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THE WEST'S ASLEEP
Thomas Davis

 
                                        When all beside a vigil keep,
                                        The West's asleep, the West's asleep -
                                        Alas! and well may Erin weep
                                        When Connacht lies in slumber deep.
                                        There lake and plain smile fair and free,
                                        'Mid rocks their guardian chilvary.
                                        Sing, Oh! let men learn liberty
                                        From crashing wind and lashing sea.
 
                                        That chainless wave and lovely land
                                        Freedom and nationhood demand;
                                        Be sure the great God never planned
                                        For slumb'ring slaves a home so grand.
                                        And long a brave and haughty race
                                        Honoured and sentinelled the place.
                                        Sing, Oh! not even their son's disgrace
                                        Can quite destroy their glory's trace.
 
                                        For often, in O'Connor's van,
                                        To triumph dashed each Connacht clan,
                                        And fleet as deer the Normans ran
                                        Thro' Corrsliabh Pass and Ardrahan;
                                        And later times saw deeds as brave,
                                        And glory guards Clanricarde's grave,
                                        Sing, Oh! they died their land to save
                                        At Aughrim's slopes and Shannon's wave.
 
                                        And if, when all a virgil keep,
                                        The West's asleep! the West's asleep!
                                        Alas! and well may Erin weep
                                        That Connacht lies in slumber deep,
                                        But, hark! a voice like thunder spake,
                                        The West's awake! the West's awake!
                                        Sing, Oh! hurrah! let England quake,
                                        We'll watch till death for Erin's sake!
 
Footnote : To celebrate Ireland reaching the last sixteen of the 2002 World Cup here is another song commemorating the Irish Rising of 1798 - Bliain na bhFrancach ( The Year of the French ).

 


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