CELT document E850004-003

Celts and Saxons

Thomas Osborne Davis

Edited by T. W. Rolleston

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    Celts and Saxons 1

  1. We hate the Saxon and the Dane,
    We hate the Norman men—
    We cursed their greed for blood and gain,
    We curse them now again.
    Yet start not, Irish-born man!
    If you're to Ireland true,
    We heed not blood, nor creed, nor clan—
    We have no curse for you.
  2. We have no curse for you or yours,
    But Friendship's ready grasp, p.355
    And Faith to stand by you and yours
    Unto our latest gasp—
    To stand by you against all foes,
    Howe'er, or whence they come,
    With traitor arts, or bribes, or blows,
    From England, France, or Rome.
  3. What matter that at different shrines
    We pray unto one God?
    What matter that at different times
    Your fathers won this sod?
    In fortune and in name we're bound
    By stronger links than steel;
    And neither can be safe nor sound
    But in the other's weal.
  4. As Nubian rocks, and Ethiop sand
    Long drifting down the Nile,
    Built up old Egypt's fertile land
    For many a hundred mile,
    So Pagan clans to Ireland came,
    And clans of Christendom,
    Yet joined their wisdom and their fame
    To build a nation from.
  5. Here came the brown Phoenician,
    The man of trade and toil—
    Here came the proud Milesian,
    A hungering for spoil;
    And the Firbolg and the Cymry,
    And the hard, enduring Dane,
    And the iron Lords of Normandy,
    With the Saxons in their train.
  6.  p.356
  7. And oh! it were a gallant deed
    To show before mankind,
    How every race and every creed
    Might be by love combined—
    Might be combined, yet not forget
    The fountains whence they rose,
    As, filled by many a rivulet,
    The stately Shannon flows.
  8. Nor would we wreak our ancient feud
    On Belgian or on Dane,
    Nor visit in a hostile mood
    The hearths of Gaul or Spain;
    But long as on our country lies
    The Anglo-Norman yoke,
    Their tyranny we'll stigmatize,
    And God's revenge invoke.
  9. We do not hate, we never cursed,
    Nor spoke a foeman's word
    Against a man in Ireland nursed,
    Howe'er we thought he erred;
    So start not, Irish-born man,
    If you're to Ireland true,
    We heed not race, nor creed, nor clan,
    We've hearts and hands for you.

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Title (uniform): Celts and Saxons

Author: Thomas Osborne Davis

Editor: T. W. Rolleston

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Electronic edition compiled and proof corrections by: Beatrix Färber and Juliette Maffet

Edition statement

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent: 956 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2012

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E850004-003

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description


  • First published in the Nation.

Other writings by Thomas Davis

  1. Thomas Davis, Essays Literary and Historical, ed. by D. J. O'Donoghue, Dundalk 1914.
  2. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (ed.), Thomas Davis, the memoirs of an Irish patriot, 1840-1846. 1890. [Reprinted entitled 'Thomas Davis' with an introduction of Brendan Clifford. Millstreet, Aubane Historical Society, 2000.]
  3. Thomas Davis: selections from his prose and poetry. [Edited] with an introduction by T. W. Rolleston. London and Leipzig: T. Fisher Unwin (Every Irishman's Library). 1910. [Published in Dublin by the Talbot press, 1914.]
  4. Thomas Osborne Davis, Literary and historical essays 1846. Reprinted 1998, Washington, DC: Woodstock Books.
  5. Essays of Thomas Davis. New York, Lemma Pub. Corp. 1974, 1914 [Reprint of the 1914 ed. published by W. Tempest, Dundalk, Ireland, under the title 'Essays literary and historical'.]
  6. Thomas Davis: essays and poems, with a centenary memoir, 1845-1945. Dublin, M.H. Gill and Son, 1945. [Foreword by an Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera.]
  7. Angela Clifford, Godless colleges and mixed education in Ireland: extracts from speeches and writings of Thomas Wyse, Daniel O'Connell, Thomas Davis, Charles Gavan Duffy, Frank Hugh O'Donnell and others. Belfast: Athol, 1992.

Davis, Thomas Osborne (1910). ‘Celts and Saxons’. In: Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry‍. Ed. by T. W. Rolleston. Dublin and London: The Talbot Press, pp. 354–356.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  author 	 = {Thomas Osborne Davis},
  title 	 = {Celts and Saxons},
  editor 	 = {T. W. Rolleston},
  booktitle 	 = {Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry},
  publisher 	 = {The Talbot Press},
  address 	 = {Dublin and London},
  date 	 = {1910},
  pages 	 = {354–356}


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Creation: by Thomas Davis

Date: 1840s

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  • The text is in English. (en)

Keywords: literary; poetry; 19c

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  1. 2012-01-31: File proofed (2), file parsed; SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2012-01-16: File proofed (1); header created; structural and content markup applied. (ed. Juliette Maffet)
  3. 1996: Text captured by scanning. (ed. Audrey Murphy)

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  1. Written in reply to some very beautiful verses printed in the Evening Mail, deprecating and defying the assumed hostility of the Irish Celts to the Irish Saxons. 🢀


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