshold stone the gleaming sabre’s fall,
And o’er each black and bearded face the white or crimson shawl;
The yell of “Allah” breaks abover the prayer, and shriek, and roar –
Oh! Blessed God! The Algerine is lord of Baltimore.

Then flung the youth his naked hand against the shearing sword;
Then sprung the mother on the brand with which her son was gored;
Then sunk the gransire on the floor, his grand-babes clutching wild;
Then fled the maiden moaning faint, and nestled with the child,
But see, yon pirate strangled lies, and crushed with splashing heel,
While o’er him in an Irish hand, there sweeps his Syrian steel:
Though virtue sink, and courage fail, and miser’s yield their store,
There’s one hearth well avenged in the sack of Baltimore!

Mid-summer morn, in woodland nigh, the birds began to sing;
They see not how the milking maids – deserted in the spring!
Mid-summer day – this gallant rides from distant Bandon’s town;
These hookers crossed from stormy Skull, that skiff from Affadown:
They only found the smoking walls, that neighbour’s blood besprent,
And on the strewed and trampled beach awhile they wildly went;
Then dashed to sea, and passed Cape Cléire, and saw five leagues before
The pirate galleys vanishing that ravished Baltimore

Oh! Some must tug the galley’s oar, and some must tend the steed;
This boy will bear a Sheik’s chibouk, and that a Bey’s jerreed.
Oh! Some are in the arsenals, by beauteous Dardanelles;
And some are in the caravan to Mecca’s sandy dells.
The maid that Bandon gallant sought is chosen for the Dey:
She’s safe – he’s dead – she stabbed him in the Midst of his serai;
And when, to die a death of fire, that noble maid they bore,

She only smiled – O’Driscoll’s child – she thought of Baltimore

‘Tis two long years since sunk the town beneath that bloody band,
And all around its trampled hearths a larger concourse stands,
Where, high upon a gallows tree, a yelling wretch is seen –
‘Tis Hackett of Dungarvan, he who steered the Algerine!
He fell amid a sudden shout, with scarce a passing prayer,
For he had slain the kith and kin of many a hundred there;
Some muttered of MacMurchadh, who brought the Norman o’er;
Some cursed him with Iscariot that day in Baltimore.

Clare’s Dragoons by Thomas Osborne Davis

When on Ramillie’s bloody field,
The baffled French were forced to yield,
The victor Saxon backward reeled
Before the charge of Clare’s Dragoons.
The Flags we conquered in that fray,
Look lone in Ypres’ choir, they say,
We’ll win thm company to-day,
Or bravely die like Clares Dragoons.


Chorus:
Viva la for Ireland’s wrong!
Viva la, for Ireland’s right!
Viva la in battle throng,
For a Spanish steed, and sabre bright!

The brave old Lord died near the fight,
But, for each drop he lost that night,
A Saxon cavalier shall bite
The dust before Lord Clare’s Dragoons,
For never, when our saabres met,
Could we the Saxon soldiers get
To stand the shock of Clare’s Dragoons.

Viva la, the New Brigade!
Viva la, the Old One too!
Viva la, the rose shall fade,
And the shamrock shine forever new!

Another Clare is here to leasd,
The worthy son of such a breed;
The French expect some famous deed,
When Clare leads on his bold Dragoons.
Our Colonel comes from Brians race,
His wounds are in his breast and face,
The bearna baoghail is still his place,
The foremost of his bold Dragoons.

Viva la, the New Brigade!
Viva la, the Old One too!
Viva la, the rose shall fade,
And the shamrock shine forever new!

There’s not a man in squadron here
Was ever known to flinch or fear;
Though first in charge and last in rere,
Have ever been Lord Clare’s Dragoons;
But, see! We’ll soon have work to do,
To shame our boasts, or prove them true,
For hither comes the English crew,
To sweep away Lord Clare’s Dragoons.

Viva la for Ireland’s wrong!
Viva la, for Ireland’s right!
Viva la in battle throng,
For a Spanish steed, and sabre bright!

