The Croppy Boy
"Good men and true in this house who dwell,
To a stranger buachaill I
pray you tell,
Is the priest at home, or may he be seen?
I would speak a word with Father Green."
"The priest's at home, boy, and may be seen;
Tis easy speaking with Father
But you must wait till I go and see
If the holy father alone may be."
The youth has entered a silent hall
What a lonely sound has his light
And the gloomy chambers chill and bare,
With a vested priest in a lonely chair.
The youth has knelt to tell his sins.
"Nomine Dei," the youth begins;
At "Mea culpa" he beats his breast,
And in broken murmurs he speaks the rest.
"At the siege of Ross did my father fall,
And at Gorey my loving brothers
I alone am left of my name and race,
I will go to Wexford and take their place.
"I cursed three times last Easter Day
At Mass-time once I went to play;
I passed the churchyard one day in haste
And forgot to pray for my mothers rest.
"I bear no hate against living thing,
But I love my country above the
Now, Father, bless me and let me go
To die if God has ordained it so."
The priest said naught, but a rustling noise
Made the youth look up in
The robes were off, and in scarlet there
Sat a Yeoman captain with fiery glare.
With fiery glare and with fury hoarse,
Instead of a blessing he breathed
"Twas a good thought, boy, to come here and shrive,
For one short hour is your time to live.
"Upon yon river three tenders float,
The priest's in one if he isn't shot
We hold this house for our lord the King,
And, Amen, say I, may all traitors swing!"
At Geneva Barracks that young man died,
And at Passage they had his body
Good people, who live in peace and joy,
Breathe a prayer, shed a tear, for the Croppy Boy.