BETA

Sir Daniel Donnelly.—A Ballad.

I came down to breakfast—And why all this sobbing,1
This weeping and wailing ? I hastily cried ;2
Has Grimalkin, my boy, ta’en away your tame Robin ?3
Has Duckling, or Pullet, or White Coney died ?4
’Twas thus the short list of his joys I ran over,5
While the tears were fast coursing down Timothy’s face,6
And strove the small darling his red cheek to cover.—7
What is this thought my soul—Is it grief or disgrace ?8
I looked on the Courier, my weekly newspaper,9
For I felt that the cause of his sorrow was there ;10
So quick is grief’s eye that no word could escape her11
Dead is Daniel, the hero of Donnybrooke fair ! ”12
O mournful was then the low song of the kettle,13
And long look’d my face in the bright polish’d grate ;14
Dull, dull clank’d the tongs, tho’ composed of true metal,15
They seemed to my fancy the long shears of fate.16
I sought the fresh air, but the sun, like a firebrand,17
In my dark bosom kindled grief’s faggotty pile :18
Ah, me ! ye five Catholic millions of Ireland,19
What now will become of your bull-breeding isle ?20
Mine eyes met the earth, in their wand’ring uneasy ;21
And I thought, as I saw through the vanishing snow22
The flower of Sir Daniel, the bright shining Daisy,23
On that beautiful poem I wrote long ago.24
By the stroke of the thunder-stone split in its glory,25
On the earth lay extended a green-crested pine ;26
Then I dreamt, poor Sir Dan, of thy pitiful story,27
For the trunk was as straight and as knotty as thine !28
Thus sun, flower, and tree all, in blaze, blight, or blossom,29
The same sombre image of sorrow supplied,30
While Nature breath’d forth from her mountainous bosom, 31
Weep, weep for the day when Dan Donnelly died ! ”32