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Olden Memories

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Olden Memories

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Olden Memories

Olden memories--thrilling stories
Of the past, ye're precious now.
For your sheen can change and brighten,
Every shadow on the brow.
Come ye with your many virtues,
And that faith so nobly pure,
Giving light to eyes that blindly
Followed every gilded lure.
Come ye, crowned with truth's bright halo,
Lustrous as when dawning day
On the morrow opens its eyelids,
While night's darkness flits away.

Olden memories. men are shouting
Ye are vain and useless things -
Bid us wail sad Jeremiads
Where our noblest anthem rings.
Vain the clamour. Names, that waken
Patriot throbbings in the breast,
May not be by scoffing shaken
From their genial place of rest.
While our fondest thoughts may linger,
Round the cairns where great ones lie,
Their bold requiem, "No Surrender."'
Lives while soul-less slanderers die.

Olden memories, ye have gladdened
Hearts by sorrow's cold o'ercast
When some voice we love hath told us.
To the Present speaks the Past -
Points to deeds that time hath blazoned
On the shining scroll of fame,
Names, who, on their heavenward pathway,
Heralds of the truth became-
Bear they all this solemn warning -
For the midnight gloom prepare.
Lest the foeman, ere the moming,
Come and find you sleeping there.

Olden memories, how our spirits
By your mighty tones are stirred;
While we feel each pulse within us
Tremble like a prisoned bird;
For there's something in such breathing,
Telling us of deeds sublime -
Deeds heroic, that the seedlets,
Floating down the stream of time,
Haply, when some tossing wavelet
Casts them on the Present's shore,
In our hearts to bud and blossom -
There to flower for evermore.

From The Orange Lark,published by The Ulster Society
note: Original air unknown; set to the hornpipe "The Humors od Enniskean"
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