Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CROSSING THE BLACKWATER, by ROBERT DWYER JOYCE

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CROSSING THE BLACKWATER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We stood so steady
Last Line: Inisfail, for you!
Subject(s): Blackwater (river), Ireland

WE stood so steady,
All under fire,
We stood so steady,
Our long spears ready
To vent our ire, --
To dash on the Saxon,
Our mortal foe,
And lay him low
In the bloody mire!

'T was by Blackwater,
When snows were white,
'T was by Blackwater,
Our foes for the slaughter
Stood full in sight;
But we were ready
With our long spears,
And we had no fears
But we'd win the fight.

Their bullets came whistling
Upon our rank,
Their bullets came whistling,
Their spears were bristling
On the other bank;
Yet we stood steady,
And each good blade,
Ere the morn did fade,
At their life-blood drank.

"Hurrah for Freedom!"
Came from our van,
"Hurrah for Freedom!
Our swords -- we'll feed 'em
As best we can, --
With vengeance we'll feed 'em!"
Then down we crashed,
Through the wild ford dashed,
And the fray began!

Horses to horses,
And man to man, --
O'er dying horses,
And blood and corses, O'Sullivan,
Our general, thundered,
And we were not slack
To slay at his back
Till the flight began.

O, how we scattered
The foemen then, --
Slaughtered and scattered,
And chased and shattered,
By shore and glen; --
To the wall of Moyallo
Few fled that day, --
Will they bar our way
When we come again?

Our dead freres we buried, --
They were but few, --
Our dead freres we buried
Where the dark waves hurried,
And flashed and flew:
O, sweet be their slumber
Who thus have died
In the battle's tide,
Inisfail, for you!

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