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