THE HACKLER FROM GROUSE HALL

I am a roving hackler lad that loves the shamrock shore,
My name is Pat McDonnell and my age is eighty-four;
Belov'd and well-respected by my neighbors one and all
On St. Patrick's day I loved to stray round Lavey and Grouse Hall.

When I was young I danced and sung and drank good whiskey, too.
Each shebeen shop that sold a drop of the real old mountain dew.
With the potheen still on every hill the peelers had no call
Round sweet Stradone I am well known, round Lavey and Grouse Hall.

I rambled round from town to town for hackling was my trade,
None can deny I think that I an honest living made;
Where e'er I'd stay by night or day the youth would always call
To have some crack with Paddy Jack, the hackler from Grouse Hall.

I think it strange how times have changed so very much of late,
Coercion now is all the row and Peelers on their bate.
To take a glass is now, alas, the greatest crime of all
Since Balfour placed that hungry beast the Sergeant of Grouse Hall.

The busy tool of Castle rule he travels night and day,
He'll seize a goat just by the throat for want of better prey;
The nasty skunk, he'll swear you're drunk tho' you took none at all
There is no peace about the place since he came to Grouse Hall.

'Twas on pretense of this offense he dragged me off to jail,
Alone to dwell in a cold cell my fate for to bewail.
My hoary head on a plank bed, such wrongs for vengeance call
He'll rue the day he dragged away the hackler from Grouse Hall.

He haunts the League just like a plague, and shame for to relate
The priest can't be on Sunday free the Mass to celebrate.
It's there he'll kneel encased in steel prepared on duty's call
For to assail and drag to jail our clergy from Grouse Hall.

Down into hell he'd run pell-mell to hunt for potheen there
And won't be loath to swear an oath 'twas found in Killinkere.
He'll search your bed from foot to head, sheets, blankets, tick and all
Your wife, undressed, must leave the nest for Jemmy of Grouse Hall.

He fixed a plan for one poor man who had a handsome wife
To take away without delay her liberty and life.
He'd swear quite plain that he's insane and got no sense at all,
As he has done of late with one convenient to Grouse Hall.

Thank God the day's not far away when Home Rule will be seen,
And brave Parnell at home will dwell and shine in College Green;
Our policemen will all be then our nation's choice and all,
Old Balfour's pack will get the sack and banished from Grouse Hall.

Let old and young clear out their lungs and sing this little song,
Come join with me and let him see you all resent the wrong.
And while I live I'll always give a prayer for his downfall
And when I die I don't deny I'll haunt him from Grouse hall.

Note: A Hackler was one who prepared flax for spinning into linen.


THE SERGEANT'S LAMENTATION

An answer-back song to the Hackler from Grouse Hall (see above)

Each loyal man, if such there can be found about Grouse Hall
Come join with me in sympathy and pity my downfall.
I am despised and stigmatised for tyranny and wrong
Both far and near my name you'll hear re-echoed on a song.

I am belied because I tried to enforce the law,
And keep the peace around the place with drunken roughs and all.
Tho' my protest may be expressed in language rather strong,
I think I'm bound for to confound the author of that song.

That hackling clown who can let down a tear with ev'ry smile
And all his days with perfect ease could act the crocodile.
With nimble shanks he plays his pranks on peelers all along
And does aim to blast my fame by his wild rebel song.

He begs along and sings a song and has no care at all
And all around the hills resound with Jemmy of Grouse Hall;
But very soon he'll change his tune with bolts of iron strong,
When Balfour's shears gets round his ears he'll sing another song.

The league 'tis true I did pursue the priest. Why should I spare
Who broke the laws and was the cause of bloodshed ev'rywhere.
But Martin's fall in Donegal will be avenged ere long
McFadden's crew will get their due; then who will sing the song?

I do deny that ever I a naked female seen
The gentle sex, I know they're vexed, they feel the insult keen.
It was a shame to fix the blame upon me in the wrong
But while I live I'll not forgive the man that made the song.

In all my life to Tully's wife I never spoke a word
The crazy loon cried out too soon his jealous mind was stirred.
I still maintain that he's insane tho' Lovelock says I'm wrong
That mental quack I'm told for fact 'twas he who made the song.

My potheen raid I am afraid 'twill end in failure, too
Attorney Lynch won't yield an inch in what he does pursue.
The logic sound can well confound my cases right and wrong
No doubt but he might chance to be the man that made the song.

There's men, of course, among the force who sympathise with me,
There's other's too, but not a few, can well enjoy the spree.
To them I say a reckoning day will come before it's long
And Cooper's fate will compensate the man that sings the song.

I'll give five pounds and jink it down to find the poet's name
Because, of course, he is the source of all my grief and fame.
And in a coach to Cecil Roche I'll march him through the throng
I know he'll be right glad to see the man that made the song.

In all my boast, the hackler's ghost annoys me most of all,
I'm still in dread that when he's dead he'll haunt me from Grouse Hall;
In dreams at night I rave and fight in accents shrill and long
That pierce my ears I think I hear the echo of his song.

I'm well content for to be sent away this very day;
To Cork or Clare or anywhere one hundred miles away.
This curst Grouse Hall caused my downfall. I have been here too long
Before I go I'd wish to know the man who made the song.


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This page is a part of Philipp's Home Of The Free.