Oh! Comrades! Think how Ireland pines,
Her exiled Lords, her rifled shrines,
Her dearest hope, the ordered lines,
And bursting charge of Clare’s Dragoons,
The fling your Green Flag to the sky,
Be “Limerick!” your battle cry,
And charge, till blood floats fetlock-high,
Around the track of Clare’s Dragoons!

Viva la, the New Brigade!
Viva la, the Old One too!
Viva la, the rose shall fade,
And the shamrock shine forever new!

Written by Thomas Osborne Davis.

Native Swords by Thomas Osborne Davis

We’ve bent too long to braggart wrong
While force our prayers derided:
We’ve fought too long, ourselves among,
By knaves and priests divided.
United now, no more we’ll bow,
Foul faction we discard it;
And now, thank God! Our native sod
Has Native Swords to guard it.
Like rivers, which, o’er valleys rich,
Bring ruin in their water,
On native land, a native hand
Flung foreign fraud and slaughter.
From Dermod’s crime to Tudor’s time
Our clans were our perdition;
Religion’s name, since then, became
Our pretext for division.


But, worse than all, with Lim’rick’s fall
Our valour seem’d to perish;
Or, o’er the main, in France and Spain
For bootless vengeance flourish.
The peasant here grew pale, for fear
He’d suffer for our glory,
While France sang joy for Fontenoy,
And Europe hymned our story.

But, now, no clan, or factious plan,
The East and West can sunder –
Why Ulster e’er should Munster fear,
Can only wake our wonder.
Religion’s crost, when Union’s lost,
And “royal gifts” retard it;
But now, thank God! Our native sod
Has Native swords to guard it.

A Volunteer Song – 1st July 1782
Air: Boyne Water

Cymris Rule and Cymris Rulers

Once there was a Cymric nation;
Few its men and high its station –
Freedom is the souls creation,
Not the work of hands.
Coward hearts are self subduing;
Fetters last by slaves renewing –
Edward’s castles are in ruin
Still his empire stands.
Still the Saxon’s mailice
Blights our beauteous valleys
Ours the toil, but his the spoil, and his laws we writhe in;
Worked like beasts that Saxon priests may riot in our tithing;
Saxon speech and Saxon teachers
Crush our Cymric tongue!
Tolls our traffic binding,
Rents our vitals grinding –
Bleating sheep, we cower and weep, when, by one bold endeavour,
We could drive from out our hive these Saxon drones for ever
“CYMRIC RULE AND CYMRIC RULERS” –
Pass along the word!


We should blush at Arthur’s glory –
Never sing the deeds of Rory –
Caratach’s renownd story
Deepens our disgrace.
By the bloody day of Banchor!
By a thousand years of rancour!
By the wrongs that in us canker!
Up! Ye Cymric race –
Think of Old Llewellyn –
Owen’s trumpets swelling;
Then send out a thunder shout, and every true man summon,
Till the ground shall echo round from Severn to Plinlimmon,
“Saxon foes and Cymric brothers,
Arthur’s come again!”
Not his bone and sinew,
But his sould within you,
Prompt and true to plan and do, and firm as Monmouth iron,
For our cause, though crafty laws and charging troops environ –
“CYMRIC RULE AND CYMRIC RULERS”-
Pass along the word!

Air: The men of Harlech.

A Nation Once Again by Thomas Osborne Davis

When boyhood’s fire was in my blood,
I read of ancient freemen,
For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,
Three hundred men and three men.
And then I prayed I yet might see,
Our fetters rent in twain,
And Ireland, long a province, be
A nation once again.


And from that time, through wildest woe,
That hope has shone, a far light;
Nor could love’s brightest Summer glow
Outshine that solemn starlight:
It seemed to watch above my head
In forum, field and fane;
Its angel voice sang round my bed,
“A NATION ONCE AGAIN.”

It whispered, too, that “Freedom’s ark
And service high and holy,
Would be profaned by feelings dark
And passions vain or lowly:
For freedom comes from God’s right hand,
And needs a godly train:
An righteous men must make our land
A NATION ONCE AGAIN.

