The Spirit of the Nation/Tyrol and Ireland


"Ye gather three ears of corn, and they take two out of the three. Are ye contented?—are ye happy? But there is a Providence above, and there are angels; and, when we seek to right ourselves, they will assist us."—Speech of Hofer to the Tyrolese: 1809.


And Hofer roused Tyrol for this,
Made Winschgan red with blood,
Thai Botzen's peasants, ranged in arms,
And Inspruck's fire withstood.
For this! for this! that but a third
The hind his own could call,
When Passyer gathered in her sheaves;
Why, ye are robbed of all.


Up rose the hardy mountaineers,
And crushed Bavaria's horse,
I' th' name of Father and of Son,[1]
For this without remorse.
Great Heaven, for this! that Passyer's swains
Of half their store were reft;
Why, clods of senseless clay, to you
Not ev'n an ear is left!


'Midst plenty gushing round, ye starve—
'Midst blessings, crawl accursed,
And hoard for your land cormorants all,
Deep gorging till they burst!
Still—still they spurn you with contempt,
Deride your pangs with scorn;
Still bid you bite the dust for churls,
And villains basely born!


Oh, idiots! feel ye not the lash—
The fangs that clutch at gold?
From rogues so insolent what hope
Of mercy do ye hold?
The pallid millions kneel for food;
The lordling locks his store.
Hath earth, alas! but one Tyrol,
And not a Hofer more?

  1. "The Bavarian vanguard, composed of 4,000 men, advanced into the defile; and when they had reached midway, the mountaineer hurled down upon their heads huge rocks, which they had rolled to the verge of the precipice, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."—Histoire des Tyroliens.