The Orange Lilly "O"

The Orange Lilly "O"

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Cannon of the 'Prentice Boys

The Cannon of the 'Prentice Boys

No! They are sacred! They shall fall into no stranger's hand~
By cowards or by traitors they never yet were manned.
What! Shall we not be trusted with the guns which one of yore
Sent reeling back a rebel for from the
Foyle's blood stained shore?

For on a time (it is not yet two hundred years ago--
But old things are forgotten now, men are progressing so ),
Our 'Prentice Boys  shut too our gates,
Vowing to keep them fast,
And for God, and King, and liberty,
top hold them to the last.

They did it, too, through summer's heat and through wild winder's storm:
Undaunted or by shot or by shell, or famine's ghastly form,
Until the shadows of the Boys who first the gates had closed,
Gave back, unstained, the sacred trust which was in them reposed.

They left to us these relics of their dearly bought renown,
And ere dishonored from their place they should be taken down,
The spectres who once manned our walls would start from out their graves,
And hurl them from their battlements into the Foyle's dark waves.

And may we not be trusted now? Our Boys are still the same
As they were then--we boast them still- they have not stained their fame;
Loyal through many a lawless day--peaceful in days of ease---
Ready to fight at Britain's call far over distant seas.
'Tis not long since that ruin spread o'er
India's hills and plains,
And murder, war, and rapine raged
o'eer her wild domains
Methinks 'twas little cause of fear or question to us then
That her farthest and her firmest posts were held by Derry men.

Aye you may seek, and seek in vain
for truer hearts than ours---
True when the sun shines on our walls--
true when the tempest lowers--
True in these days when many change
for profit or for bread--
True to the same old sacred cause for
which our fathers bled.

And, if the cloud should ever burst
that now hangs overhead,
At which all eyes are looking up with
 a foreboding dread,
And if brave men are wanting yet to
stand for Britain's crown.
See these guns be not missing then, nor
these ramparts trodden dow

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