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A Song For The Irish Militia

Thomas Osborne Davis 1814 (Mallow, County Cork) – 1845 (Dublin)



AIR--_The Peacock._

I.

The tribune's tongue and poet's pen
May sow the seed in prostrate men;
But 'tis the soldier's sword alone
Can reap the crop so bravely sown!
No more I'll sing nor idly pine,
But train my soul to lead a line--
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!

II.

No foe would fear your thunder words,
If 'twere not for your lightning swords--
If tyrants yield when millions pray,
'Tis less they link in war array;
Nor peace itself is safe, but when
The sword is sheathed by fighting men--
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!

III.

The rifle brown and sabre bright
Can freely speak and nobly write--
What prophets preached the truth so well
As HOFER, BRIAN, BRUCE, and TELL?
God guard the creed these heroes taught--
That blood-bought Freedom's cheaply bought
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!

IV.

Then, welcome be the bivouac,
The hardy stand, and fierce attack,
Where pikes will tame their carbineers,
And rifles thin their bay'neteers,
And every field the island through
Will show 'what Irishmen can do!'
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death so Ireland's free!

V.

Yet, 'tis not strength and 'tis not steel
Alone can make the English reel;
But wisdom, working day by day,
Till comes the time for passion's sway--
The patient dint and powder shock,
Can blast an empire like a rock.
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!

VI.

The tribune's tongue and poet's pen
May sow the seed in slavish men;
But 'tis the soldier's sword alone
Can reap the harvest when 'tis grown.
No more I'll sing, no more I'll pine,
But train my soul to lead a line--
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Thomas Osborne Davis

Thomas Osborne Davis October 14 1814 - September 16 1845 was an Irish writer and politician who was the chief organizer and poet of the Young Ireland movement Thomas Davis was born in the town of Mallow in the county of Cork He studied in Trinity College Dublin and received an Arts degree precursory to his being called to the Irish Bar in 1838 He established The Nation newspaper with Charles Gavan Duffy and John Blake Dillon He dedicated his life to Irish nationalism He wrote some stirring nationalistic ballads originally contributed to The Nation and afterwards republished as Spirit of the Nation as well as a memoir of Curran the Irish lawyer and orator prefixed to an edition of his speeches and he had formed many literary plans which were brought to naught by his death from tuberculosis in 1845 at the age of 30 more…

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