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Sligo Nationalist 17 January 1914.
The Words of "Ninety-Eight."
        (by F. McLoughlin.)

Tim Maher’s gone across the hill
And keeps a steady eye
Along the road to Wexford town
For fear of tout or spy.

And Maureen has the steel within
The handles too have come—
So let us raise the sledge on high
And strike the sharp point home.

The boys are bound for Wexford town
And, shortly, so shall we,
But now our trade’s to make the blades
That sets old Ireland free.

They entered in with lightsome tread,
Their faces chestnut brown,
You could not find two stouter hears
From Cork to Dublin town.

From Cork to Dublin town and thence
Across to Galway Bay,
In all the land on either hand,
That sultry summer day.

The sun is burning Ardrahan,
We’ll light our fire with glee;
For ours this fire that can’t expire
When making Ireland free!

Dong, dong, for many and many an hour
A pile of bright blades shine;
The evening wind comes from the hill,
The sun on the decline.

The dew is on the summer grass,
Yet still the anvil rings
The tune that oft’ a lesson taught
To despots queens and kings.

Oh would Lord Edward now was here
Those keen edges blades to see—
Thank God we’re left the true hearts yet
To make old Ireland free!!!

Sligo Nationalist 14 February 1914.
             “God Save all Here!”

(From the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”)
(In spite of their manifest literary shortcomings, the following verses will appeal to many):-

There is a prayer that’s breathed alone
     In dear old Erin’s land;
’Tis uttered on the threshold stone
     With smiles and clasping hand.
And oft’, perchance, ’tis murmured low
     With sigh and falling tear,
The grandest greeting man may know,
     The prayer, “God save all here!”

In other lands they know not well
     How priceless is the lore,
That hedges with a sacred spell
     Old Ireland’s cabin door;
To those it is no empty sound,
     Who think, with many a tear,
Of long-loved memories wreathing round
     The prayer, “God save all here!”

Live on, O Prayer in Ireland still,
     Live on for evermore,
The echoes of her homes to fill
     When uttered at her door.
And guarding by its holy spell
     The soul and conscience clear,
Be graven on each heart as well,
     The prayer, “God save all here!”

                       N.J. MCGEOY

Sligo Nationalist 17 January 1914.
            Home Rule Year.

My countrymen, be of good cheer,
We’ll have Home Rule this blessed year;
Thank God at last the coast is clear.
       And orders are full speed.
John Redmond says to steam ahead;
His colleagues he has wisely led,
Let bombast Carson lower his head;
       Our people must be freed.

We soon shall see o’er College Green
Our own dear flag, the flag of green.
I long to view that glorious scene,
       When it shall proudly wave.
And stand outside the "Old House door"
When Redmond in his coach and four,
Shall hear the people’s thundering roar,
       God bless our Premier brave.

Our own John Dillon I must name,
He’s next to Redmond for great fame;
He has put our foes to scorn and shame
       By many a fiery speech.
And Joseph Devlin of renown,
The pride and joy of Belfast town;
The tyrant’s power he’s pulling down-
       You all know he’s a peach.

God bless each man of our fighting line,
In future history their names will shine;
Their country to the end of time
       Will keep their memories dear.
O! how happy we shall be,
When we see our country free.
My countrymen, rejoice with me,
       'Twill be this blessed year.


Sligo Nationalist 14 February 1914
    The "Carsonite" Brigade.
         (in Dromahair Notes)

Oh, have you heard the fearful news
That’s spreading everywhere,
That "William’s sons" with wooded guns
Will attack poor Dromahair?
And that all "Papists" in this town
Will in their grave be laid
With the gallant charge and onslaught
Of the "Carsonite" Brigade.

Oh, what is Carson thinking of—
He knows not who we are—
For we can fight and die like men,
Our name is near and far.
Our women too, can him subdue,
Their name can never fade.
To h—ll with Aughrim and the Boyne,
And the "Carsonite" Brigade.

The "direct labour" will turn out
With their shovels, spades and picks,
Our women will come to the front
With their aprons full of bricks.
Lord Londonderry will try to
Take refuge in Glenade,
And fell the hospitals he has built
With the "Carsonite" Brigade.

Oh, at their threat we all do laugh
Like children going to school;
Their lies and threats and slanderous talk
Will not keep back Home Rule.
Remember Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
Their memory cannot fade;
I wonder what they would have done
With the "Carsonite" Brigade.

J.C. Lyons.

The Ninety Eight poem shows the abiding interest in and appeal to the memory of the rebellion of 1798 in Irish politics. The celebration of the rebellion's centenary in 1898 was a major event in County Sligo as elsewhere in the country. Two memorials were erected as a result, the Lady Erin monument in Sligo town and the Teeling Monument at Carrignagcat, Collooney. Many poems and songs in celebration of the rebellion were written as a result of the celebrations. I have no idea if this is one of those or if it was of more recent composition.

"The Home Rule Year" poem is a standard celebration of the expected arrival of Home Rule in 1914. It mentions the three Irish Party leaders, Redmond, Dillon and Devlin. John Dillon was "our John Dillon" because he was MP for East Mayo from 1885 to 1918. His family home was in Ballaghaderrreen, Co. Roscommon.

The author is probably the Thomas Alfred Waldron, Roscommon-born national school teacher, living in Cloonmaghaura, Templetogher, Co. Galway in the
1911 Census. He is married to a Sligo-born wife, Bedelia Josephine. Waldron in the 1901 Census.

The "Carsonite" Brigade" poem is a humourus comment on the politics of the day especially on the efforts of the northern Unionists to oppose Home Rule. A standard response from Nationalists was to jibe at their poor attempts at soldiery and at their use of wooden guns. At the same time the proximity of Leitrim and Sligo to the Unionist heartland did cause some local concern.

The "direct labour" men who were to oppose them in Dromahair, County Leitrim were Council employees. Lord Londonderry (1852 – 1915) was
a leading opponent of Irish Home Rule and president of the Ulster Unionist Council. He was the second signature of the Ulster Covenant after Sir Edward Carson.

The Messenger of the Sacred Heart, usually known as The Messenger, is an Irish Roman Catholic periodical, founded in 1888. For much of its history it was one of the most read Irish devotional publications. The introductory note to the poem from the Messenger, which apologises for the "manifest literary shortcomings" of the verses, seems odd in view of the general standard of the verses included in the newspaper. Is the editor being sarcastic?

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