Patrick O'Brien.

Birth and adaption; online

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On deck that night I made a vow I'd be to Ireland true.

And greater grew my love for her while on the ocean
blue.

While on the broad Atlantic I thought of all her woes,

And bitter grew my hatred for her ruthless, cruel foes ;

Though I was but a youngster, not yet quite eighteen,

I longed to be a Fenian and wear a suit of green.

So when I landed in New York to headquarters I did
steer,

And there I saw the captain and became a volunteer.



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 51

At Pigeon Hill soon after we raised our flag of green,
One May, the twenty- fourth, the birthday of England's

Queen.
How it ended in disaster it is needless now to tell ;
How the base LeCaron sold us and the flag of Ireland

fell.
O'Neill was our commander, a soldier brave was he,
Who fought beneath the Stars and Stripes, the colored

folk to free.
Since then IVe been a wanderer 'neath the red, the white

and blue.
But to that land that gave me birth I always will be true.
I've been in California, and down in Mexico,
Montana and Wyoming and also Idaho;
Though I've traveled many lands there's none so dear

to me
As that persecuted little isle that sparkles in the sea.
The vilest reptiles of this earth lay claim to Irish soil,
While the bone and sinew of our race for them do daily

toil;
The ill-got gains of Cromwell's race in vile debauch are

spent,
While the sons and daughters of the Gael across the sea

are sent
To seek a home 'mong strangers far, far from mother's

care.
Some destined ne'er to see again their native isle so fair.
I never shall forget when I bade mother dear good-by.
The sad expression on her face when she began to cry.
"You're going far away," said she, " 'tis sad to part

with you,



52 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

Your father's heart is breaking, alas! what shall I do?"
She said her daily prayers would be to see again once

more
Beside her by the old fireside her bauchail baan astoir.
The following year a letter came which brought sad news

to me,
My father he was dying, far, far across the sea ;
He thought that he would die in peace if he could see

again
The boy who left a year ago to sail across the main.
When I received that letter I said I wouldn't wait,
I went aboard a ship next day, alas ! it was too late.
That face my father longed to see he never did see more,
For he was in his silent grave before I reached the shore ;
And mother died some years ago — they're buried in one

grave

On an Irish hillside by the sea, may peace be theirs I

crave.
Their boy is now a full-grown man, whose night thoughts

often fly
To Ardfield Graveyard on that hill where both my parents

lie.
And now a girl of Irish race has won my hand and heart,
And won my vows to cherish her till death us both would

part ;
In Brooklyn I am living, with wife and children dear,
But all along for Ireland's cause I am a volunteer;
And would again go to the front, there is no change in

me;
I'm willing as I was of yore to strike for liberty.



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 53

Though years since then are passed away and marked
upon my brow,

I've ne'er forgotten Innisfail, I'm thinking of her now.

Sad is it to have to part from all we loved so well,

And sad to say to all we loved the parting word "fare-
well";

With my new love are now my thoughts, anear or far
away —

That girl that I love dearly in Hart street, near Broadway.



BANTRY BAY.

I'm thinking now of ninety-eight, and sadly do bewail
The fate of those who left their homes for Bantry to set

sail.
There was one among them to Irishmen well known,
Whose memory soon we'll celebrate — the martyred, brave

Wolfe Tone.
Tis sad to think of those dear scenes in distant climes

away,
Where first I played upon the green at dear old Bantry

Bay.

When last I saw my native town surrounded by her hills,
I thought of all her glories, her sorrows and her ills ;
Her maids so fair with rosy cheeks, most charming to be-
hold,
Anear or far it is well known, by every one adored.



54 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

Those childhood days of happiness I think of night and

day,
And memory fills this aching heart for dear old Bantry

Bay.

Dear native town, no tongue can tell how dear you are

to me.
And would to God that I could strike a blow to set you

free.
If e'er I visit you again I hope that it will be
To drive the Saxons from our land and fight for liberty.
Jer. Mullin and McCarthy, Bill Downing and O'Shea
Would rally round our flag of green at dear old Bantry

Bay.

Now in a foreign country, 'mid scenes and faces new,
My heart flies back to you, dear town, so gentle, kind and

true.
How well do I remember your Main street and your

quay.
Your public square and cove so grand and Saxon

Battery ;
Your illustrious sons and daughters, T can for them

proudly say
That they never feared a redcoat at dear old Bantry

Bay.

Dear native hills and valleys, where in childhood I did

roam,
I think of you in distant climes far from the dear old

home;



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 55

Though in a foreign country, I love you more and more.
And bless the hours that I have spent with you in days

of yore.
Oh ! how I long my bark to steer and hear the lookout say,
''There on the lee the land I see near dear old Bantry

Bay."

