Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAIDEN CITY, by CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH TONNA



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THE MAIDEN CITY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Where foyle his swelling waters
Last Line: Yet the maiden on her throne, boys, shall be a maiden still.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, Charlotte Elizabeth
Subject(s): Londonderry, Northern Ireland; War


Where Foyle his swelling waters rolls northward to the main.
Here, Queen of Erin's daughters, fair Derry fixed her reign.
A holy temple crowned her, and commerce graced her street,
A rampart wall was round her, the river at her feet;
And here she sat alone, boys, and looking from the hill
Vow'd The Maiden on her throne, boys, would be a maiden still.

From Antrim crossing over in famous eighty-eight
A plumed and belted lover came to the Ferry gate:
She summon'd to defend her our sires--a beardless race--
Who shouted NO SURRENDER! and slamm'd it in his face.
Then in a quiet tone, boys, they told him 'twas their will
That The Maiden on her throne, boys, should be a maiden still.

Next, crushing all before him, a kingly wooer came
(The royal banner o'er him, blushed crimson deep for shame);
He showed the Pope's commission, nor dream'd to be refused.
She pitied his condition, but begg'd to stand excused.
In short, the fact is known, boys, she chased him from the hill,
For The Maiden on her throne, boys, would be a maiden still.

On our brave sires descending, 'twas then the tempest broke,
Their peaceful dwellings rending, 'mid blood and flame and smoke.
That hallow'd graveyard yonder swells with the slaughter'd dead--
Oh! brothers! pause and ponder, it was for us they bled;
And while their gift we own, boys--the fane that tops our hill,
Oh, The Maiden on her throne, boys, shall be a maiden still.

Nor wily tongue shall move us, nor tyrant arm affright,
We'll look to One above us Who ne'er forsook the right;
Who will, may crouch and tender the birthright of the free,
But, brothers, NO SURRENDER, no compromise for me!
We want no barrier stone, boys, no gates to guard the hill,
Yet The Maiden on her throne, boys, shall be a maiden still.





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