William Drennan


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William Drennan (1754 – 1820), a physician, poet, educationalist and political radical, was one of the chief architects of the Society of United Irishmen. He is also known as the first to refer in print to Ireland as "the emerald isle" in his poem "When Erin first rose".


Born in Belfast in 1754, William was son to Reverend Thomas Drennan ... more »

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Best Poem of William Drennan

When Erin First Rose

When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God bless'd the green island and saw it was good;
The em'rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone.
In her sun, in her soil, in her station thrice blest,
With her back towards Britain, her face to the West,
Erin stands proudly insular, on her steep shore,
And strikes her high harp 'mid the ocean's deep roar.

But when its soft tones seem to mourn and to weep,
The dark chain of silence is thrown o'er the deep;
At the thought of the past the tears gush from her ...

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