Bold Doheny, in forty-eight, an outlawed man was he,
Close to your town he wrote that song called "Cushla

GalMachree."
There was another Irishman who once was light and airy,
Who fought with Gen. John O'Neill, his name is Pat

O'Leary ;
He fought in far-off Canada at the Battle of Ridgeway,
And showed John Bull what he could do for dear old

Bantry Bay.

Now fare 3''ou well, dear Bantry, likewise Glengariff's

shore.
Perhaps that I am destined to see your face no more.
Though in a foreign country, for you I'll always mourn.
And with a change of government to you I would return.
Your sons and daughters then so merrily would say.
Welcome from Columbia to dear old Bantry Bay.

Your maidens and your matrons with smiles of purity
Are a credit to that ancient town wherever they may be ;
Your bronzed and rugged boatmen, how well their crafts

they steer
Before the wind with all sail free from Whiddy to Cape

Clear.



56 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

My fondest hope is that they may see the dawn of free-
dom's day,
And freemen all on land and sea in dear old Bantry Bay.

Glengariff and famed Keimaneigh are places I know

well,
The Priest's Leap and Cohomola where patriots do dwell ;
Durrus and Dunboy Castle, where Philip nobly fought
Against the Saxon hirelings whose lives he dearly sought.
Famed castle town of old renown enchantingly doth lay,
Where O'Sullivan Beare did the English scare in dear old

Bantry Bay.



THOUGHTS OF THE FENIAN DAYS.

When I left home in sixty-eight to cross the deep blue

sea,
Good men and true were living then who'd fight for

liberty ;
We had no Land League in those days, though tyrants

quaked with fear.
When the manhood of old Erin's Isle to fight would

volunteer.
The bone and sinew of our race were ready at the call.
To strike for home and liberty with musket, blade and

ball;
Doran brave and Dillon, Murphy and O'Neill,
With their beds upon the heather and brightly shining

steel.



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 57

In those good old days the landlords sought protection

night and day,
For the Fenians were the leaguers then preparing for the

fray;
The barracks were made bullet-proof, the Peelers to

protect,
For a volley from the 1. R. B. they hourly did expect.
Such men as Captain Mackey and Kilclooney, Crowley

too,
Rossa and O'Mahoney for tyrants made it blue ;
Their preaching and their teaching made Irishmen unite.
For they were willing at that time to fight with all their

might.

Alas, the time has changed since then, we have no army
now,

The people seem contented and to Land Leaguers do
bow;

Do they forget the centuries of torture and of hate,

The murder of our people in good old ninety-eight?

The babes and mothers murdered from morning till sun-
down.

Their brains bespattered in the streets of Clonakilty town ?

The best and bravest of our race were banished far and
wide

And forced to leave their happy homes upon the green
hillside.

Can Irishmen forget such acts and now contented be.
And think that agitation will set old Ireland free?



58 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

The sword alone will wrest our rights the Saxon knows

full well,
For he has dealt us blows as foul, aye, blows as black as

hell.
Then why should we give up the cause for which our

fathers died?
Nay ! Strike for home with shot and shell, by them we

should abide.
So, Irishmen, get ready, renew once more the fight,
To strike for home and liberty should be your heart's

delight.

All traitors to our sacred cause no quarter should be

given.
But should be hounded night and day and from old

Ireland driven.
Should they refuse to fall in line, like traitors they should

die.
With scarce a minute's warning upon a gallows high.
I see no reason why our isle in bondage now should be,
We should unite with all our might and strike for liberty.
The Leaguers and the Fenians should join with heart and

hand
And deal John Bull that longed-for blow through all the

dear old land.

The North and South should now unite and both stand

side by side,
And think of God and country and cast their creeds aside.
The orange and the green as their emblems should

entwine,



. BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 59

And shake their hands for Ireland's cause once more
across the Boyne.

When England hears of unity the "sponge" she will
throw down,

And give us what she stole from us in valley, hill and
town.

Then the union of the Irish race will ring from shore to
shore,

And then the Orange and the Green be friends for ever-
more.



ON LEAVING IRELAND.

Oh, why must I reluctantly from you, dear land, depart,
And cross the wild Atlantic with a heavy, aching heart?
The rich are traitors to your cause and loyal to the Crown,
But soon, thank God, we'll take our stand and tear their

colors down.
Too long we've borne the alien yoke, too long the Saxon

chain,
But now this yoke we do defy, we'll rend it soon in twain.
The sons and daughters of the Gael united now doth

stand,
And bid defiance to John Bull and his Iscariot band.

