Recollections of Bytown and Its Old Inhabitants eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 78 pages of information about Recollections of Bytown and Its Old Inhabitants.
Together entered for the match—­
Perhaps it would be called a “scratch”
Race in the turfs expressive phrase
Unknown in Bytown’s early days. 
Fair, free and gallantly they started,
And headlong up the street they darted,
While loudly sounded cheer on cheer
As swift the winning post they near;
They ran together without check,
And passed it almost neck and neck,
So close, the judges, though they tried,
The winning horse could not decide. 
The race was o’er and down the brakes,
Each party shouted for the stakes;
And loud and fierce the clamor rose,
And words soon lost themselves in blows;
The very stones began to speak,
And skulls, of course, began to break,
And black thorns and maple sticks
Played such fantastic ugly tricks,
That soon the well thronged battle plain
Was strewn with bodies of the slain—­
The “Kilt,” who fell to rise again
Without the doctor’s mystic aid,
And plunge once more into the raid. 
Stones flew in showers, the windows shook
Around that famous Donnybrook,
While Tipperary’s battle yell,
Did loudly o’er the conflict swell! 
And many a celt with accent racy
Roared for a Sleavin or a Casey! 
And fierce the struggle raged around
Where the seven Sleavin’s stood their ground—­
Seven brothers, back to back they stood
Like hero’s, though their streaming blood
Told how they bravely turned at bay
’Gainst hundreds in that savage fray! 
O’erpowered at last they did retreat
Face to the foe, still in defeat,
Defiant as they moved along
Pursued by the relentless throng! 
They reached their home, shut fast the door,
And stood within upon the floor,
Ready to meet the coming foe,
Who in their vengeance were not slow. 
Stones showered from the assailing crew,
In pieces every window flew,
Then, with a loud and savage yell
They rushed to storm the citadel! 
A gun-barrel through a broken pane
Made the invaders pause again,
A sharp axe sticking through another,
Their thirst for slaughter seemed to smother;
A battle council then took place,
And very soon there was no trace,
Of conflict or of bloody fray
Round where the Sleavin’s stood at bay! 
Thus ended By-town’s first old Fair,
A Donnybrook most rich and rare;
This annal of the olden time
Was not premeditated crime,
It sprung from what forms quite a part
Of every genuine Irish heart,
A sort of Faugh a-Ballagh way
That sticks to Irishmen to-day.


Recited by the author in “Her Majesty’s Theatre,” at a Festival of the Mechanics’ Institute in March, 1868.

Project Gutenberg
Recollections of Bytown and Its Old Inhabitants from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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