Thomas Osborne Davis
Biography of Thomas Osborne Davis
Thomas Osborne Davis was a revolutionary Irish writer who was the chief organizer and poet of the Young Ireland movement.
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 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 you 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.
A statue of Davis, created by Edward Delaney, was unveiled on College Green, Dublin, in 1966, attended by the Irish president, Eamon de Valera.
One of the secondary schools in Davis' home town of Mallow, Davis College, is named after him. A number of GAA clubs around the country are also named after him; including the one based in Tallaght, Dublin and the one based in Corrinshego.
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Thomas Osborne Davis Poems
I. She is a rich and rare land; Oh! she's a fresh and fair land;
I. A Nation's voice, a nation's voice-- It is a solemn thing!
I The Geraldines! The Geraldines! - 'tis full a thousand years Since, 'mid the Tuscan vineyards, bright flashed their
The Boatman Of Kinsale
AIR--_An Cota Caol._ I. His kiss is sweet, his word is kind, His love is rich to me
I. Thrice, at the huts of Fontenoy, the English column failed, And twice the lines of Saint Antoine the Dutch in vain
O'Brien Of Ara
Tall are the towers of O'Ceinneidigh-- Broad are the lands of MacCarrthaigh--
Celts And Saxons
I. We hate the Saxon and the Dane, We hate the Norman men--
Love And War
I. How soft is the moon on Glengariff, The rocks seem to melt with the light:
I. In Bodenstown Churchyard there is a green grave, And wildly along it the winter winds rave;
There flows from her spirit such love and delight, That the face of Blind Mary is radiant with light--
The West's Sleep
AIR--_The Brink of the White Rocks._ I. When all beside a vigil keep, The West's asleep, the West's asleep--
I. Let Britain boast her British hosts, About them all right little care we;
Chisel the likeness of The Chief, Not in gaiety, nor grief; Change not by your art to stone,
A Song For The Irish Militia
The tribune's tongue and poet's pen May sow the seed in prostrate men; But 'tis the soldier's sword alone
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.
As vainly, through De Barri's wood, the British soldiers burst,
The French artillery drove them back, diminished, and dispersed.
The bloody Duke of Cumberland beheld with anxious eye,