Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Ninety-Eight

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Ninety-Eight

Ninety-Eight
(William Rooney)

Still forms, grey dust, black stones in Dublin city,
A grave in green Kildare,
And many a grassy mound that moves our pity
O'er Erin everywhere;

Cave Hill above the Lagan's noises rearing
Her shaggy head in pride;
Lone Ednavady's brow and Antrim staring
Across Lough Neagh's rough tide;

Killala still her weary watch maintaining
Beside the ocean's boom,
And Castlebar in faithful guard remaining
Around the Frenchmen's tomb.

Ross, Wexford, Gorey, Oulart, Tubberneering,
And many a Wicklow glen
That knew the dauntless souls and hearts unfearing
Of Dwyer and all his men

These, through a hundred years of gloom and doubting
Speak trumpet-toned to-day,
Above the cry of creed and faction's shouting
To tread the olden way.

These, in the hearts of all the true men, waken
The olden fires anew;
These tell of hope unquenched and faith unshaken,
Of something still to do.

They bring us visions, full of tears and sorrow,
Of homes and hearts left lone;
Of eyes grown dim with watching for a morrow
Of joy that never shone.

But, too, they whisper notes of preparation
And strength beyond the seas,
Of hope outliving night and desolation
Through all the centuries.

Then to the staff-head let our flag ascending,
Our fires on every hill
Tell to the nations of the earth attending
We wage the battle still

Tell to the nations, though the grass is o'er them,
For many a weary year,
Our fathers' souls still thrill the land that bore them,
Their spirit still is there.

And by their graves we swear this year of story
To battle side by side,
Till Freedom crowns with immemorial glory
The Cause for which they died.

(A Centenary Ode, 1898)
XX
APR99
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