The West's Asleep.

A poem by Thomas Osborne Davis

Air--The Brink of the White Rocks.


I.

When all beside a vigil keep,
The West's asleep, the West's asleep--
Alas! and well may Erin weep,
When Connaught lies in slumber deep.
There lake and plain smile fair and free,
'Mid rocks--their guardian chivalry--
Sing oh! let man learn liberty
From crashing wind and lashing sea.


II.

That chainless wave and lovely land
Freedom and Nationhood demand--
Be sure, the great God never planned,
For slumbering slaves, a home so grand.
And, long, a brave and haughty race
Honoured and sentinelled the place--
Sing oh! not even their sons' disgrace
Can quite destroy their glory's trace.


III.

For often, in O'Connor's van,
To triumph dashed each Connaught clan--
And fleet as deer the Normans ran
Through Corlieu's Pass and Ardrahan.
And later times saw deeds as brave;
And glory guards Clanricarde's grave--
Sing oh! they died their land to save,
At Aughrim's slopes and Shannon's wave.


IV.

And if, when all a vigil keep,
The West's asleep, the West's asleep--
Alas! and well may Erin weep,
That Connaught lies in slumber deep.
But, hark! some voice like thunder spake:
"The West's awake! the West's awake!"--
"Sing oh! hurra! let England quake,
We'll watch till death for Erin's sake!"

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