Chorus.
The government J, P.'s and dispensary M. D.'s
Are loyal to King Edward like some of the M. P.'s.
Avaunt ! I say, you're knaves, you are traitors ; you are

slaves
And you should never have the chance to lie in freemen's

Sfraves.



60 BIRTH AND ADOPTION. .

In Ireland I found, since I came from 'cross the sea,
The tradesmen and mechanics all willing to be free ;
The laborer and the farmer who toil the live-long day,
Working for the Plunderer who their hearts' blood drains

away.
These are the men to fall in line prepared to do or die,
And now are waiting one and all to hear the battle cry^
"Faugh-a-Ballagh" is our watchword, the hour is nigh at

hand
To strike a blow for liberty to free the dear old land.

The squireens and the shoneens who are praying for old

King Ned,
And Peter the 'Tacker" on the bench with wig upon his

head ;
The parson and the Peeler and a shopkeeper or two
Are traitors to our sacred cause when now they should

be true.
Alas ! Alas ! that they were bred upon my native soil
To help the marauders our happy homes to spoil ;
But there is a day of reckoning, thank God it's near at

hand,
When we will banish all of them from out our native

land.

I found the rich were willing slaves and wanted

monarchy,
Afraid they'd lose their ill-got gains if Ireland should be

free.
To see these cringing starvelings, slaves, when the fleet

came to town,



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 61

Begging for the patronage of minions of the Crown.
Some wearing bands upon their hats of England's King

and Queen,
Who murdered Robert Emmet for the love he bore the

green.
Think of the Irish girl who is forced to leave her home
And in a foreign land, among strangers, there to roam.



LEAVING HOME.



Alas! Alas! in foreign lands six thousand miles from

home.
Thinking of my native hills in distant climes to roam ;
I left your fertile plains, asthore, when I was young in

years,
And when I kissed a mother dear she wiped away her

tears.
I left her with a broken heart to travel far away ;
Heart and brain with care oppressed I sailed from Bantry

Bay.

I left one Sunday morning before the signal gun ;
'Twas there my many troubles and sorrows had begun.
As I sailed out of the harbor I whispered a farewell
To the sun-kissed hills and meadows green and daisies in

the dell ;
The little birds ne'er sang so sweet as did they on that

day
When I left home and kindred and sailed from Bantry

Bay.



62 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

As I sailed in the little craft that took me out to sea,
'Twas then I prayed to God above my country to set free ;
There is no reason she should be in bondage all these

years,
Bleeding from her many wounds and shedding bitter

tears.
She is as fair as other lands and trying night and day
To raise the Green above the Red in dear old Bantry Bay.



Although out in the great Far West with plenty all

around,
Fd rather live in Ireland, my own dear native ground.
'Tis true there's wealth galore out here and plenty and

to spare,
But give to me old Erin's Isle, none with her can

compare.
I know her fields are fresh and green, but she does

in bondage lay.
And that's the reason I left home and sailed from Bantry

Bay.



As I roam these wild prairies and mountains of the West,
My thoughts fly o'er the billows to the land that I love

best ;
Though oceans roll between us, you're ever dear to me,
I'll ne'er forget my native hills for any country.
Your sons and daughters they are brave at home or far

away,
And always will be dear to me far, far from Bantry Bay.



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 63

Why should the wandering Celt forget his home beyond

the sea,
The Lifify and Blackwater, the Shannon and the Lee,
Killarney and Glengariff, Avoca and Dunlow,
The pass of Keimaneigh, where yoemen were laid low?
These places all are dear to me, though I am far away,
Yet still my heart flies back once more to dear old Bantry

Bay.



A DREAM OF HOME.

I had a dream the other night of my home beyond the sea,

I thought I saw our green flag float, and that triumph-
antly ;

I though old Ireland was free, and that from shore
to shore.

And all the minions of the Crown law weltering in their
gore.

The boys and girls were marching beneath our Irish
green,

And fife and drum were sounding defiantly, I ween.

Parnell and Mitchell I saw there with Emmet by their
side ;

Rossa and brave Doran, old Ireland's joy and pride.

Allen, Larkin and O'Brien, wdth Mackey in the van,

Brave John O'Neill, of Ridgeway fame, a valiant Irish-
man.

I thought that I was close by him once more at Pigeon
Hill,

Where Booker met his Waterloo and was retreating still.



