O'DONNELL OF TIPPERARY
Eva Of The Nation
These lines were written in praise of a farmer who was jailed in Clonmel for refusing to give evidence against Smith O’Brien following the insurrection at Ballingeary in 1848.
Place me before your scarlet ranks,
A thousand men and more,
And though the chain around me clanks,
I’ll keep the oath I swore.
Plant gun and bayonet to my teeth,
And let them pierce me through;
But while a heart’s within my breast
I’ll never speak for you!
You brought me here an honest man,
You shall not make me slave
No eye shall ever ‘traitor’ scan
Upon O’Donnell’s grave.
The darkest wrong your power can do
Can alter not the vow,
Which says my children ne’er shall see
That brand upon my brow!
The true man’s words are borne aloft,
To shine among the stars;
We cherish them within our hearts
In spite of bolts and bars.
Mid all our sorrows and our wrongs,
Our deep and burning shame,
The brighter, purer for it all
Appears O’DONNELL’S name!