The Spirit of the Nation/The Wexford Massacre, 1649

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THE WEXFORD MASSACRE.

1649.

I.

They knelt around the Cross divine,
The matron and the maid—
They bow'd before redemption's sign,
And fervently they prayed—
Three hundred fair and helpless ones,
Whose crime was this alone—
Their valiant husband, sires, and sons,
Had battled for their own.


II.

Had battled bravely, but in vain—
The Saxon won the fight,
And Irish corses strewed the plain
Where Valour slept with Right.
And now, that Man of demon guilt,
To fated Wexford flew—
The red blood reeking on his hilt,
Of hearts to Erin true!


III.

He found them there—the young, the old—
The maiden and the wife;
Their guardian Brave in death were cold,
Who dared for them the strife.
They prayed for mercy—God on high!
Before they cross they prayed,
And ruthless Cromwell bade them die
To glut the Saxon blade!


IV.

Three hundred fell—the stifled prayer
Was quenched in woman's blood;
Nor youth nor age could move to spare
From slaughter's crimson flood.
But nations keep a stern account
Of deeds that tyrants do;
And guiltless blood to Heaven will mount,
And Heaven avenge it, too!