The Spirit of the Nation  (1844) 

2nd edition of the compiled work from the publication of The Nation

Volume 1 Edit












We offer this little volume—the materials of which have been taken from the “Nation” newspaper—freely and confidently to the people of Ireland, as the sole object of its publication is their benefit. Such a compilation was only projected after there were frequent demands for it, which will acquit the authors of vanity, as its price will fully absolve the publisher from any desire of gain in the transaction. A book that neither contemplates praise nor profit is a genuine novelty, and will, we expect, receive the “Cead mile Failte” which a stranger never asks from our countrymen in vain.

We commend it especially to the Repeal Reading-rooms and Teetotal Societies. Such of the songs as go to popular airs ought to be constantly practised by those bodies. They will find very profitable and pleasant singing for the millions among them. The other pieces may be read or recited at public dinners and soirees with scarcely less advantage. The English minister who planned the Union had a great respect for the influence of songs on a people; in which, we think, he exhibited more sagacity than in handcuffing two strong, angry men together to strengthen their connexion. However, as there is a difference of opinion on this point, it will be a pleasant test of his wisdom to knock one of his nuts against the other and see which of them will crack first.

It may be observed, that we have spelled some Irish words that occur in this volume somewhat differently from the usual method, that usual method being whatever way English writers thought fit to spell them for us. We have consulted the best Irish scholars, and adopted their orthography, which we expect will become general. We would be ashamed to mispell Latin, English, French, or any other foreign language, and, in the name of common sense, why not our own? It is quite as comical a blunder to write "Faugh a Ballagh" for "Fag a Bealaċ," as "Parley-voo" for "Parlez-vous," if we only thought so.

We believe there is nothing further to say, but to wish our friends a keen relish for the good things which we set before them.

Trinity-street, Dublin,
   May, 1843.

A second series of the “Spirit of the Nation,” being Political Songs and National Ballads by the writers of the “Nation” newspaper, is now ready. All applications must be made to the Publisher, James Duffy, 25, Anglesea-street, as, in future, the publication will be conducted in his establishment.


Names of Pieces. Airs. Authors' Signatures. Page.
Ourselves Alone Mrs. Casey Slievegullion 1
The Men of Tipperary Nora Criena The Celt 3
Sonnet E. N. Shannon 4
The Munster War Song The Old Woman tossed up in a Blanket Shamrock 5
The Monopolists' Lie Theta 7
Grainne Ṁaol Grainne Ṁaol H——— 8
Fag a Bealaċ Black Northern 11
Epigram Terræ Filius 12
O'Connell T. C. D. 13
The Exterminator's Song I am the Gipsy King. Gracchus 13
The United Irishmen The Siege of Belleisle Fermoy 15
The Vow of Tipperary Nora Criena The Celt 16
Father Mathew ————— 17
Epigram Black Northern 18
What's my Thought like? M. P. 19
The Grave of Bric J. M. C. 20
The Nation's First Number Rory O'More Terræ Filius 22
Epigram Terræ Filius 23
Nation's Valentine Molly, my Dear Shamrock 24
Epigram Terræ Filius 25
Lament for the Brave Savourneen Deelish Montanus 26
Epigram S——— 26
New Natural Philosophy Terræ Filius 27
My Land The winsome wee thing The Celt 28
The Song of Ulster The Yeomen of Bucks Black Northern 29
Song for Irishmen Gramachree Cuchcullin 31
A Traveller's Testimony Theta 32
Lines on a Rock R. G.——— 32
Awake and lie Dreaming no more Savourneen Deelish J. Coen 34
Tyrol and Ireland Theta 35
Death of Owen Roe The last rose of Summer The Celt 36
Epigram T. C. D. 37
O'Connell Astrea 38
The Coquette Gracchus 39
My Grave The Celt 40
The Ulster Septs Castle Tirowen Cuchcullin 41
Dalcassian's War Song Fag a Bealaċ M. J. M'C 43
The Curse of the Renegades Garryowen Theta 44
The Saxon Shilling Paddy Carey K. T. B. 45
Irish War Song, 1843 Minstrel Boy W——— 46
When Britain first Rule, Britannia The Celt 48
The Memory of the Dead Auld Lang Syne S———, T.C.D. 48
Western War Song Meeting of the Waters Shamrock 50
The House that Paddy Built M. P. 51
Punchification Terræ Filius 54
The Leinster War Song Araby's Daughter Shamrock 55
The Botanic Gardens W. M. Downes 57
Erin our Own Corravoth Jig Fermoy 58
The Voice of the Nation Black Joke Slievegullion 60
Portrait from the Peerage Gracchus 61
Epigram Terræ Filius 62
Song of Sorrow Black Northern 63
The Saxon Massacre M. J. M'C 63
O'Sullivan's Return Cruiskeen Lawn The Celt 64
The Extermination Shamrock 67
The Clanconnell Warsong Roderich Vich Alpine M. J. M'C 68
The Death of Sarsfield Logie O'Buchan The Celt 70
The Trampled Land H——— 70
Boyhood's Years Clericus 73
Literary Leisure Black Northern 74
The Spirit of the Times Black Northern 74
The Irish Catholic Slievegullion 75

Volume 2 Edit



When we ventured, within a few months after the “Nation” was started, to reprint the Poetry of it, we did an unprecedented thing, and one said to be of doubtful prudence. The Newspaper to be sure had succeeded, but it seemed a trial ruinous to these verses and injurious to the paper to expose its weekly miscellanies to the test of permanent criticism. “They are light cavalry,” said a friend; “they have charged famously for once, you’ll find them jaded hacks when wheeled again into line.” We trusted, them and published.

