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11.07.2009

Michael Dwyer. From Aer Lingus on-flight magazine Cara



The soldiers searched the Wicklow vales, and toward the dawn of day
Discovered where the outlaws bold, the dauntless rebels lay.
Around the little cottage poor, they formed into a ring
And called out: "Michael Dwyer! Surrender to the King!".

Thus answered Michael Dwyer: "Into this house we came,
Unasked by those who own it - and they cannot be to blame-
Then let these peaceful people unmolested pass you through,
And when they're placed in safety, I'll tell you what we'll do."

'Twas done. "And now", said Michael Dywer, "your work you may begin:
You are a hundred men outside - we're only four within,
We've heard your haughty summons, and this is our reply:
"We're true United Irishmen, we'll fight until we die!"

Then burst forth war's red lightning, then poured the leaden rain;
And Wicklow's hills re-echoed with the thunder peals again,
Brave Dwyer and his comrades bold, they fought and fell with pride,
And the skies of Wicklow wept that morn, when Michael Dwyer died".


Beautiful. Really. That's why I copied it on the only piece of paper I could find on the plane: the paper bag for... emergencies! However, Google says othwerwise. It in no way reduces the literary merit of the poem, but the events of 15 February 1799 apparently concluded differently. See http://www.62infantry.com/Michael_Dwyer.shtml
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