Irish Minstrelsy/Volume 2/Part 3/Canticle of Deliverance

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Irish Minstrelsy by Aindrias Mac Craith, translated by Henry Grattan Curran
Canticle of Deliverance



Too long have the churls2 in dark bondage oppressed me,
Too long have I cursed them in anguish and gloom;
Yet hope with no vision of comfort has blessed me—
The cave is my shelter—the rude rock my home:
Save Donn and his kindred,3 my sorrow had shaken
All friends from my side, when at evening, forsaken,
I sought the lone fort, proud to hear him awaken
The hymn of deliverance breathing for me.

He told how the heroes were fall'n and degraded,
And scorn dashed the tear their affliction would claim!
But Phelim and Heber,4 whose children betrayed it,
The land shall relume with the light of their fame!
The fleet is prepared, and proud Charles is commanding,
And wide o'er the wave the white sail is expanding,
The dark brood of Luther shall quail at their landing—
The Gael, like a tempest, shall burst on the foe!—

The bards shall exult, and the harp string shall tremble,
And love and devotion be poured in the strain;
Ere "Samhain"5 our chiefs shall in Temor assemble—
The "Lion" protect our own pastors again:
The Gael shall redeem every shrine's desecration;
In song shall exhale our warm hearts adoration;
Confusion shall light on the foes usurpation.
And Erin shine out yet triumphant and free.

The secrets of destiny now are before you—
Away! to each heart the proud tidings to tell,
Your Charles is at hand, let the green flag spread o'er you!
The treaty they broke6 your deep vengeance shall swell:
The hour is arrived, and in loyalty blending,
Surround him! sustain! shall the gorged goat7 descending
Deter you, your own sacred monarch defending—
Rush on like a tempest, and scatter the foe!