Biography of Thomas Davis
Thomas Davis was born in the town of Mallow in the county of Cork, the son of a Welsh father, a surgeon in the Royal Artillery, and an Irish mother. His father died one month after his birth and his mother moved to Warrington Place near Mount Street bridge in Dublin. In 1830, they moved to 67 Lower Baggot Street. He attended school in Lower Mount Street before studying in Trinity College, Dublin. He graduated in Law and received an Arts degree in 1836, precursory to his being called to the Irish Bar in 1838.
He established The Nation newspaper with Charles Gavan Duffy and John Blake Dillon. He dedicated his life to Irish nationalism.
He wrote some stirring nationalistic ballads, originally contributed to The Nation, and afterwards republished as Spirit of the Nation, as well as a memoir of Curran, the Irish lawyer and orator, prefixed to an edition of his speeches, and a history of King James II's parliament of 1689; and he had formed many literary plans which were brought to naught by his death, from tuberculosis, in 1845 at the age of 30. He is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.
He himself was a Protestant, but preached unity between Catholics and Protestants. To Davis, it was not blood that made a person Irish, but the willingness to be part of the Irish nation. Although the Saxon and Dane were, Davis asserted, objects of unpopularity, their descendants would be Irish if they simply allowed themselves to be.
He was to the fore of Irish nationalist thinking and it has been noted by later nationalist heroes, such as Padraig Pearse, that while Wolfe Tone laid out the basic premise that Ireland as a nation must be free, Davis was the one who built this idea up promoting the Irish identity.
He is the author of the famous Irish rebel song A Nation Once Again. He also wrote the Lament for Owen Roe O'Neill.
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Thomas Davis Poems
She is a rich and rare land; Oh! she's a fresh and fair land; She is a dear and rare land This native land of mine.
Shall they bury me in the deep, Where wind-forgetting waters sleep? Shall they dig a grave for me, Under the green-wood tree? Or on the wild heath, Where the wilder breath Of the storm doth blow? Oh, no! oh, no!
A Nation Once Again
When boyhood's fire was in my blood I read of ancient freemen For Greece and Rome who bravely stood, THREE HUNDRED MEN AND THREE MEN.
Celts and Saxons
We hate the Saxon and the Dane, We hate the Norman men- We cursed their greed for blood and gain, We curse them now again.
A Nation's voice, a nation's voice It is a solemn thing! It bids the bondage-sick rejoice 'Tis stronger than a king.
Though savage force and subtle schemes, And alien rule, through ages lasting, Have swept your land like lava streams, Its wealth and name and nature blasting;
Love And War
How soft is the moon on Glengariff, The rocks seem to melt with the light: Oh! would I were there with dear Fanny, To tell her that love is as bright;
There flows from her spirit such love and delight, That the face of Blind Mary is radiant with light As the gleam from a homestead through darkness will show Or the moon glimmer soft through the fast falling snow.
Thrice, at the huts of Fontenoy, the English column failed, And twice the lines of Saint Antoine the Dutch in vain assailed; For town and slope were filled with fort and flanking battery, And well they swept the English ranks and Dutch auxiliary.
Chisel the likeness of The Chief, Not in gaiety, nor grief; Change not by your art to stone, Ireland's laugh, or Ireland's moan. Dark her tale, and none can tell Its fearful chronicle so well. Her frame is bent-her wounds are deep Who, like him, her woes can weep?
The Flower Of Finae
Bright red is the sun on the waves of Lough Sheelin, A cool, gentle breeze from the mountain is stealing, While fair round its islets the small ripples play, But fairer than all is the Flower of Finae.
The Geraldines! The Geraldines! - 'tis full a thousand years Since, 'mid the Tuscan vineyards, bright flashed their battle-spears; When Capet seized the crown of France, their iron shields were known, And their sabre dint struck terror on the banks of the Garonne;
Oh! The Marriage
Oh! the marriage, the marriage, With love and mo bhuachaill for me, The ladies that ride in a carriage Might envy my marriage to me;
The Battle Eve Of The Brigade
The mess-tent is full, and the glasses are set, And the gallant Count Thomond is president yet; The veteran stands, like an uplifted lance, Crying-'Comrades, a health to the monarch of France! ' With bumpers and cheers they have done as he bade, For King Louis is loved by the Irish Brigade.
O'brien Of Ara
Tall are the towers of O'Ceinneidigh
Broad are the lands of MacCarrthaigh
Desmond feeds five hundred men a-day;
Yet, here's to O'Briain of Ara!
Up from the Castle of Druim-aniar,
Down from the top of Camailte,
Clansman and kinsman are coming here
To give him the CEAD MILE FAILTE.