Let Erin Remember
Let Erin remember the days of old.
Ere her faithless sons betrayed her;
When Malachi wore the collar of gold,
Which he won from her proud invader.
When her kings, with standard of green unfurled,
Led the Red-Branch Knights to danger;
Ere the emerald gem of the western world
Was set in the crown of a stranger.
On Lough Neagh’s bank as the fisherman strays,
When the clear cold eve’s declining,
He sees the round towers of other days
In the wave beneath him shining:
Thus shall memory often, in dreams sublime,
Catch a glimpse of the days that are over;
Thus, sighing, look thro’ the waves of time
For the long-faded glories they cover.
The Minstrel-Boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you’ll find him;
His father’s sword he has girded on.
And his wild harp slung behind him.
“Land of song!” said the warrior-bard,
“Tho’ all the world betrays thee,
“One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
“One faithful harp shall praise thee!”
The Minstrel fell! — but the foeman’s chain
Could not bring his proud soul under;
The harp he loved ne’er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said, “No chains shall sully thee,
“Thou soul of love and bravery!
“Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
“They shall never sound in slavery.”