So, as I grew from boy to man,
I bid me to that bidding –
My spirit of each selfish plan
And cruel passion riding;
For, thus I hoped some day to aid –
Oh! can such hope be in vain?
When my dear country shall be made
A NATION ONCE AGAIN

A Rally For Ireland, May 1689 by Thomas Osborne Davis

Shout it out till it ring
From Beinn-Mor to Cape Cleir,
For our country and king,
And religion so dear,
Rally, men, rally!
Irishmen rally!
Gather round the dear flag, that, wet with our tears
And torn and bloody, lay hid for long years,
And now, once again, in its pride re-appears.
See! From the castle our green banner waves.
Bearing fit motto for uprising slaves –
For “Now or never!
Now and for ever!”
Bids you to battle for triumphs or graves –
Bids you burst on the Sacsanach knaves.
Rally, then rally!
Irishmen rally!
Shout “Now or never!
Now and for ever!”
Heed not their fury, however it raves;
Welcome their horsemen with pikes and with staves;
Close on their cannon, their bay’nets and glaives,
Down with their standard wherever it waves;
Fight to the last, and ye cannot be slaves!
Fight to the last, and ye cannot be slaves!


Gallant Sheldon is here,
And Hamilton too,
And Tirconaill so dear,
And MacCarthy so true.
And there are Frenchmen –
Skilful and staunch men –
De Rosen, Pontee, Pusigan and Boisseleau,
And gallant Lauzun is a-coming, you know,
With Bealdearg, the kinsman of great Owen Roe:
From Sionainn to Bann, and from Lifé to Laoi,
The country is rising for liberty,
Though your arms are rude,
If your courage be good,
As the traitor fled will the stranger flee,
At another Drom-mhor from “the Irishry”,
Arm, peasant and Lord!
Grasp musket and sword!
Grasp pike, staff, and scian!
Give your horses the rein!
March in the name of his Majesty –
Ulster and Munster unitedly –
Townsman and peasant, like waves of the sea –
Leinster and Connaught to victory –
Shoulder to shoulder for liberty!
Shoulder to shoulder for liberty!

Kirk, Schomberg and Churchill
Are coming – what then?
We’ll drive them and Dutch Will
To England again.

We can laugh at each threat,
For our parliament’s met –
De Courcy, O’Brien, MacDomhnaill, Le Poer,
O’Neill and St. Lawrence, and others go leor,
The choice of the land from Athlone to the shore
They’ll break the last link of the Sassanach chain –
They’ll give us the lands of our fathers again!
Then up ye! And fight
For your king and your rightm
Or ever toil on, and never complain,
Though they trample your roof tree, and rifle your fane.
Rally, then rally!
Irishmen, rally!
Fight “Now or never!
Now and for ever!”
Laws are in vain without swords to maintain
So, muster as fast as the fall of the rain:
Serried and rough as a field of ripe grain,
Stand by your flag upon mountain and plain:
Charge tilll yourselves or your foemen are slain!
Fight till yourselves or your foemen are slain!

Song of the Volunteer’s of 1782

Hurrah! ’tis done – our freedom’s won –
Hurrah for the Volunteers!
No laws we own, but those alone
Of our Commons, King and Peers.
The chain is broke – the Saxon yoke
From off our neck is taken;
Ireland awoke – Dungannon spoke –
With fear was England shaken.


When Grattan rose, none dared oppose
The claim he made for freedom;
They knew our swords, to back his words,
Were ready did he need them.
They let us raise, to Grattan’s praise,
A proud and joyous anthem;
And wealth and grace, and length of days,
May God in mercy grant him!

Bless Harry Flood, who nobly stood
By us through gloomy years;
Bless Charlemont, the brave and good.
The Chief of the Volunteers!
The North began, the Northheld on
The strife for native land,
Till Ireland rose, and cowed her foes –
God bless the Northern land!

