Irish Minstrelsy/Volume 2/Part 3/Ireland and King James

Irish Minstrelsy
translated by Henry Grattan Curran
Ireland and King James
3509575Irish Minstrelsy — Ireland and King JamesHenry Grattan Curran



Ireland.—What stranger turns for refuge to ray hall,
Whose gate still opens wide to misery's call?—

James.—Thy James alas! in want and woe I come
To seek the shelter of thy friendly home.

Ireland.—Woe! that the sanction of thy sacred name,
Should come to deepen destitution's claim;
When foes discomfited should trembling flee
Before thy reeking blade!—but woe is me!
Gazing upon his baffled brand, the Gael
Curses the hordes that warp the eternal scale;
And rend with ruffian hand the trembling string,
That waked the heart to rapture's fervid spring;
Or at the shrine its deep devotion poured.
When Christ looked down where Christian priests adored.

James.—Spouse of my soul! I was constrained to flee—
The minions I dared trust abandoned me;—
Out on the false ones! thousand foes pressed on—
Betrayed—deserted—could I stand alone?—
Thy Phœnix form! thy cheek's fresh lily hue!
Thy fragrant lips distilling honied dew!
Dear victim! what are these, when churls prevail.
And thy sons curse the brand that thus could fail?

Ireland.—Bend not, my stately oak! nor let dismay
Blench thy bold brow! the craven may betray—
Desert thee—foes assail thee—but in vain!
God is with thee to shelter and sustain.
Gleams the bright blade! the ocean from afar
Wafts to thy aid all circumstance of war—
With Clement's—Philip's banner streaming high,
Naples shall shade thee, and thy foes defy.

James.—My spouse! my portion! in thy changeless faith
Is all my pride—my hope of glory's wreath—
Count o'er the valiant hearts—the true—the brave.
Whose truth, by sea or land, has earned a grave.

In loyal strife, to bid our holy fane
Pour to approving heaven its welcome strain—
And lofty spirits of Milesian line,3
Freely in their white, happy homes entwine—
Proud and unfettered, from all controul,
Save the bright spell that binds them soul to soul—

Ireland.—But rest thee now! a firmer hope remains!—
A hand divine prepares to rend thy chains!
The Mother of the Man-God shall invoke,
The Eternal deal the liberating stroke.
The Scot—the Gael—the rallying thousands come;
The reeking sword half chokes the ravening tomb;
And o'er the deep the festering boars4 shall flee,
Racked with "the want, the woe," they wrought for thee.