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Thomas Osborne Davis

(14 October 1814 - 16 September 1845 / Mallow / Ireland)

Nationality


I.

A Nation's voice, a nation's voice--
It is a solemn thing!
It bids the bondage-sick rejoice--
'Tis stronger than a king.
'Tis like the light of many stars,
The sound of many waves,
Which brightly look through prison bars,
And sweetly sound in caves.
Yet is it noblest, godliest known,
When righteous triumph swells its tone.


II.

A nation's flag, a nation's flag--
If wickedly unrolled,
May foes in adverse battle drag
Its every fold from fold.
But in the cause of Liberty,
Guard it 'gainst Earth and Hell;
Guard it till Death or Victory--
Look you, you guard it well!
No saint or king has tomb so proud
As he whose flag becomes his shroud.


III.

A nation's right, a nation's right--
God gave it, and gave, too,
A nation's sword, a nation's might,
Danger to guard it through.
'Tis freedom from a foreign yoke,
'Tis just and equal laws,
Which deal unto the humblest folk,
As in a noble's cause.
On nations fixed in right and truth,
God would bestow eternal youth.


IV.

May Ireland's voice be ever heard
Amid the world's applause!
And never be her flag-staff stirred,
But in an honest cause!
May Freedom be her very breath,
Be Justice ever dear;
And never an ennobled death
May son of Ireland fear!
So the Lord God will ever smile,
With guardian grace, upon our isle.

Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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