American Old Time Song Lyrics: 23 Michael Dwyer

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 23

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At length brave Michael Dwyer,
And his undaunted men,
Were scented o'er the mountains
And tracked into the glen;
The stealthy soldiers followed,
With ready blade and ball,
And swore to trap the outlaw
That night in wild Email.

They prowled about the valley,
And toward the dawn of day
Discovered where the faithful
And fearless heroes lay;
Around the little cottage
They formed a ring,
And called out, "Michael Dwyer,
Surrender to the king!"

'Twas done- " and now, " said Dwyer,
"Your work you may begin;
You are a hundred 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 the war's red lightning,
Then poured the leaden rain,
The hills around re-echoed
The thunder peals again;
The soldiers falling round him,
Brave Dwyer sees with pride-
But, ah! one gallant comrade
Is wounded by his side.

Yet there are three remaining,
Good battle still to do,
Their hands are strong and steady,
Their aim is quick and true;
But, hark-that furious shouting
The savage soldiers raise!
The house is fired around them,
The roof is in a blaze!

And brighter every moment
The lurid flames arose,
And louder swelled the laughter
And cheering of their foes;
Then spake the brave M'Alister,
The weak And wounded man,
"You can escape, my comrades,
And this shall be your plan-

Place in my hands a musket,
Then lie upon the floor,
I'll stand before the soldiers,
And open wide the door;
They'll pour into my bosom
The fire of their army,
Then while their guns are empty.
Dash through them and away!"

He stood before the foemen,
Revealed amidst the flame,

From out their leveled pieces
The wished-for volley came;
Up sprang the three survivors
For whom the hero died,
But only Michael Dwyer
Burst through the ranks outside.

He baffled his pursuers,
Who followed like the wind,
And swam the river Slaney,
And left them far behind;
But many a scarlet soldier
He promised soon should fall,
For those, his gallant comrades,
Who died in wild Emall.
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