The Spirit of the Nation/The West's Asleep


Air—"The brink of the White Rocks."


When all beside a vigil keep,
The West's asleep, the West's asleep—
Sing oh! and well may Erin weep,
When Conuaught lies in slumber deep.


There lake and plain smile fair and free,
'Mid rocks—their guardian chivalry—
Sing oh! let man learn liberty
From crashing wind and lashing sea.


That chainless wave and lovely land
Freedom and Nationhood demand,
Sing on! the great God never plann'd,
For slumbering slaves, a home so grand.


And, long, a brave and haughty race
Honored and sentinell'd the place—
Sing oh! not even their sons' disgrace
Can quite destroy their glory's trace.


For often, in O'Connor's van,
To triumph dash'd each Connaught clan—
Sing oh! how fleet the Normans ran
Through Corlieu's Pass, and Ardrahan!


And later times saw deeds as brave;
And glory guards Clanricarde's grave—
Sing oh! they died their land to save,
At Aughrim's slopes and Shannon's wave.


And if, when all a vigil keep,
The West's asleep, the West's asleep—
Sing oh! poor Erin well may weep,
That men so sprung are still asleep.


But—hark!—some voice like thunder spake:
"The West's awake, the West's awake"—
Sing oh! hurra! let England quake,
"We'll watch till death for Erin's sake."

  1. So called in Bunting; another name is "De hucamur fein an saṁraḋ linn," being the first line of the chorus to the song:—

    "Of all the fish that swim the sea,
    Herring is king—oh! herring is king."