THE OLD FENIAN GUN
It hung above the kitchen fire,
Its barrel long and brown,
And one day, with a boy's desire,
I c1imbed and took it down.
My father's eyes with anger flashed,
He cried: "What have you done?
I wish you'd left it where it was
That's my old Fenian gun!"
I fondled it with love and pride;
I looked it o'er and o'er,.
I placed it on my shoulder
And I marched across the floor.
My father's anguish softened,
And he shared my boyish fun
"Ah, well," he said, "tis' in your breed,
Like that old Fenian gun !"
"I remember '67 well,"
He said, "when lads like me
All thought we'd strike another blow
To set old Ireland free.
But broken were our golden hopes;
I was long months on the run;
But it did good work for Ireland then -
That brown old Fenian gun."
"I was down then in Kilmallock -
'Twas the hottest fight of all
And you see" - he bared his arm
"There's the mark still of a ball.
I hope the young lads growing now
Will hold the ground we won,
And not disgrace the cause in which
I held that Fenian gun."
I placed it o'er the fire once more;
I heard my father sigh;
I knew his thoughts were turning back
On days now long gone by.
And then I vowed within my heart;
"I'll be my father's son.
And if ever Ireland wants my aid
I'll hold a Fenian gun."
That's years ago; I've grown a man,
And weathered many a gale,
The last long year was spent inside
A gloomy English jail.
I've done my part; I'll do it still,
Until the fight is won;
When Ireland's free we'll bless the men,
Who held a Fenian gun.