CELT document E850004-005

Lament for the Death of Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill

Thomas Osborne Davis

Edited by T. W. Rolleston

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    Lament for the Death of Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill

    Time, 10th November, 1649. Scene—Ormond's Camp, County Waterford. Speakers—A veteran of Eoghan O'Neill's clan, and one of the horsemen just arrived with an account of his death.

  1. “Did they dare, did they dare, to slay Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill?”
    “Yes, they slew with poison him they feared to meet with steel.”
    'May God wither up their hearts! May their blood cease to flow,'
    May they walk in living death, who poisoned Eoghan Ruadh.'
  2. “Though it break my heart to hear, say again the bitter words.”
    'From Derry, against Cromwell, he marched to measure swords:
    But the weapon of the Sacsanach met him on his way.
    And he died at Clogh Uachtar, upon St. Leonard's day.
  3. 'Wail, wail ye for the Mighty One!—Wail, wail ye for the Dead!
    Quench the hearth, and hold the breath—with ashes strew the head.
    How tenderly we loved him. How deeply we deplore!
    Holy Saviour! But to think we shall never see him more.'
  4.  p.317
  5. 'Sagest in the council was he, kindest in the hall!
    Sure we never won a battle—''twas Owen won them all.
    Had he lived—had he lived—our dear country had been free;
    But he's dead, but he's dead, and 'tis slaves we'll ever be.'
  6. 'O'Farrell and Clanricarde, Preston and Red Hugh,
    Audley and MacMahon, ye valiant, wises and true;
    But—what, what are ye all doing to our darling who is gone?
    The Rudder of our Ship was he, our Castle's corner stone.'
  7. 'Wail, wail him through the Island! Weep, weep for our pride!
    Would that on the battle-field our gallant chief had died!
    Weep the Victor of Beann-bhorbh—weep him, young men and old;
    Weep for him, ye women—your beautiful lies cold!'
  8. 'We thought you would not die—we were sure you would not go,
    And leave us in out utmost need to Cromwell's cruel blow—
    Sheep without a shepherd, when the snow shuts our the sky—
    O! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?'
  9.  p.318
  10. 'Soft as woman's was your voice, O'Neill! Bright was your eye,
    O! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?
    Your troubles are all over, you're at rest with God on high,
    But we're slaves, and we're orphans, Eoghan!—why didst thou die?

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Title (uniform): Lament for the Death of Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill

Author: Thomas Osborne Davis

Editor: T. W. Rolleston

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Electronic edition compiled and proof corrections by: Beatrix Färber

Edition statement

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent: 980 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: 2011

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

CELT document ID: E850004-005

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

Source description


  • First published in the Nation 19 November 1842.

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). ‘Lament for the Death of Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill’. In: Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry‍. Ed. by T. W. Rolleston. Dublin and London: The Talbot Press, pp. 316–318.

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

  author 	 = {Thomas Osborne Davis},
  title 	 = {Lament for the Death of Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill},
  editor 	 = {T. W. Rolleston},
  booktitle 	 = {Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry},
  publisher 	 = {The Talbot Press},
  address 	 = {Dublin and London},
  date 	 = {1910},
  pages 	 = {316–318}


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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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Creation: by Thomas Davis

Date: 1840s

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  • The text is in English. (en)
  • Some words or terms are in Irish. (ga)

Keywords: literary; poetry; 19c

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(Most recent first)

  1. 2011-08-08: File parsed. Page-breaks added. SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2011-08-07: File proofed (2), structural and content markup applied; header created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2009: File proofed (1). (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 1996: Text captured by scanning. (ed. Audrey Murphy)

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