The Spirit of the Nation/Fag a Bealaċ
Fag a Bealaċ.
A National Hymn, chaunted in full chorus at the Symposiacs of the Editors and Contributors of "The Nation."
"Hope no more for fatherland,
All her ranks are thinned or broken;"
Long a base and coward band
Recreant words like these have spoken.
But We preach a land awoken,
A land of courage true and tried
As your fears are false and hollow;
Slaves and Dastards stand aside—
Knaves and Traitors, FAG A BEALAĊ!
Know, ye suffering brethren ours,
Might is strong, but Right is stronger;
Saxon wiles or Saxon powers
Can enslave our land no longer,
Than your own dissensions wrong her:
Be ye one in might and mind—
Quit the mire where Cravens wallow—
And your foes shall flee like wind
From your fearless FAG A BEALAĊ!
Thus the mighty Multitude
Speak in accents hoarse with sorrow—
"We are fallen, but unsubdued;
"Show us whence we Hope may borrow,
"And we'll fight your fight to-morrow.
"Be but cautious, true, and brave,
"Where ye lead us we will follow;
"Hill and valley, rock and wave,
"Shall echo back our FAG A BEALAĊ!
Fling our Sun-burst to the wind,
Studded o'er with names of glory;
Worth, and wit, and might, and mind,
Poet young, and Patriot hoary,
Long shall make it shine in story.
Close your ranks—the moment's come—
NOW, ye men of Ireland follow:
Friends of Freedom, charge them home—
Foes of freedom, FAG A BEALAĊ!
- FAG A BEALAĊ, "Clear the road!" commonly but erroneously spelt Faugh a Ballagh, was the cry with which the clans of Connaught and Munster used in faction fights to come through a fair with high hearts and smashing shillelahs. The regiments raised in the South and West took their old shout with them to the Continent. The 88th, or Connaught Rangers, from their use of it, went generally by the name of "The Faugh a Ballagh Boys." Nothing, says Napier, in his History of the Peninsular War—nothing so startled the French soldiery as the wild yell with which the Irish regiments sprung to the charge; and never was that haughty and intolerant shout raised in battle, but a charge, swift as thought and fatal as flame, came with it, like a rushing incarnation of FAG A BEALAĊ!