Thursday, May 11, 2017

Remember Fontenoy Always

May 11
By Thomas Osborne Davis (1814–1845)      

THRICE at the huts of Fontenoy the English column failed,
And twice the lines of St. Antoine the Dutch in vain assailed;
For town and slope were guarded with fort and artillery,
And well they swept the English ranks and Dutch auxiliary.
As vainly through De Barri’s wood the British soldiers burst,        5
The French artillery drove them back, diminished and dispersed.
The bloody Duke of Cumberland beheld with anxious eye,
And ordered up his last reserve, his latest chance to try.
On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, how fast his generals ride!
And mustering come his chosen troops, like clouds at eventide.        10

Six thousand English veterans in stately column tread,
Their cannon blaze in front and flank, Lord Hay is at their head;
Steady they step a-down the slope—steady they climb the hill—
Steady they load—steady they fire, moving right onward still
Betwixt the wood and Fontenoy, as though a furnace blast,        15
Through rampart, trench, and palisade, and bullets showering fast;
And on the open plain above they rose, and kept their course,
With ready fire and steadiness, that mocked at hostile force.
Past Fontenoy, past Fontenoy, while thinner grow their ranks,
They break, as broke the Zuyder Zee through Holland’s ocean banks.        20

More idly than the summer flies French tirailleurs rush round;
As stubble to the lava tide, French squadrons strew the ground;
Bombshell, and grape, and round shot tore, still on they marched and fired—
Fast from each volley grenadier and voltigeur retired.
“Push on, my household cavalry,” King Louis madly cried:        25
To death they rush, but rude their shock—not unavenged they died.
On through the camp the column trod—King Louis turns his rein;
“Not yet, my liege,” Saxe interposed, “the Irish troops remain;”
And Fontenoy, famed Fontenoy, had been a Waterloo,
Were not these exiles ready then, fresh, vehement, and true.        30

“Lord Clare,” he says, “you have your wish—there are your Saxon foes;”
The marshal almost smiles to see, so furiously he goes!
How fierce the look these exiles wear, who’re wont to be so gay!
The treasured wrongs of fifty years are in their hearts to-day—
The treaty broken ere the ink wherewith ’twas writ could dry,        35
Their plundered homes, their ruined shrines, their women’s parting cry,
Their priesthood hunted down like wolves, their country overthrown—
Each looks as if revenge for all rested on him alone.
On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, nor ever yet elsewhere,
Rushed on to fight a nobler band than these proud exiles were.        40

O’Brien’s voice is hoarse with joy, as, halting, he commands,
“Fix bayonets—charge.” Like mountain storms rush on these fiery bands!
Thin is the English column now, and faint their volleys grow,
Yet, mustering all the strength they have, they make a gallant show.
They dress their ranks upon the hill to face that battle-wind—        45
Their bayonets the breakers’ foam; like rocks, the men behind!
One volley crashes from their line, when, through the surging smoke,
With empty guns clutched in their hands, the headlong Irish broke.
On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, hark to that fierce huzzah!
“Revenge! remember Limerick! dash down the Sassenach.”        50
Like lions leaping at a fold when mad with hunger’s pang,
Right up against the English line the Irish exiles sprang.
Bright was their steel, ’tis bloody now, their guns are filled with gore;
Through shattered ranks, and severed files, and trampled flags they tore.
The English strove with desperate strength, paused, rallied, staggered, fled—        55
The green hill-side is matted close with dying and with dead.
Across the plain and far away passed on that hideous wrack,
While cavalier and fantassin dash in upon their track,
On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, like eagles in the sun,
With bloody plumes the Irish stand—the field is fought and won!

A village in Belgium. Here, on May 11, 1745, the French under Marshal Saxe defeated the allied English, Dutch and Hanoverians under the Duke of Cumberland.

The Irish fighting alongside the French (as 500,000 Irish did for France) covered themselves with glory.

more on Thomas Osborne Davis

Saturday, February 04, 2017


Hocus POTUS, nukes protect us
screaming walls and evil laws
torture chambers and fresh cabals
abra cadaver


Friday, January 20, 2017

Irish poet Ciara Ní É

check out
He's Just Not That Into You by Ciara Ní É

Recorded at REIC - Bilingual Spoken Word, in Club Chonradh na Gaeilge 17/11/16.

Friday, January 13, 2017

a Protestant wedding

I met a Protestant wedding on the road, 
about 23 cars and 2 smiles..

A few readers have asked me to clarify/justify this statement and I can quite easily by substituting the word Protestant with Free Presbyterian (although this is a hypothesis) and adding the small titbit that they were on the road to Monaghan. (which would account for their demeanour, regardless as to the occasion). 

As a sidenote it is becoming more challenging to issue off the cuff satirical remarks so it would seem (in the spirit of Tyrone's ongoing contrariness/resistance) that is the preferred strategy to adopt, for now. ;-)

It is worth noting that in the Irish poetic tradition

"..As officials of the court of king or chieftain, they performed a number of official roles, such as chroniclers and satirists. Effectively, their job was to praise their employers and curse those who crossed them.."

Irish bardic poetry


Thursday, January 12, 2017

catholics versus Mercedes

"in brand positioning terms catholicism is a lot closer to KFC than Mercedes" a start to a new year perhaps it is useful  to begin in the manner in which one will continue - this is a year of take no prisoners...


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Months Mine Johnny Montague!

The month of respect has passed for the Late Great Johnny Montague! a Patroclus stripped of his words he is accorded the full 30 days due to a hero.

He was what you see is what you get, meeting down the years he was so normal, irreverent... it was so refreshing when now in these times of poets wearing out their own mirrors.

He has now traversed the river to converse with Hades & Rhadamanthus and no doubt we will hear from him again in another guise...

..months mine = phonetic (Tyrone)

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Poem - Reich Like

Who is speaking for our brothers and sisters, 
the Palestinians.
Very few it seems.
Only the odd heretic.
Children murdered mindlessly.
Revolutionaries assassinated arbitrarily.
The due process of law consigned and constrained,
Reich like.

by Des Donnelly 14.Feb.2002