The Wine-Cup is Circling

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Melody - "Michael Hoy"
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Thomas Moore, from Irish Melodies, vol. 10

The wine-cup is circling in Almhin's hall,*
And its Chief, 'mid his heroes reclining,
Looks up, with a sigh to the trophied wall,
Where his sword hangs idly shining.
When, hark, that shout
From the vale without
"Arm ye quick, the Dane, the Dane is nigh!"
Every Chief starts up
From his foaming cup,
And "To battle, to battle!" is the Finian's cry.
2. The minstrels have seized their harps of gold,
And they sing such thrilling numbers
'Tis like the voice of the Brave, of old,
Breaking forth from their place of slumber!
Spear to buckler rang,
As the minstrels sang,
And the Sun-burst o'er them floated wide;**
While remembering the yoke
Which their fathers broke,
"On for liberty, for liberty!" the Finians cried.
3. Like clouds of the night the Northmen came,
O'er the valley of Almhin lowering;
While onward moved, in the light of its fame,
That banner of Erin, towering.
With the mingling shock
Rung cliff and rock,
While, rank on rank, the invaders die:
And the shout, that last
O'er the dying pass'd,
Was "victory! victory!" - the Finian's cry.


* The Palace of Fin Mac-Cumhal (the Fingal of Macpherson) in Leinster. It was built on the top of a hill, which has retained from thence the name of the Hall of Allen, in the county of Kildare. The Finians, or Fenii, were the celebrated National Militia of Ireland, which this Chief commanded. The introduction of the Danes in the above song is an anachronism common to most of the Finian and Ossianic legends.

** The name given to the banner of the Irish.

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