The Spirit of the Nation/The Songs of the Nation

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The Spirit of the Nation
The Songs of the Nation by W—— (Edward Walsh)


Air—"Sheela na Guira."


Ye songs that resound in the homes of our island—
That wake the wild echoes by valley and highland—
That kindle the cold with their forefather's story—
That point to the ardent the pathway of glory!—
Ye send to the banish'd,
O'er ocean's far wave,
The hope that had vanish'd—
The vow of the brave;
And teach each proud despot of loftiest station,
To pale at your spell-word, sweet songs of The Nation!


Sweet songs! ye reveal, through the vista of ages,
Our monarchs and heroes—our minstrels and sages—
The pomp of Emania—the glories of Temor,
When Erin was free from the Saxon defamer—
The green banner flying—
The rush of the Gael—
The Sassenach dying—
His matron's wild wail—
These glories forgotten, with magic creation
Burst bright at your spell-word, sweet songs of The Nation!


The minstrels who waken these wild notes of freedom,
Have hands for green Erin—if Erin should need 'em;
And hearts for the wrong'd one, wherever he ranges,
From Zembla to Timor—from Shannon to Ganges—
And hate for his foeman,
All hatred above—
And love for dear woman,
Seraphical love—
But chiefest the fair ones whose eyes' animation
Is the spell-word that prompts the sweet songs of The Nation!