by Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you'll find him;
His father's sword he [has]1 girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.
"Land of Song", said the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee".

The Minstrel fell! but the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under,
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said, "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never sound in slav'ry".

V. Herbert sets stanza 1

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Note: some settings of this text use a third verse written by an unknown author during the American Civil War, found here.

1 Herbert: "hath"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Le jeune ménestrel", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2017-10-11 12:39:24
Line count: 16
Word count: 112