Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE IRISH REAPER'S HARVEST HYMN, by JOHN KEEGAN

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THE IRISH REAPER'S HARVEST HYMN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: All hail! Holy mary, our hope and our joy!
Last Line: Light liberty's flame in the hut of the slave!
Subject(s): Freedom; Harvest; Liberty

ALL hail! Holy Mary, our hope and our joy!
Smile down, blessed Queen! on the poor Irish boy
Who wanders away from his dear beloved home;
O Mary! be with me wherever I roam.
Be with me, O Mary!
Forsake me not, Mary!

From the home of my fathers in anguish I go,
To toil for the dark-livered, cold-hearted foe,
Who mocks me, and hates me, and calls me a slave,
An alien, a savage -- all names but a knave.
But, blessed be Mary!
My sweet, holy Mary!
The bodagh he never dare call me a knave.

From my mother's mud sheeling an outcast I fly,
With a cloud on my heart and a tear in my eye;
Oh! I burn as I think that if Some One would say,
'Revenge on your tyrants!' -- but, Mary! I pray
From my soul's depth, O Mary!
And hear me, sweet Mary!
For union and peace to old Ireland I pray.

The land that I fly from is fertile and fair,
And more than I ask or I wish for is there,
But I must not taste the good things that I see --
'There's nothing but rags and green rushes for me.'
O mild Virgin Mary!
O sweet Mother Mary!
Who keeps my rough hand from red murder but thee?

But sure in the end our dear freedom we'll gain,
And wipe from the green flag each Sassanach stain,
And oh! Holy Mary, your blessing we crave!
Give hearts to the timid, and hands to the brave;
And then, Mother Mary!
Our own blessed Mary!
Light Liberty's flame in the hut of the slave!

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