MacKenna's Dream

Melody -

One evening late I chanced to stray,
All in the pleasant month of May,
When all the land in slumber lay,
The moon on the deep.
'Twas on a bank I sat me down,
The soft breeze was rustling round
The murmur of the ocean
Huzhoed me to sleep.
I dreamt I saw brave Brian Boru,
Who did the Danish race subdue,
The mighty man his sword he drew,
These words he spoke to me: -
"The harp melodious shall sound,
When Erin's sons shall be unbound,
And they shall gather safe around
The green laurel tree."

I thought brave Sarsfield drew up.nigh,
And to my question made reply: -
"For Erin's cause I'll live and die
As thousands did of yore
My sword again on Aughrim's plain
Old Erin's rights shall well maintain,
Though thousands lie in battle slain,
And hundreds in their gore."
I thought St. Ruth stood on the ground
And said, "I will your monarch crown,"
Encompassed by the French around
All ready for the field.
He raised a cross and thus did say -
"Brave boys, we'll show them gallant play;
Let no man dare to run away,
But die ere they yield."

Then Billy Byrne he came there
From Ballymanus, I declare,
Brought Wicklow, Carlow and Kildare
That day at his command.
Westmeath and Cavan also join;
The County Louth men crossed the Boyne;
Slane, Trim and Navan fell in line,
And Dublin to a man.
O'Reilly on the hill of Skreen
He drew his sword both bright and keen,
And swore by all his eyes had seen
He would avenge the fall
Of Erin's sons and daughters brave,
Who nobly filled a martyr's grave,
They died before they'd live enslaved,
For vengeance they call!
Then Father Murphy he did say,
"Behold, my Lord, I'm here today,
With eighteen thousand pikemen gay
From Wexford so brave.
Our country's fate it does depend
On you and on our gallant friends;
And heaven will our cause defend,
We'll die ere we'll be slaves."
Methought each band played Patrick's Day
To marshall all in proud array,
With caps and feathers white and gay,
A grand and warlike show;
With drums and trumpets loud and shrill,
And cannons placed on every hill,
The pikemen did the valley fill
To strike the fatal blow.

Then all at once appeared in sight
An army clad in armour bright;
Both front and rear and left and right
March on to the fore:
The chieftains pitched their carnp with skill,
Determined tyrants' blood to spill,
Beneath us ran a mountain rill
As rapid as the Nore;
Along the line they raised a shout,
Crying "Quick March, right about!"
With bayonets fixed they all marched out
To face the deadly foe;
The enemy were no ways shy,
With thundering cannon planted nigh;
Now thousands in death's struggle lie,
The streams redly flow.

The enemy they made a square
And drove our cavalry to despair,
They were nearly routed, rank and rear,
But yet did not yield,
For up came brave Wexford - never slack -
With brave Tipperary at their back,
And Longford next, who in a crack
Straight swept them of the field.
They gave three cheers for liberty,
As the enemy, all routed, flee;
Methought I looked but could not see
One foeman on the plain.
Then I awoke - 'twas break of day:
No wounded on the ground there lay,
No warriors there, no fierce affray:
So ended my dream.

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