Rody MacCorley

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Anna MacManus, who used the pen-name Ethna Carbery

Ho! see the fleetfoot hosts of men
Who speed with faces wan,
From farmstead and from fisher’s cot
Upon the banks of the Bann.
They come with vengeance in their eyes.
Too late, too late are they.
For Rody MacCorley goes to die
On the Bridge of Toome today.

2. Oh Ireland, Mother Ireland,
You love them still the best;
The fearless brave who fighting fall,
Upon your hapless breast;
But never a one of all your dead
More bravely fell in fray,
Than he who marches to his fate
On the Bridge of Toome today.

3. Up the narrow street he stepped
Smiling and proud and young;
About the hemp-rope on his neck
The golden ringlets clung.
There’s never a tear in the blue, blue eyes
Both glad and bright are they;
As Rody MacCorley goes to die
On the Bridge of Toome today.

4. Ah! when he last stepped up that street
His shining pike in hand,
Behind him marched in grim array
A stalwart earnest band!
For Antrim town! for Antrim town!
He led them to the fray –
And Rody MacCorley goes to die
On the Bridge of Toome today.

5. The grey coat and its sash of green
Were brave and stainless then;
A banner flashed beneath the sun
Over the marching men –
The coat hath many a rent this noon
The sash is torn away,
And Rody MacCorley goes to die
On the Bridge of Toome today.

6. Oh! how his pike flashed to the sun!
Then found a foeman’s heart!
Through furious fight, and heavy odds
He bore a true man’s part;
And many a red-coat bit the dust
Before his keen pike-play –
But Rody MacCorley goes to die
On the Bridge of Toome today.

7. Because he loved the Motherland,
Because he loved the Green,
He goes to meet the martyr’s fate
With proud and joyous mien,
True to the last, true to the last,
He treads the upward way –
Young Rody MacCorley goes to die
On the Bridge of Toome today.

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