Lament of John O'Mahony

Lyrics

In a foreign land, in a lonesome city
With few to pity, or know or care
I sleep each night while my heart is burning
And wake each morning to a new despair
Let no one venture to ask my story
Who believes in glory or trusts in fame
I have within me such demons in keeping
As are better sleeping without a name

From many a day of blood and horror
And night of terror and work of dread
I have rescued naught but my honour only
And this aged, lonely and whitening head
Not a single hope have I seen fulfilled
For the blood we spilled when we cast the die
And the future I painted in brightness and pride
Has the present belied and shall still belie

In a far off country, this city dreary
I languish weary and sad and sore
Till the flower of youth in gloom o’er-shaded
Grew sere and faded for evermore
Oh my land, from the driven; our old flag furled
I renounced the world when I went from thee
My heart still lingers on its native strand
And American land holds naught for me

Through a long life contriving, hoping, striving
Driven and driving, leading and led
I have rescued naught but my honour only
And this aged, lonely and whitening head

 


Notes

John O’Mahony was born in Co. Limerick. He turned out with Smith O’Brien at Ballingarry in 1848, after which he fled to France, and from there to America in 1852 where he was co-founder with James Stephens of I.R.B. He died in poverty in New York in 1877

This poem was written by Dr. Douglas Hyde, first President of Ireland. ┬áIt is sung to the air of ‘An Colleen Rua’.


Song Clip


County

Limerick

Song Themes

Fenian Rising

Songwriter