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THE DEATH OF SARSFIELD, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: When ireland's cities, one by one, beneath the orange brand
Last Line: Is doomed to perish by our love and sorrow unredeemed.
Alternate Author Name(s): Houghton, 1st Baron; Houghton, Lord
Subject(s): Ireland; Sarsfield, Patrick, Earl Of Lucan; Irish


WHEN Ireland's cities, one by one, beneath the Orange brand,
Fell overawed or overpowered and lost their noble land,
Still Limerick, with her own strong arm and Sarsfield's leading will,
Wasted the conqueror's gathered force and foiled his ready skill.

Yet vain the strife when all was gone save honour and despair,
When in three realms King James's flag was floating only there:
Thus came the time when England's fleet three thousand warriors bore,
Willing, yet sorrowing, banished hearts, to you more friendly shore.

There Sarsfield, now Earl Lucan named, devoted faith and sword
To Him who for his exiled land and spread the royal board;
Without a country or a king he knew no better law,
Than serve the Grand Monarque, the foe of England and Nassau!

Thus on the Neckar's bristling banks and by the blood-bought Rhine,
Earl Lucan and his famed brigade would lead the gallant line;
Though often came the grievous thought to close a well-won day,
That others fought for fatherland, -- for gold and glory they!

Until before some sturdy fort that checked the Gallic pride,
His comrades from the raining bolts one moment bent aside;
And he, while rallying them to show "how glad they were to meet
Those little friends they knew so well," -- fell stricken at their feet!

The blood outspouting from his breast, they gently raised him up,
With hollow hand he caught the stream and filled the living cup,
Then slowly poured it on the ground, and, heavenward gazing, cried,
"Oh God, that this were only shed for Ireland!" -- and so died.

Alas! we cannot even die for what we love the best;
On things we feel are little worth we lavish toil and rest,
While all, on which the hope of youth and faith of manhood beamed,
Is doomed to perish by our love and sorrow unredeemed.





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