The Ballyshannon Lane

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Michael O'Brien, c.1896

'Twas in 'ninety-six as the moon did fix
Her beams o'er Scullabogue,
The twinkling stars and the planet Mars
Shone brightly o'er its grove;
Where the Hessian brutes, they bit the dust,
And Cromwell's crew were slain,
Where the Yeomen fled and left their dead
In the Ballyshannon Lane.

2. I sat awhile upon the stile
At the Church in old Courtoyle
One night in June, as the silvery moon
O'er the Rebel's grave did sail;
Scenes of 'Ninety-Eight which I relate
Passed through my youthful brain,
And I prayed for the dead, who from Raheen bled
In Ballyshannon Lane.

3. I passed Jim Moore's and the old forge door
Where old Evoy forged the pike
The night being kind, no rain or wind
Blew over hill or dyke;
At Furlong's gate I changed to wait
And through how this youth was slain,
For the Hessian crew this youth they slew
In the Ballyshannon Lane.

4. My mother too, 'God rest her soul',
She showed me where he fell.
'Twas across the lands where Doyle's house stands
He fought manfully and well,
And out by Kehoe's he chased the foes
And many a Hessian was slain,
Till six bayonets passed through his rebel breast
In the Ballyshannon Lane.

5. In Keating's bawn at the morning's dawn,
Where the barn was all in flames,
My three uncles fell, I'm grieved to tell:
That's Martin, Tom and James.
While my aunt Kate stood at the gate
Herself and child were slain;
And my teeth still cringe for my revenge
In the Ballyshannon Lane.

6. This was the song my mother sang
Into my youthful ears;
While down her cheeks for weeks and weeks
Rolled hot and scalding tears.
My brother, Mike, forged me a pike
For to take to the hills again,
And if Ireland need I'm here to bleed
For the Ballyshannon Lane.

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