Henry Lawson

When The Irish Flag Went By

’Twas Eight-Hour Day, and proudly Old Labour led the way; The drums were bearing loudly, The crowded streets were gay; But something touched my heart like pain, I could not check the sigh That rose within my bosom when The Irish Flag went by. Bright flags were raised about it And one of them my own: And patriots trod beneath it But it seemed all alone. I thought of ruined Ireland While crystals from the sky Fell soft like tears by angels shed, As the Irish Flag went by. I love the dark green standard As Irish patriots do; It waves above the rebels, And I’m a rebel too, I thought of Ireland’s darkest years, Her griefs that follow fast; For drooping as ’twere drenched with tears The Irish Flag went past. And though ’twas not in Erin That my forefathers trod; And though my wandering footsteps Ne’er pressed the dear old sod, I felt the wrongs the Irish feel Beneath the northern sky. And felt the rebel in my heart When the Irish Flag went by. I tell you, men of England, Who rule the land by might; I tell you, Irish traitors Who sell the sons of light, The tyranny shall fail at last, That changeful days are nigh; And you shall dip your red flag yet, When the Irish Flag goes by.

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