Tone's Grave

Melody -

Thomas Osborne Davis (1814-1845)

In Bodenstown Churchyard
There is a green grave,
And wildly along it
The winter winds rave;
Small shelter, I ween,
Are the ruined walls there,
When a storm sweeps down
On the plains of Kildare.

2. Once I lay on that sod--
It lies over Wolfe Tone--
And I thought how
He perished in prison alone,
His friends unavenged,
And his country unfreed--
"Oh, bitter," I said,
"Is the patriot's meed."

3. "For in him the heart
Of a woman combined
With a heroic life,
And a governing mind--
A martyr for Ireland--
His grave has no stone--
His name seldom named,
And his virtues unknown."

4. I was woke from my dream
By the voices and tread
Of a band, who came into
The home of the dead;
They carried no corpse,
And they carried no stone,
And they stopped when they came
To the grave of Wolfe Tone.

5. There were students and peasants,
The wise and the brave,
And an old man who knew him
From cradle to grave,
And children who thought me
Heard-hearted; for they,
On the sanctified sod
Were forbidden to play.

6. But the old man, who I saw
Was mourning there, said:
"We come sir, to weep
Where young Wolfe Tone is laid;
And we're going to raise him
A monument, too--
A plain one, yet fit
For the simple and true."

7. My heart overflowed,
And I clasped his old hand,
And I blessed him,
And blessed every one of his band;
"Sweet! Sweet! 'tis to find
That such faith can remain
To the cause, and the man
So long vanquished and slain."

8. In Bodenstown Churchyard
There is a green grave,
And freely around it
Let winter winds rave--
Far better they suit him--
The ruin and gloom,--
Till Ireland, a Nation,
Can build him a tomb.


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