American Old Time Song Lyrics: 38 The Exiles Lament

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 38

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Copyright, 1886, by F. Harding.
Words and Music by John F. Mitchell.

Beneath a far-off Australian sky an Irish exile lay,
The sand from out his glass of life was ebbing fast away;
The friends that stood around his bed his eyes could scarcely see-
His thoughts, which soon would be at rest, were far across the sea.
In spirit once again he stood upon his native sod.
Where as a child and as a man his foot had lightly trod;
In fancy he could feel upon his brow the mountain air,
And from his parted lips there Issued forth the exile's prayer:

"Lay me on the hillside, with my face toward the West,
Toward that sacred island-the land that I love best;
Let a bunch of shamrocks green be planted o'er my grave,
My dying prayer is: 'God bless the island of the brave!

Eviction foul and cruel sent him far across the foam
From that sweet spot which Irishmen, where'er they may be, call home;
The land whose halls have felt the tread of princes and of kings.
Whose harp once wooed the world, is now a mass or broken strings.
They were forced to leave the land which gave their fathers birth.
As strangers and as outcasts to wander o'er the earth;
The time came back to him again when he was but a child,
With mem'ries of sweet rambles thro' her wood and valleys wild.- Chorus.

Each eye was wet with briny tears-his words had touched the heart;
For they were exiles, too, and time had failed to heal their smart;
In every clime beneath the sky the Irish race are seen,
Yet still their every thought is fixed upon that isle of green.
He calls his friends around him, for the end is drawing near,
And from his pale and haggard cheek they wiped away a tear;
Another victim of misrule has felt the hand of death;
"God bless you, Ireland," were the words which filled his dying breath.- C'ho.
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