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GRAND CONVERSATION ON OLD IRELAND

Ye sons of Grania now draw near and list to what you'll quickly hear,
My song it is of Erin dear, that land we call our home,
I'll tell you how she's suffered sore since that disastrous time of yore
When Strongbow landed on her shore and forced her sons to roam.
Of how she's battled in the past and faced oppression's cruel blast
And now in accents fierce and fast I'll tell you of her woes.
So as I face a noble throng, awake my strains both loud and long,
This grand conversation on old Ireland arose.

The Irish chieftains fought in vain their country's liberty to gain,
And free her from the cursed chain of British slavery,
Yet oft they've made the Saxon reel, dismayed and beaten, from their steel
When in the forefront great O'Neill cheered on to victory,
Blackwater Irish powers won, and at Benburb the setting sun
Flashed back the glint from pike and gun, but morning did disclose
The Sassenach in headlong flight and wild disorder from the fight-
This grand conversation on old Ireland arose.

When Cromwell that fell regicide, spread desolation far and wide,
The laws of God and man defied and slaughtered young and old,
At Drogheda and Wexford too fell twenty thousand people slew
But yet he never could subdue the spirit of the bold,
At Waterford and Clonmell again they made their valour tell,
And-thinned his rank with shot and shell as history it shows;
While Limerick gained an honoured name and hurled him back from whence he came,
This grand conversation was under the rose.

When Orange William in his pride, with Germans, Dutch, and Danes allied
Was baffled on the Shannon side where Limerick raised its head,
For thirty days the guns did sound, and yet brave Sarsfield held his ground,
Though heaped were mangled masses round, the dying and the dead.
Gaunt famine ghastly horrors lent, by sap and mine the walls were rent,
But still at breach and battlement their strength they did oppose,
The curs of Hesse did subdue, and thrashed King William's blood crew,
This grand conversation on old Ireland arose.

On Landen's field when Sarsfield died as rushed the life blood from his side
"Oh! would it were for thee" he cried, "poor Erin that I die,"
But deeply was his death repaid in after years When Clare's Brigade
At Fontenoy the avenging blade swung fearful, fast and high,
Undaunted 'mid the battle roar the vanquished Saxon backward bore
And round them rolled a sea of gore the charged upon their foes,
Whilst Slaughter stalked across the plain, and Carnage revelled midst the slain
This grand conversation on old Ireland arose.

We know how Father Murphy fell, how Robert Emmett heard his knell,
Boom slowly from the prison bell, he died for Ireland's cause,
And how the scaffold's shadow black, the pitch-cap, gibbet and the rack
Have marked the grim destroyers track when base and brutal laws
By murder piled its victims high, when ruin with relentless eye
Its tireless work of blood did ply, and granted no repose,
Till sheer exhaustion stayed the hand that devastated Erin's land.
This grand conversation on old Ireland arose.