THE OLD FENIAN GUN

(P. O'Neill)

 

 

It [G] hung above the [D] kitchen fire,

Its [G] barrel [C] long and [G] brown,

And one day, with a [D] boy's [C] desire,

I [D] climbed and took it down.

My [G] father's eyes with [D] anger [C] flashed,

He [D] cried: "What have you done?

I [C] wish you'd left it [D] where it was

That's [G] my old [C] Fenian [G] gun!"

 

I fondled it with love and pride;

I looked it o'er and o'er,.

I placed it on my shoulder

And I marched across the floor.

My father's anguish softened,

And he shared my boyish fun

"Ah, well," he said, "tis' in your breed,

Like that old Fenian gun !"

 

"I remember '67 well,"

He said, "when lads like me

All thought we'd strike another blow

To set old Ireland free.

But broken were our golden hopes;

I was long months on the run;

But it did good work for Ireland then -

That brown old Fenian gun."

 

"I was down then in Kilmallock -

'Twas the hottest fight of all

And you see" - he bared his arm

"There's the mark still of a ball.

I hope the young lads growing now

Will hold the ground we won,

And not disgrace the cause in which

I held that Fenian gun."

 

I placed it o'er the fire once more;

I heard my father sigh;

I knew his thoughts were turning back

On days now long gone by.

And then I vowed within my heart;

"I'll be my father's son.

And if ever Ireland wants my aid

I'll hold a Fenian gun."

 

That's years ago; I've grown a man,

And weathered many a gale,

The last long year was spent inside

A gloomy English jail.

I've done my part; I'll do it still,

Until the fight is won;

When Ireland's free we'll bless the men,

Who held a Fenian gun.