Yet their success has surprised us. We hardly hoped that their popularity could extend beyond our own class and country. But the Tory has praised them more than the Liberal, the anti-Repealer as much as the Nationalist, while their success in foreign countries has at least equalled their success here. Mr. O’Connell thought the ballads “very good,” Mr. Shaw “most able,” Mr. Buttinspired.” The Irish press thought them excellent for Ireland, but the Morning Post said they were “superior to anything they had supposed to exist at present;” the Leeds Times thought them “great achievements,” and the Tablet called them “the music of the battle-field.” To ascend higher, the Dublin Review says, they are “vigorous and bold,” “fitted to grasp the nation;” the Quarterly found in them “great beauty of language and imagery,” and Fraser declared that though they are “mischievous” it “dare not condemn them they are so full of beauty.”

The First Part of the Spirit of the Nation has gone through two editions here; has been bought by men of all creeds and kinds, from the peasantry to the peerage, the soldier and policeman to the Quartermaster-General, from Tom Moore to Thresham Gregg.

The American papers regularly reprint our verses week by week, and a large edition of the Spirit of the Nation has been issued in New York, and sold throughout the United States, and Canada.

Our little book of rhymes has been circulated enough, and praised enough, then, fully to justify the novel course we took in reprinting them, and the authors may be content with their fame.

This register of what occurred as to the first part is our justification for printing a second. Whether the praise we have got or shall get be deserved or not, sure we are that whoever gives the people of Ireland a lyric literature racy of the soil, reflecting its scenery and manners, blended with its history and panting with its hopes, will marshal them to independence in an array which prosecutions cannot encounter nor armies overthrow. National lyrics to be perfect should be linked with music, that the people's heart knows and beats to. This union we hope to see effected, but whether our verses are worthy of such an alliance time alone can tell. We shall say nothing more.

Trinity-street, Dublin,
   November, 1843.

The Prose "Spirit of the Nation" is being prepared for the press.

A series of sketches of distinguished Irishmen, by the same hands, will also be published shortly.


Names of Pieces. Airs. Authors' Signatures. Page.
The Voice of Labour Weep on, weep on The Black Northern 1
Song of the Volunteers of 1782 The Boyne Water The Celt 3
Young Ireland Fare thee well, my own dear Love Slievegullion 5
Epigram Brutus 6
The Battle of Beal-an-ath-Buidh And doth not a meeting like this W. D—— 7
Song for July 12th As vanquished Erin J. Ff—— 9
An Arms' Bill Ballad Farewell, but whenever you welcome the hour Anon 10
Hymn of Freedom Brutus 11
The Anti-Irish Irishman The Irishman H. H—— 12
The Arms of '82 Brutus 14
Stand Together Highland Laddie Beta 15
The Squire's Complaint The night before Larry was stretched Anon 16
The Gathering of Leinster, 1643 Cailin das crutheen na mbo Shamrock 17
The West's Asleep The Brink of the White Rocks The Celt 19
The Wexford Massacre, 1649 Brutus 20
The Union Alley Croker Slievegullion 21
The Songs of the Nation Sheela ni Guira W——— 23
The Forlorn Hope Cruisgin Lán O'K——— 24
The Voice of Tara The Rose Tree W——— 25
The Muster of the North, 1641 The Black Northern 27
The Slaves' Bill After the Battle 31
Song of the Irish Army, 1689 Jacobite 32
A Voice from America Festis 33
The Peasant Girls Come, chase that darling tear away. (French Air.) Anon 33
Steady Shamrock 35
The Gathering of the Nation J. Ff——— 36
The Lion and the Serpent. A Fable Shamrock 38
Erin Aboo They may rail at this life Brutus 39
Song of the Penal Days. (Translated) Chreevin evin W——— 41
A Rally for Ireland. May, 1689 The Celt 42
The Irish Arms' Bill 'Tis believed that this harp W. D——— 44
The Invocation When through life unblest we rove J. S. O'S——— 45
Paddies Evermore Paddies Evermore Slievegullion 47
The Shan Van Vocth, 1176 Eiranach 49
Epigram The Black Northern 50
The Harp of the Nation Molli a Stór W——— 51
Ninety-Eight There is nae luck W——— 52
The Men of Twenty-Five When my Old Cap was New J. K——— 53
A Rude Repeal Melody J. S. O'S 54
Epigram The Black Northern 54
The Vision Shamrock 56
A Health Sally in our alley J. Ff——— 58
Devil may care Head of Denis J. K——— 59
Adieu to Innisfail Cruisgin Lán Shamrock 60
English Schools and Irish Pupils Patricius 62
English and Irish Eyes Jock of Hazeldeen W. M——— 64
Epigram T. C. D. 65
The Patriot's Wife Whene'er I see those smiling eyes Clericus 66
Winter Shamrock 67
Epigram Brutus 68
Love Song How sweet the answer Echo makes The Black Northern 69
The Rath of Mullaghmast Weep for the hour Shamrock 70
Young England to Young Ireland Sail on, sail on Serle 72
The Irish Maiden to her Lover Lesbia 74
O'Nial's Vow Eiranach 75


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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