Ninety-Eight (William Rooney) Still forms, grey dust, black stones in Dublin city, A grave in green Kildare, And many a grassy mound that moves our pity O'er Erin everywhere; Cave Hill above the Lagan's noises rearing Her shaggy head in pride; Lone Ednavady's brow and Antrim staring Across Lough Neagh's rough tide; Killala still her weary watch maintaining Beside the ocean's boom, And Castlebar in faithful guard remaining Around the Frenchmen's tomb. Ross, Wexford, Gorey, Oulart, Tubberneering, And many a Wicklow glen That knew the dauntless souls and hearts unfearing Of Dwyer and all his men These, through a hundred years of gloom and doubting Speak trumpet-toned to-day, Above the cry of creed and faction's shouting To tread the olden way. These, in the hearts of all the true men, waken The olden fires anew; These tell of hope unquenched and faith unshaken, Of something still to do. They bring us visions, full of tears and sorrow, Of homes and hearts left lone; Of eyes grown dim with watching for a morrow Of joy that never shone. But, too, they whisper notes of preparation And strength beyond the seas, Of hope outliving night and desolation Through all the centuries. Then to the staff-head let our flag ascending, Our fires on every hill Tell to the nations of the earth attending We wage the battle still Tell to the nations, though the grass is o'er them, For many a weary year, Our fathers' souls still thrill the land that bore them, Their spirit still is there. And by their graves we swear this year of story To battle side by side, Till Freedom crowns with immemorial glory The Cause for which they died. (A Centenary Ode, 1898) XX APR99
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