Songs for the People.

No. IV.

Air. The Exile of Erin.

Cold, cold was the night, and the place wild and dreary1
A shelterless waste, in a far foreign land,2
Where lay a lone fugitive, shiv’ring and weary,3
And hunger upon him was pressing its hand.4
For the beasts of the desert the stranger was fearless,5
For hunger and cold, and his bed hard and cheerless,6
The wanderer felt keenly—he felt and was tearless ;7
But he sighed for the wrongs of his dear native land.8
O Scotland,” he cried, and his bosom was bursting,9
Thou land of my fathers, where once was my home ;10
Till haters of freedom,—for freemen’s blood thirsting,11
Condemned me an outcast—a felon to roam !12
Thy sons, O my country ! no longer inherit13
Of manly and stern independence the spirit.14
Woes me, that I’ve seen, and should live to declare it,15
Oppression rules over and ruins my land !16
No more dare we boast of the deeds of our fathers,17
Those brave hardy men who the tyrant could spurn ;18
Fair liberty’s tree that they planted now withers,19
And droops like the willow that weeps by the burn !20
And banished are those that would willingly tend it21
From hands that now ruthlessly break it and bend it !22
The slave and the tyrant may recklessly rend it,23
And tear root and branch from my dear native land !24
But hush my forebodings !  Across the Atlantic,25
In thunder a cry to the despot is heard ;26
It tells him of vengeance—he hears, and is frantic,27
And trusts for defence to the gibbet and sword28
’Tis tyrant’s death struggle—faction with faction29
May form an unholy and desperate paction.30
A power has gone forth that ensures their destruction,31
And soon shall unfetter my dear native land !32
That power is the voice of truth, justice, and reason33
’Tis the knowledge that none has a right to enslave ;34
That all men are equal, though this should be treason,35
Pronounced by the tyrant, the coward, and slave.36
Thrones founded on terror are crumbling before it,37
And priestcraft and ignorance deeply abhor it,38
the masses ere long shall enraptured adore it39
The first of its votaries the sons of my land.40
Already bas France, amongst Europe’s old nations,41
Asserted with success her right to be free,42
Declaring, amidst king and priest execration43
“A people has only to will it to be !”44
And thou my loved country, tho’ clouds hover o’er thee,45
The time is at hand that shall wituess thy glory,46
And mothers their children inspire with the story47
Of those that have suffered like Muir for their land.48