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Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
 
42. The Boyne Water
 
By Anonymous
 
 
JULY the first, of a morning clear, one thousand six hundred and ninety,
King William did his men prepare—of thousands he had thirty—
To fight King James and all his foes, encamped near the Boyne Water;
He little feared, though two to one, their multitude to scatter.
 
King William called his officers, saying: “Gentlemen, mind your station,        5
And let your valour here be shown before this Irish nation;
My brazen walls let no man break, and your subtle foes you’ll scatter,
Be sure you show them good English play as you go over the water.”
 
Both foot and horse they marched on, intending them to batter,
But the brave Duke Schomberg he was shot as he crossed over the water.        10
When that King William did observe the brave Duke Schomberg falling,
He reined his horse with a heavy heart, on the Enniskillenes calling:
 
“What will you do for me, brave boys—see yonder men retreating?
Our enemies encouraged are, and English drums are beating.”
He says, “My boys feel no dismay at the losing of one commander,        15
For God shall be our King this day, and I’ll be general under.”
 
Within four yards of our fore-front, before a shot was fired,
A sudden snuff they got that day, which little they desired;
For horse and man fell to the ground, and some hung on their saddle:
Others turned up their forked ends, which we call coup de ladle.        20
 
Prince Eugene’s regiment was the next, on our right hand advanced
Into a field of standing wheat, where Irish horses pranced;
But the brandy ran so in their heads, their senses all did scatter,
They little thought to leave their bones that day at the Boyne Water.
 
Both men and horse lay on the ground, and many there lay bleeding,        25
I saw no sickles there that day—but, sure, there was sharp shearing.
Now, praise God, all true Protestants, and heaven’s and earth’s Creator,
For the deliverance he sent our enemies to scatter.
The Church’s foes will pine away, like churlish-hearted Nabal,
For our deliverer came this day like the great Zorobabal.        30
 
So praise God, all true Protestants, and I will say no further,
But had the Papists gained that day, there would have been open murder.
Although King James and many more were ne’er that way inclined,
It was not in their power to stop what the rabble they designed.
 
This is the oldest and most spirited version of the famous Orange song that celebrates the victory of the Williamites over the Jacobites at the battle of the Boyne.
 

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