Bagenal Harvey's Lament


Farewell to Bargy’s lofty towers, my father’s own estate
And farewell to its lovely bowers, my own ancestral seat
Farewell each friend and neighbour, that once I well knew there
My tenants now will miss the hand that fostered them with care

Farewell to Cornelius Grogan, and to Kelly ever true
John Coakley and good Father Roche, receive my last adieu
And fare-thee-well bold Esmond Kyan, though proud oppression’s laws
Forbid us to lay down our lives, still we bless the holy cause

Farewell my brave United men, who dearly with me fought
Though tyrant might has conquered right, full dearly was it bought
And when the sun of freedom shall again upon you shine
Oh, then let Bagenal Harvey’s name array your battle line

Although perchance it may be my fate, in Wexford town to die
Oh, bear my body to the tomb wherin my fathers lie
And have the solemn service read, in Mayglass holy towers
And have twelve young maids from Bargyside, to scatter my grave with flowers

So farewell to Bargy’s lofty towers, since from you I must part
A stranger now may call you his, which with sorrow fills my heart
But when at last fate shall decree that Ireland should be free
Then Bagenal Harvey’s rightful heirs shall be returned to thee


Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey, eldest son of Francis Harvey of Bargy Castle, Wexford was a barrister and a commander of the United Irishmen in the Battle of New Ross during the 1798 Rebellion. He was a Protestant supporter of Catholic emancipation who was known for his liberal principles. From June 1792 he was a member of the Dublin Society of United Irishmen, founded by James Napper Tandy and Archibald Hamilton Rowan.

Harvey was arrested on 26 May 1798 just before the outbreak of the rebellion . He was imprisoned at Wexford Gaol but was freed by the rebels who appointed him as their Commander-in-Chief. He was in command at the Battle of New Ross on 5 June 1798 when the rebels were defeated. He was betrayed while attempting an escape to France and brought to Wexford Town. There he was tried, convicted and hanged on Wexford bridge on 28 June 1798.

Bargy Castle, Bagenal Harvey’s home, was bought in 1960 by General Sir Eric de Burgh, a former Chief of the General staff, Indian Army and maternal grandfather of musician and songwriter Chris de Burgh. It was occupied by him and Charles and Maeve Davison, Chris de Burgh’s parents who converted it into a private hotel.

Bargy Castle

Bargy Castle

Song Clip



Song Themes

1798 Rebellion