Song of the Irish-American Regiments

Richard Dalton Williams  (1822 - 1862)


We have changed the battle-field,

But the cause abandoned never-
Here a sharper sword to wield,

And wage the endless war for ever.

Yes! the war we wage with thee-

That of light with power infernal-
As it hath been still shall be,
Unforgiving and eternal.


Let admiring nations praise

Thy crystal halls and silk pavilions;
But I see through bloody haze

The phantoms of the murdered millions.

Hark! from out their shallow graves

Wail our brothers o’er the billow-

“ We have died the death of slaves,
Weeds our food, the earth our pillow.”


Lo! the ghastly spectre throng,
Shroudless all in awful pallor!

Vengeance! who should right their wrong?
We have arms, and men, and valour.

Strike! the idol long adored

Waits the doom just gods award her;
To arms! away! with fire and sword,

Our march is o’er the British border!


The harlot, drunk with pride as wine,
Revels in her guilty palace,

Thus Belshazzar Syria’s vine

Quaffed from plundered Salem’s chalice.

That very hour avenging Fates

Rolled back thy storied tide, Euphrates;
And thou, the Gaul is at thy gates,

And panic smites thy pale Penates.


The brazen hypocrite who moans

O’er others’ sins, yet dares dissemble
Her own foul guilt, whereat the stones

Of Sodom’s self might blush and tremble!

Thy power and pride shall cease below
The scoff of every tongue and nation.

And men thy name shall only know

As meaning guilt and desolation.

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