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Ethna Carbery

                                Ho! see the fleetfoot hosts of men
                                Who speed with faces wan,
                                From farmstead and from fisher's cot
                                Upon the banks of Bann.
                                They come with vegeance in their eyes.
                                Too late, too late are they.
                                For Rody MacCorley goes to die
                                On the Bridge of Toome today.
                                Oh Ireland, Mother Ireland,
                                You love them still the best;
                                The fearless brave who fighting fall,
                                Upon your hapless breast;
                                But never a one of all your dead
                                More bravely fell in fray,
                                Than he who marches to his fate
                                On the Bridge of Toome today.
                                Up the narrow street he stepped
                                Smiling and proud and young;
                                About the hemp-rope on his neck
                                The golden ringlets clung.
                                There's never a tear in the blue, blue eyes
                                Both glad and bright are they;
                                As Rody MacCorley goes to die
                                On the Bridge of Toome today.
                                Ah! when he last stepped up that street
                                His shining pike in hand,
                                Behind him marched in grim array
                                A stalwart earnest band!
                                For Antrim town! for Antrim town!
                                He led them to the fray -
                                And Rody MacCorley goes to die
                                On the Bridge of Toome today.
                                The grey coat and its sash of green
                                Were brave and stainless then;
                                A banner flashed beneath the sun
                                Over the marching men -
                                The coat hath many a rent this noon
                                The sash is torn away,
                                And Rody MacCorley goes to die
                                On the Bridge of Toome today.
                                Oh! how his pike flashed in the sun!
                                Then found a foeman's heart!
                                Through furious fight, and heavy odds
                                He bore a true man's part;
                                And many a red-coat bit the dust
                                Before his keen pike-play -
                                But Rody MacCorley goes to die 
                                On the Bridge of Toome today.
                                Because he loved the Motherland
                                Because he loved the Green,
                                He goes to meet the martyr's fate
                                With proud and joyous mien,
                                True to the last, true to the last,
                                He treads the upward way -
                                Young Rody MacCorley goes to die
                                On the Bridge of Toome today.
 Footnote - One of the many songs from and about The 1798 Rising in Ireland. Ethna Carbery was the penname of Anna MacManus, nee Johnston, who was born in Ballymena, Co. Antrim in 1866. She and Alice Milligan founded the paper called The Northern Patriot and afterwards another called The Shan Van Vocht. She was married to the Donegal writer and folklorist, Seamus MacManus, and died in 1902.                                


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