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IN THE YEARS OF SARSFIELD, by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: I wish I were over the curlew mountains
Last Line: "^2^ macaulay's ""history of england,"" ch. Xvii."
Alternate Author Name(s): Sigerson, Dora; Shorter, Mrs. Clement
Subject(s): Ireland; Sarsfield, Patrick, Earl Of Lucan; War; Irish


I WISH I were over the Curlew Mountains,
Marching to Sligo by valley and fen;
I wish I were back in the years of Sarsfield,
Tramping the rough roads with him and his men.

I wish that I stood upon Yellow Island,
Watching the camp that the Williamites made;
I wish that my good gun was pressed to my shoulder
And that my caubeen held the white cockade.

I wish I were out with "galloping Hogan,"
Happy a guide for my hero to be,
Encamped for the night on the Keeper Mountain,
Ready to guard with the brave rapparee.

I wish I had been in the woods of Cullen
In the dark night when the battle began;
I wish I had heard at the wan moon's rising
"Sarsfield the word, and Sarsfield the man."

I wish I were young at the siege of Limerick,
Holding the breach there and glad in the fight;
Ah, could I but see him, King William of Orange,
With his troops defeated ready for flight.

Had I but stood on the bridge of Athlone, there
Flinging the plank and beam into the wave,
Keeping the broken arch, as the last hero stood
Fighting the fight of death, one of the brave.

I wish I had fought in the flood of the Shannon
With the grim Dutchmen, to conquer or drown,
Left without shot or shell by the false Maxwell,^1^
Into the deep had that traitor gone down.

I wish I had fought in the battle of Aughrim
By the black bog on the side of the hill,
Seeing there Ginkel's men fall to disquietude,
Failing with Sarsfield meant living still.

I wish I had flown with the Wild Geese across the sea,
Knelt on red Landen's plain, facing the foe;
Holding the dear head of Sarsfield on my heart,
Knowing from his brave blood heroes would grow.

Ah, had I sailed to far France out of Galway,
There on the deck the spy Maxwell to see,
Bishop or Luttrell never had stayed me from
"Tossing the Scotsman right into the sea."^2^

^FOOTNOTES^

^1^ One Brigadier Maxwell, in the Campaign of 1691.

^2^ Macaulay's "History of England," Ch. XVII.





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