The Minstrel Boy
To the tune of the old Irish air The Moreen.
- The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
- In the ranks of death you will find him;
- His father's sword he hath girded on,
- And his wild harp slung behind him;
- "Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
- "Tho' all the world betrays thee,
- One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
- One faithful harp shall praise thee!"
- The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain
- Could not bring that proud soul under;
- The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
- For he tore its chords asunder;
- And said "No chains shall sully thee,
- Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
- Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
- They shall never sound in slavery!"
A third verse was added later:
- The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
- When we hear the news, we all will cheer it,
- The minstrel boy will return one day,
- Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
- Then may he play on his harp in peace,
- In a world such as Heaven intended,
- For all the bitterness of man must cease,
- And ev'ry battle must be ended.
Inspired by the rebellion of the United Irishmen in 1798 in which two of Moore's friends fought and died.
- --oOo-- -