And bless the men of patriot pen –
Swift, Molyneaux and Lucas;
Bless sword and gun which “Free Trade” won;
Bles God! Who ne’er forsook us!
And long may last the friendship fast
Which binds us all together;
While we agree, our foes shall flee
Like clouds in stormy weather.

Remember still, through good and ill,
How vain were prayers and tears –
How vain were words, till flashed the swords
Of the Irish Volunteers.
By arms we’ve got tge rights we sought
Through long and wretched years:
Hurrah! ’tis done – our freedom’s won –
Hurrah for the Volunteers!

Air: Boyne Water.

Tone’s Grave by Thomas Osborne Davis

In Bodenstown churchyard there is a green grave,
And wildly along it the winter winds rave;
Small shelter, I ween, are the ruined walls there,
When the storm sweeps down on the plains of Kildare.


Once I lay on that sod – it lies over Wolfe Tone –
and thought how he perished in prison alone,
his friends unavenged, and his country unfreed –
“Oh, bitter,” I said, “is the patriot’s meed!”

“For in him the heart of a woman combined
With a heroic life and a governing mind:
A martyr for Ireland – his grave has no stone,
his name seldom named, and his virtues unknown.”

I was woke from my dream by the voices and tread
Of a band who came into the home of the dead;
They carried no corpse, and they carried no stone,
And they stopped when they came to the grave of Wolfe Tone.

There were students and peasants, the wise and the brave,
And an old man who knew him from cradle to grave;
And children who thought me hard hearted – for they
On that sanctified sod, were forbidden to play.

But the old man, who saw I was mourning there, said:
“We come, sir, to weep where young Wolfe Tone is laid;
And we’re going to raise him a monument too –
A plain one, yet fit for the simple and true.”

My heart overflowed, and I clasped his old hand,
And I blessed him, and blessed every one of his band:
“Sweet, sweet ’tis to find that such faith can remain
To the cause, and the man so long vanquished and slain!”

In Bodenstown churchyard, there is a green grave,
And freely around it, let the winter winds rave;
Far better thay suit him – the ruin and the gloom -~
Till Ireland, a nationa, can buld him a tomb

Orange and Green Will Carry the Day

Ireland! Rejoice, and England! Deplore,
Faction and feud are passing away.
‘Twas a low voice, but ’tis a loud roar,
“Orange and Green will carry the day.”
Orange! Orange!
Green and Orange!
Pitted together in many a fray –
Lions in a fight!
And, linkd in their might,
Orange and Green will carry the day.
Orange! Orange!
Green and Orange!
Wave them togther o’er mountain and bay,
Orange and Green!
Our King and our Queen!
Orange and Green will carry the day!


Rusty the swords our fathers unsheathed;
William and James are turned to clay;
Long did we till the wrath they bequeathed –
Red was the crop and bitter the pay!
Freedom fled us!
Knaves misled us!
Under the feet of the foemen we lay;
Riches and strength
We’ll win them at length,
For Orange and Green will carry the day!
Landlords fooled us,
England ruled us,
Hounding our passions to make us their prey;
But, in their spite,
The Irish “unite”
And Orange and Green will carry the day!

Fruitful our soil where honest men starve,
Empty the mart, and shipless the bay;
Out of our want the oligarchs carve;
Foreigners fatten on our decay!
Disunited,
Therefore blighted,
Ruined and rent by the Englishman’s sway,
Party and creed
For once have agreed –
Orange and Green will carry the day!
Boyne’s old water,
Red with slaughter,
Now is pure as an infant at play;
So in our souls
It’s history rolls,
And Orange and Green will carry the day!

English deceit can rule us no more;
Bigots and knaves are scattered like spray;
Deep was the oath the Orangemen swore,
“Orange and Green must carry the day!”
Orange! Orange!
Bless the Orange!
Tories and Whigs grew pale with dismay,
When from the North
Burst the cry forth,
“Orange and Green will carry the day!”
No surrender!
No pretender!
Never to falter and never betray –
With an Amen
We swear it again,
Orange and Green shall carry the day!

Air: The Protestant Boys.
Written by Thomas Osborne Davis.