Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
The Irish Rapparees
 
Sir Charles Gaban Duffy (b. 1816)
 
 
RIGH Shemus 1 he has gone to France, and left his crown behind;
Ill luck be theirs, both day and night, put running in his mind!
Lord Lucan followed after with his Slashers brave and true,
And now the doleful keen is raised—“What will poor Ireland do?
  What must poor Ireland do?        5
Our luck,” they say, “has gone to France—what can poor Ireland do?”
 
O, never fear for Ireland, for she has soldiers still,
For Rory’s boys are in the wood, and Remy’s on the hill!
And never had poor Ireland more loyal hearts than these—
May God be kind and good to them, the faithful Rapparees!        10
  The fearless Rapparees!
The jewel were you, Rory, with your Irish Rapparees!
 
O, black’s your heart, Clan Oliver, and colder than the clay!
O, high’s your head, Clan Sassenach, since Sarsfield’s gone away!
It ’s little love you bear to us for sake of long ago;        15
But hold your hand, for Ireland still can strike a deadly blow—
  Can strike a mortal blow:
Och, duar-na-Críosd! ’t is she that still could strike a deadly blow!
 
The Master’s bawn, the Master’s seat, a surly bodagh fills;
The Master’s son, an outlawed man, is riding on the hills.        20
But God be prais’d that round him throng, as thick as summer bees,
The swords that guarded Limerick wall—his loyal Rapparees!
  His loving Rapparees!
Who dare say no to Rory Oge, with all his Rapparees?
 
Black Billy Grimes of Latnamard, he rack’d us long and sore—        25
God rest the faithful hearts he broke!—we ’ll never see them more;
But I ’ll go bail he ’ll break no more, while Truagh has gallows-trees;
For why?—he met, one lonesome night, the fearless Rapparees!
  The angry Rapparees!
They never sin no more, my boys, who cross the Rapparees!        30
 
Now, Sassenach and Cromweller, take heed of what I say,
Keep down your black and angry looks that scorn us night and day:
For there ’s a just and wrathful Judge that every action sees,
And He ’ll make strong, to right our wrong, the faithful Rapparees!
  The fearless Rapparees!        35
The men that rode at Sarsfield’s side, the roving Rapparees!
 
Note 1. King James II. [back]
 

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