Mili Note: originally posted on my personal Facebook account.
Who dares to say forget the past to men of Irish birth?
Who dares to say cease fighting for our place upon this earth?
Let remembrance be our watchword and our dead we’ll never fail,
Let their graves be to us as milestones on that blood soaked, one-way trail.
Remember how Owen Roe fought, port Dungans Hilll beside;
No man can say a coward fell, when Hugh O’Donnell died.
Remember Ruadh and Sarsfield and forget whoever will,
That glorious stand at Limerick, at Kilnacadin Hill.
How Emmett’s gallant handful in historic Dublin town,
Came out to give their challenge to the forces of the crown.
And then for a time twas silence.
Was Ireland’s struggle done?
The answers in the negative, thundered many a Fenian gun.
And then when England thought she’d won,
That we at last were meek,
Roared forth a glorious challenge Of the men of Easter week.
Remember how our soldiers fought the scum of many lands,
Fought the scum of British prisons, and Britain’s Black and Tans.
And then by men we trusted, this land of ours was sold.
They sold our friends to enemies as Judas did of old.
Remember how in Kerry they butchered our lads like swine.
God, think of Ballyseedy where they tied them to a mine!
How Rory and Liam, Dick and Joe to glut the imperial beast,
Were murdered while in prison On our Blessed Lady’s Feast.
How with overworked revolver, as he dashed from that hotel,
Rode a rebel’s last defiance, as Cathal Brugha fell.
Hear we not the voice of Connolly, the workers soldier friend?
“The conquered soul asserts itself and we shall rise again!”
For freedom, Yes! and not to starve, and not for rocks or clay,
But for the lives of Ireland’s working class, we fight and die today.
“And what,” says Cathal Brugha, “if the last man’s on the ground,
“If he’s lying weak and helpless and his enemies ring him round,
“If he’s fired his last bullet, if he’s fired his final shot
“And they say ‘Come into the empire’
He should answer – I WILL NOT!”
Then back, back to that one-way trail
Ní síocháin go saoirse is the war cry of the Gael
While our country stands beside us with the blood of martyrs set,
Wayside crosses to remind us
Who dares to say forget?
While Emmett’s tomb is uninscribed,
Until we our rights assert,
Until our country takes its place,
Among the nations of the earth.