64 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

The redcoats were all routed and driven to despair,
They numbered six to one of us, but with us could not

compare.
Tim Cadogan I thought I saw the night before he died.
Defying the judge and jury packed — he was both true and

tried.

Mike Barrett bold, of Clerkenwell, McClure and Crowley,

too,
Joe Brady and Dan Curley and Fitzharris brave and true ;
Corydon and Massy were with Talbot down below,
With skulls and toads and crossbones, with us they had

no show.
James Stevens gazed upon the crowd and told them one

and all,
Old Ireland was a nation now and ne'er again should fall.
He called his comrades to his side and thus to them did

say,
"No more we'll fear the Saxon foe from Down to Bantry

Bay."

Tim Sheehy, Flor McCarthy, Collins and Jack Shea,
Bob Saunders and O'Leary were foremost in the fray;
Costigan and Canty, Tim Hurley and Taboo,
O'Leary and his stalwart sons to Ireland's always true.
O'Connor's yacht was sailing around Whiddy's ancient

isle.
With the green flag and the shamrock, the emblem of our

isle.
O'Donovan gave three hearty cheers for home and

fatherland,
Saying, "We must hold our own against any Saxon

band."



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 65

O'Shea and Con O'Mahoney were marching through the

street,
Young Buckley and Bill Goggin together all did meet;
Bill was riding on a horse as he marched through the

town,
When Cotter raised above the red the harp without the

crown.
Gilhooley gazed upon the cro\yd, saying, "What a

glorious day,
The Saxon we have now subdued and him must keep at

bay."
In unity there's always strength, now we must do or die
Before we'll yield to any power but that of God on high.

The boats were in the harbor and all was there serene.
The Union Jack was in the dust replaced by Ireland's

Green.
The Peelers looked forlorn, each wore a scowl or frown,
W^hen they thought of all the happy homes that they had

helped to down.
To see them gaze upon the flag that now was in the mire,
They looked like Mickey Free, a Massy or sham squire.
They'll have to leave old Ireland, no more to curse her

soil,
For sword and gun take pick and spade and live by honest

toil.

Rick Burke and Captain Kelly, Father Crowley and

O'Shea,
Drove the English hirelings from Cork to Bantry Bay.



66 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

And when their bullets all were spent with bayonet at the

foe they went,
Cheering loud to chill their hearts, ''From Chicago we

were sent!"
Now, Burke told Kelly, ''Clear the way and drive the

toadies to the bay!"
Kelly shouted back with might, "Burke and Shea, keep up

the fight !"
The Saxon foe was kept at bay, 'twas done by Kelly,

Burke and Shea.



KILLARNEY.

I left Glengariff's lovely vale and rugged sons so

brawny,
O'Sullivan drove the coach-and-four that took me to

Killarney ;
Doctor Powell and stately wife were in the caravan
As we passed by old "Slievnagoil," the home of chief and

clan;
"Cromwell's Bridge" we saw that day, an antique granite

arch.
The "Forests" and the craggy brakes where he applied

the torch;
The lake down in the valley, the wild deer and the doe.
The ruined halls of bygone days where chieftains were

laid low.

O'Sullivan's and McSwiney's homes and ruined castle

walls.
We saw along the route that day, all caused by Saxon

laws,



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 67

For Cromwell's soldiers plundered us with carabine and

torch
And spread but desolation along their blood-stained

march.
As we went up the incline we saw down in the glen
The place where Michael Doheny was outlawed with

his men;
From there he sailed away to France despite a "Lordly

mien" ;
Love of Ireland was his crime and hate for England's

Queen.

Philip "Brave" O'Sullivan of Bantry and of Beare,
Yourself and bold McGeohegan the English once did

scare,
And held the "Fort" where forty men, ignoring Don Juan,
Kept the English all at bay, McGeohegan in the van;
He tried to reach the "Magazine," his blood flowing fast

away.
But lost his life for Fatherland and famed Glengariff's

Bay.
With heavy heart I gazed that day with bloodhounds on

the track.
And oft you'd hear in Cromwell's days the howling of his

pack.

To travel o'er these mountain scenes from Glengariff to

Kenmare,
The "Priest's Leap" and the tunnel, none with them can

compare ;
When the "Peep-o'-Day" and "White Boys" and men

of ninety-eight,



68 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

With crude and ancient weapons defied the King and

State.
Though their beds were on the heather they kept the foe

at bay,
And some are eager as of yore preparing for the fray ;
The rugged sons of Kerry, of Beare and famed Bantry,
No rest can get by day or night till Ireland is free.

