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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/603

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561
THE IRISH AVATAR.

27.

My voice, though but humble, was raised for thy right;[1]
My vote, as a freeman's, still voted thee free;
This hand, though but feeble, would arm in thy fight,[2]
And this heart, though outworn, had a throb still for thee!


28.

Yes, I loved thee and thine, though thou art not my land;[3]
I have known noble hearts and great souls in thy sons,
And I wept with the world, o'er the patriot band
Who are gone, but I weep them no longer as once.


29.

For happy are they now reposing afar,—
Thy Grattan, thy Curran, thy Sheridan,[4] all
Who, for years, were the chiefs in the eloquent war,
And redeemed, if they have not retarded, thy fall.


30.

Yes, happy are they in their cold English graves!
Their shades cannot start to thy shouts of to-day—
Nor the steps of enslavers and chain-kissing slaves[5]
Be stamped in the turf o'er their fetterless clay.


31.

Till now I had envied thy sons and their shore,

Though their virtues were hunted, their liberties fled;[6]
  1. [Byron spoke and voted in favour of the Earl of Donoughmore's motion for a Committee on the Roman Catholic claims, April 21, 1812. (See "Parliamentary Speeches," Appendix II., Letters, 1898, ii. 431-443.)]
  2. My arm, though but feeble ——.—[Medwin.]
  3. —— though thou wert not my land.—[Medwin.]
  4. [For Grattan and Curran, see letter to Moore, October 2, 1813, Letters, 1898, ii. 271, note 1; for Sheridan, see "Introduction to Monody," etc., ante, pp. 69, 70.]
  5. Nor the steps of enslavers, and slave-hissing slaves
    Be damp'd in the turf ——.—[Medwin.]

  6. Though their virtues are blunted ——.—[Medwin.]