by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931)

The return from Fingal
Language: English 
Moan, ye winds, ye caverns call 
" Orro, orro ! " to our sorrow, 
While we bear 'neath one black pall 
Brian, Murrough, from Fingal. 
Still though wasted, wounded, weary, 
On, Dalcassians ! to your eyrie, 
Eagles, crying from your crag, 
" We have rent the Raven's flag." 

How O'Brien's banshee cried, 
Wailing, warning, ere that morning, 
When the Lochlan in his pride 
Whitened all the ocean side.
Sea kings stern from Norway’s highlands,
Pirate chiefs from Orkney’s islands.
Lords of Leinster, Britain, Wales, 
By the shore a thousand sails 

"On this day," great Brian cried 
To the foeman, "Jew and Roman 
Christ, our Saviour, crucified. 
Hold we truce till Easter-tide ! " 
Loud rang back their impious laughter, 
"Fight comes first, thanksgiving after!' 
"Perish then, with shameful loss, 
Howling fiends before the Cross!" 

Plait and Donnell brand to brand 
First in raging wrath engaging, 
Heart pierced by each other's hand, 
Fell together on the strand. 
Then before the sword of Murrough 
Fled the Dane; till to our sorrow 
Anrud, Norway's champion dread, 
Murrough met and both lay dead. 

But our rallying cry awoke, 
"Kian, Kian, Desmond's lion!" 
And, at Kian's dreadful stroke, 
Reeled the Lochlan ranks and broke. 
"Now with strains of martial glory 
To the King to tell our story," 
But we found great Brian low; 
Och, ochone ! och ullalo! 

Moan, ye winds, ye caverns call 
"Orro, orro !" to our sorrow, 
While we bear 'neath one black pall 
Brian, Murrough, from Fingal. 
Still though wasted, wounded, weary, 
On, Dalcassians! to your eyrie, 
Eagles, crying from your crag, 
"We have rent the Raven's flag!"

Authorship

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Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

This text was added to the website: 2015-04-08
Line count: 48
Word count: 267