The Green Linnet

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Curiosty led a young native of Erin
To view the gay banks of the Rhine,
Where an empress he saw, and the robe she was wearing
All over with diamonds did shine.
No goddess in splendour was ever yet seen
To equal this fair maid so mild and serene,
In soft murmurs she cried, "O my Linnet so green,
Sweet Boney, will I ne’er see you more?

2. The cold lofty Alps you freely passed over,
Which nature had placed in your way:
At Marengo, Bellona around you did hover;
And Paris rejoiced the next day.
It grieved me the hardships that you did undergo,
The mountains you traversed all covered with snow,
And the balance of power your courage laid low:
Sweet Boney, will I ne’er see you more?

3. The crowned heads of Europe when you were in splendour,
Swore that they would have you subdue;
But the goddess of freedom soon made them surrender,
And lower their standard to you.
Old Frederick’s colours to France he did bring;
Yet offspring found shelter under your wing;
That year at Vienna you sweetly did sing;
Sweet Boney, will I ne’er see you more?

4. What numbers of men there were eager to slay you!
Their malice you viewed with a smile;
Their gold through all Europe was found to betray you;
They joined with the Mamelukes at the Nile
Like ravenous vultures their vile passions did burn;
The orphans they slew and caused widows to mourn;
But my Linnet is gone, and he ne’er will return:
Sweet Boney, will I ne’er see you more?

5. I ranged through the deserts of wild Abyssinia,
And could yet find no cure for my pain;
I will go and inquire at the isle of St Helena,
But soft murmurs whisper "Tis vain"!
Come, tell me, ye critics come tell me in time,
What nations I’ll rove my green Linnet to find;
Was he slain at Waterloo, in Spain or on the Rhine?
No, he’s dead on St Helena’s bleak shore.


The Green Linnet was Napoleon Bonaparte. The air is a variant of "Uilleagán Dubh Ó".

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