The Foggy Dew
Written by Canon Charles O'Neill, a parish priest of Kilcoo and later Newcastle, County Down, in 1919, to a traditional melody.
Recorded on Grapevine.
As down the glen one Easter morn to a city fair rode I,
There armed lines of marching men in squadrons did pass me by.
No pipe did hum and no battle drum did sound its loud tattoo,
But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey's swell rang out through the foggy dew.
Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war;
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud-El-Bar.
And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through,
While Britannia's Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew.
'Twas England bade our wild geese go, that "small nations might be free";
Their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves or the fringe of the great North Sea.
But had they died by Pearse's side or fought with Cathal Brugha,
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep, 'neath the shroud of the foggy dew.
Oh the night fell black, and the rifles' crack made perfidious Albion reel,
In that leaden rain, seven tongues of flame shone over the lines of steel,
And beside each blade a prayer was said, that to Ireland her sons would be true,
And when morning broke, still the green flag shook out its folds in the foggy dew.
Oh the bravest fell, and the Requiem knell rang mournfully and clear,
For those who died that Eastertide in the spring time of the year.
And the world did gaze in deep amaze, at those fearless men and few,
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew.
As back through the glen I rode again, my heart with grief was sore;
For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more.
But to and fro in my dreams I go and I kneel and pray for you;
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, when you fell in the foggy dew.