Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LAMENT FOR THE MILESIANS, by THOMAS OSBORNE DAVIS



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LAMENT FOR THE MILESIANS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh! Proud were the chieftains of green inis-fail
Last Line: As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
Subject(s): Nationalism - Ireland


I.

OH! proud were the chieftains of green Inis-Fail
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
The stars of our sky, and the salt of our soil;
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
Their hearts were as soft as a child in the lap,
Yet they were "the men in the gap" --
And now that the cold clay their limbs doth enwrap; --
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!

II.

'Gainst England long battling, at length they went down;
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
But they left their deep tracks on the road of renown;
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
We are heirs of their fame, if we're not of their race, --
And deadly and deep our disgrace,
If we live o'er their sepulchres, abject and base; --
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!

III.

Oh! sweet were the minstrels of kind Inis-Fail!
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
Whose music, nor ages nor sorrow can spoil;
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh
But their sad stifled tones are like streams flowing hid,
Their caoine and their piopracht were chid,
And their language, "that melts into music," forbid;
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!

IV.

How fair were the maidens of fair Inis-Fail!
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
As fresh and as free as the sea-breeze from soil,
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
Oh! are not our maidens as fair and as pure?
Can our music no longer allure?
And can we but sob, as such wrongs we endure?
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!

V.

Their famous, their holy, their dear Inis-Fail!
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
Shall it still be a prey for the stranger to spoil?
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
Sure, brave men would labour by night and by day
To banish that stranger away;
Or, dying for Ireland, the future would say
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!

VI.

Oh! shame -- for unchanged is the face of our isle;
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
That taught them to battle, to sing, and to smile;
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!
We are heirs of their rivers, their sea, and their land, --
Our sky and our mountains as grand -- [hand,
We are heirs -- oh! we're not -- of their heart and their
As truagh gan oidhir 'n-a bh-farradh!





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