GREEN WERE THE FIELDS

From Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation by John O'Hart

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THIS poem was first published under the title of "Catholic Lamentation." It is one of George Nugent Reynolds's Poems, and was composed, A.D. 1792. It was meant to describe the affliction of a poor Irish peasant—one of the old race—who was turned out of his small farm, for sectarian reasons. Others of the Poems by George Nugent Reynolds, bearing on the poor "Irish Exile," are given in Volume II. of this Edition.

I.

Green were the fields where my forefathers dwelt, O;

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

Tho' our farm was small yet comforts we felt, O;

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

At length came the day when our lease did expire,

And fain would I live where before lived my sire,

But ah! well-a-day, I was forced to retire;

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

II.

Though the laws I obeyed, no protection I found, O;

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

With what grief I beheld my cot burned to the ground, O;

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

Forced from my home—yea from where I was born—

To range the wide world—poor, helpless, forlorn;

I look back with regret, and my heart-strings are torn;

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

III.

With principles pure, patriotic, and firm,

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

To my country attached and a friend to reform,

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

I supported old Ireland,—was ready to die for it;

If her foes e'er prevailed, I was well known to sigh for it;

But my Faith I preserved, and am now forced to fly for it;

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

IV.

But hark! I hear sounds, and my heart is strong beating,

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

Loud cries for redress, and avaunt on retreating;

Erin Mavourneen, slán leat gò bragh!

We have numbers,—and numbers do constitute power,

Let us will to be free, and we're free from that hour;

Of Hibernia's brave sons, oh, we feel we're the flower,

Buadh leat Mavourneen, Erin gò Bragh!

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