Musings in Maoriland
O'Connell. — [Born August 6, 1775.]
[Born August 6, 1775.]
Come ye whose spirits are unfettered, ye
Who dare to burst the trammels of the past,
Ye, who obey the Man-God's golden rule,
By granting others what ye claim yourselves
Come ye whose fathers fought for Conscience sake,
On England's plains and Scotia's rugged hills,
Come all who worship at the sacred Shrine
Of Liberty! Come freemen, one and all,
Of every race and clime and creed upon
This oval Planet's surface! Come with me,
And let's unlock the casket which contains
That jewel rare—a great man's memory.
A hundred years to-day, in that fair Isle—
Which as an em'rald ornament is set
Above Atlantic's palpitating heart,
The Power Supreme, who guides Creation's works,
And moulds His creatures' destinies at will,
Looked down with pity on an enslav'd race,
And bid a Giant live, to rend their chains.
Then Freedom soared above Killarney's lakes,
And breathed on wild Magillicuddy's Reeks,
And in the peaceful home of Derrynane,
That nestles in the arms of Kerry's hills,
The Liberator of his land was born.
A hundred years to-day!—look back with me
Across the gulf, and note how times have changed!
The crouching bondsman on the other side
Bends low with, forced submissiveness, nor dares
To look up to his Maker, save by stealth!
'Tis crime in him to call his soul his own,
But lo! between the banks of Now and Then,
A chieftain stands, with head erect and proud,
Clad in the armour of a righteous cause,
And fighting with those weapons of the just—
The "Voice and Pen," and as his glowing words
Rush up to Heaven, slumbering Justice wakes.
A hundred years to-day! the time seems short,
And yet within that century' the Earth
Has changed her face, for Pioneers of Right
Have hewn away the rotten trunks of Wrong
That grew upon her breast, and sapped the springs
Of nutriment from out her bosom's core,
'Till all her weaker plants could scarcely live;
And in the vanguard of that noble host
O'Connell stood,—the people's crownless King,
Pointing in triumph to the tracks he'd cleared
To Paradise, where souls might freely soar
The way which pleased them best, to meet their God.
Oh! Brothers, we are privileged to hold
The first position in the ranks of Light,
The nations we are building in the South
Can rear their golden heads on high, and boast
That all their children,—sprung from every race—
Have equal rights to chant Jehovah's praise
As suits their choice, and Brothers, we are proud
Of our unsullied charter, and we're proud
Of all the noble and unselfish men
Who fought in bye-gone years for human rights;
And this is why we twine our wreaths of song,
And weave our garlands 'round O'Connell's name.