The Bard of Armagh

Oh, listen to the lay of a poor Irish harper,
And scorn not the strains of his old withered hands,
But remember those fingers they once could move sharper
In raising the merry strains of his dear native land;
It was long before the shamrock, dear isle, lovely emblem,
Was crushed in its beauty by the Saxon’s lion paw,
And all the pretty colleens around me would gather,
Call me their bold Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh.

How I love to muse on the days of my boyhood,
Though fourscore and three years have flew by them,
It’s kings sweet reflection that every young joy,
For the merry hearted boys make the best of old men.
At a fair or a wake I could twist my shillelagh,
And trip through a dance with my brogues tied with straw,
There are all the pretty maidens around me would gather,
Call me their bold Phelim Brady, the bard of Armagh.

In truth I have wandered this wide world over,
Yet Ireland’s my home and a dwelling for me,
And, oh, let the turf that my old bones shall cover
Be cut from the land that is trod by the free;
And when Sergeant Death in his cold arms doth embrace,
And lulls me to sleep with old Erin-go-bragh!
By the side of my Kathleen, my dear pride, oh, place me,
Then forget Phelim Brady, the bard of Armagh.