Now as we reached the Kerry line, its barren rocks and

brakes.
We see beyond us on the lea Killarney's lovely lakes ;
The Eagle's Nest and Mountain Pass now loom up in

the shade,
Dunloe's famed gap and tunnels, too, by nature there

were made.
I plucked the heather on the hill for Chester's lovely lady,
The charming wife of Doctor Powell, as gentle as a baby.
As we drove through Kenmare town, its bridge and

monastery,
I thought it was a pity that land should not be free.

When we reached famed Killarney what first met my

view
Were the boys of Pennsylvania, that gallant sculling

crew ;
Next day they won their laurels with plenty space to

spare ;
Columbia's noble emblem was floating everywhere.
O'Donoghue's castle on the lakes next day we went to

see.
The Tussacks and Muckross, that famed old monastery.
Killarney's lakes are beautiful and none can them excel,
But they are out of Irish hands ; Killarney, fare thee well.



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 69

MAGGIE.

When first I saw her lovely face, I never will forget,
I thought of it for many a day, I'm thinking of it yet ;
It haunted me through field and mead, through valley,

hill and stream,
And often in a distant clime I thought she was a dream.
Oh ! could I recall those happy days that passed so swiftly

by,

When side by side we walked along beneath an azure sky.

I sought her in the evening when my daily toil was o'er,
And whispered tales of love to her and whispered more

and more.
One evening in December, while sitting by her side,
I asked her would she marry me — would she be my

bride.
'Twas then she answered with a smile, saying, "I will be

your wife,"
And I resolved to stick to her through every siege of life.

The following spring we wedded were, I've no cause to

regret,
And she, dear girl, has stuck to me, and ne'er caused me

to fret;
My life I'd freely give for her just as I would of old,
For she is dearer far to me than all this world untold.
We're married now some years and children have galore,
Five boys and two girls to grace our Brooklyn floor.

When in the Western wilds her letters give me cheer,
And make me love her more and more, my darling
Maggie dear;



70 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

It nearly breaks my heart that home I cannot stay,
Instead of wandering from her side in distant dimes

away.
My daily thoughts are with my love, my treasure and my

pride,
For she is dearer far to me than all the world beside.

When my long trips are over my bark for home I steer,
The laughing voice of her I love is ringing in my ear ;
The little ones close by her side, I long to see them play,
And hear them all in chorus cry, ''Our father comes

to-day!"
The little ones are growing fast and mother's pets are

they,
Which makes my thoughts fly back to them when many

miles away.



SKIBBEREEN.



Even as other lands and other climes are thought of by

their own,
The Irish exile thinks of his, his native Innishowen.
He ne'er forgets his childhood days, the pattern and the

fair.
The schoolhouse and the babbling brook and happy hours

spent there.
Those happy hours I now recall spent on the village green.
Till I was forced to leave my home in dear old Skib-

bereen.



BIRTH AND ADOPTION. 71

When I was in my tender years, with spirits light and gay,
The soldiers and the Peelers I saw both night and day;
They marched rough-shod o'er mountain, o'er meadow,

brook and lawn
And left their hiding places when the day began to

dawn.
You all know well how loyal they were to England's

Queen,
And that's the reason why I left my home in Skibbereen.

The scenes I witnessed in those days I never shall forget ;

I've thought of them in foreign lands, I'm thinking of
them yet.

The rich were masters of the soil and made the poor be-
wail.

Which caused them from their native heath to foreign
lands set sail.

I shared their fate to emigrate from my own isle so green,

And bade farewell to home and friends in dear old Skib-
bereen.

Good men and true are living there although in slavery,

And hoping still to see the day their country will be free.

You'll find them true to homeland across the deep blue
sea,

And longing for that freedom's dawn to strike for liberty.

God speed the day, I fondly pray, beneath our flag of
green,

When I'll go back to you, my love, and dear old Skib-
bereen.



72 BIRTH AND ADOPTION.

MY FRIENDS IN BANTRY.

There's a little spot in Ireland, across the deep blue sea,
Where I spent many happy days and heard sweet

Ardnalee.
The Carrydown and heath so brown you'd hear Frank

sing each day
For Patsy Stack and Jimmy Mack in famed old Bantry

Bay.

Dan Lyons, too, sincere and true, a sportsman of great

fame,
Survey's the shore, yes, o'er and o'er, in search of foreign

game.
When he meets young O'Donovan up to the glen they

stray,
To meet the ones that they love best from famed old

Bantry Bay.

O'Sullivan, too, from near the bridge is often down the

quay.
When business hours are over in some lady's company.


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Online LibraryPatrick O'BrienBirth and adaption; → online text (page 4 of 13)