Thomas Osborne Davis ( )


Lament for the Death of Eoghan Ruadh ONeill


DID they dare, did they dare, to slay Eoghan Ruadh ONeill? 
Yes, they slew with poison him they feared to meet with steel. 
May God wither up their hearts! May their blood cease to flow, 
May they walk in living death, who poisoned Eoghan Ruadh. 
 
Though it break my heart to hear, say again the bitter words.         
From Derry, against Cromwell, he marched to measure swords: 
But the weapon of the Sassanach met him on his way. 
And he died at Cloch Uachtar, upon St. Leonards day. 
 
Wail, wail ye for the Mighty One. Wail, wail ye for the Dead, 
Quench the hearth, and hold the breathwith ashes strew the head.         
How tenderly we loved him. How deeply we deplore! 
Holy Saviour! but to think we shall never see him more! 
 
Sagest in the council was he, kindest in the hall, 
Sure we never won a battletwas Eoghan won them all. 
Had he livedhad he livedour dear country had been free:        15
But hes dead, but hes dead, and tis slaves well ever be. 
 
OFarrell and Clanricarde, Preston and Red Hugh, 
Audley and MacMahonye valiant, wise and true: 
Butwhat are ye all to our darling who is gone? 
The Rudder of our Ship was he, our Castles corner stone.         
 
Wail, wail him through the Island! Weep, weep for our pride! 
Would that on the battlefield our gallant chief had died! 
Weep the Victor of Beinn Burbweep him, young and old: 
Weep for him, ye womenyour beautiful lies cold! 
 
We thought you would not diewe were sure you would not go,         
And leave us in our utmost need to Cromwells cruel blow 
Sheep without a shepherd, when the snow shuts out the sky 
O! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die? 
 
Soft as womans was your voice, ONeill! bright was your eye, 
O! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?         
Your troubles are all over, youre at rest with God on high, 
But were slaves, and were orphans, Eoghan!why did you die?



Thomas Osborne Davis's other poems:
  1. Emmeline Talbot
  2. When South Winds Blow
  3. The Boatman of Kinsale
  4. The Sack of Baltimore
  5. The Geraldines


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