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Flower of Finae (Thomas Davis 1840s)

Bright red is the sun o’er the waves of Lough Sheelin
A cool, gentle breeze from the mountain is stealing
While fair round its islets the small ripples play
But fairer than all is the Flower of Finae
Her hair is like night and her eyes like grey morning
She trips on the heather as if its touch scorning
Yet her heart and her lips are as mild as May Day
Sweet Eily McMahon, the Flower of Finae
But who down the hillside like red deer runs fleeter
And who on the lakeside is hastening to greet her?
Who but Fergus O’Farrell, that fiery young gay
The darling and pride of the Flower of Finae
One kiss and one clasp and one wild look of gladness
But why does it change all a sudden to sadness
He has told his sad fortune he can no longer stay
He must leave his sad Eily alone in finae.
For Fergus O’Farrell was true to his sire-land,
But the dark hand of tyranny drove him from Ireland
He joins the Brigade, in the wars far way
But he vows he’ll come back to the Flower of Finae
He fought at Cremona, she hears of his story
He fought at Cassano, she’s proud of his glory
Yet sadly she sings Siubhail a Ruin all the day
‘Oh comes, my darling, come home to Finae’
Eight long years have passed, ‘till she’s nigh broken-hearted
Her heel and her rock and her flax she has parted
She sails with the Wild Geese to Flanders away
And leaves her sad parents alone in Finae
Lord Clare on the field of Ramillies is charging
Before him the Sasanach squadrons enlarging
Behind him the Cravats their sections display
Beside him rides Fergus and shouts for Finae
On the slopes of La Judoigne the Frenchmen are flying
Lord Clare and his squadrons the foe still defying
Outnumbered and wounded, retreat in array
And bleeding, rides Fergus, and thinks of Finae
In the Cloisters of Ypres, a banner is swaying
And by it, a pale, weeping maiden is praying
That flag’s the sole trophy of Ramillies’ fray
This nun is poor Eily, the Flower of Finae.


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