CELT document E850004-019

The Penal Days

Thomas Osborne Davis

Edited by T. W. Rolleston

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    The Penal Days

    Air: The Wheelwright

  1. Oh! weep those days, the penal days,
    When Ireland hopelessly complained.
    Oh! weep those days, the penal days,
    When godless persecution reigned;
    When year by year,
    For serf and peer,
    Fresh cruelties were made by law,
    And filled with hate,
    Our senate sate
    To weld anew each fetter's flaw.
    Oh! weep those days, those penal days—
    Their memory still on Ireland weighs.
  2. They bribed the flock, they bribed the son,
    To sell the priest and rob the sire;
    Their dogs were taught alike to run
    Upon the scent of wolf and friar.
    Among the poor,
    Or on the moor, p.319
    Were hid the pious and the true—
    While traitor knave,
    And recreant slave,
    Had riches, rank, and retinue;
    And, exiled in those penal days,
    Our banners over Europe blaze.
  3. A stranger held the land and tower
    Of many a noble fugitive;
    No Popish lord had lordly power,
    The peasant scarce had leave to live;
    Above his head
    A ruined shed,
    No tenure but a tyrant's will—
    Forbid to plead,
    Forbid to read
    Disarmed, disfranchised, imbecile—
    What wonder if our step betrays
    The freedman, born in penal days?
  4. They're gone, they're gone, those penal days!
    All creeds are equal in our isle;
    Then grant, O Lord, thy plenteous grace,
    Our ancient feuds to reconcile.
    Let all atone
    For blood and groan,
    For dark revenge and open wrong;
    Let all unite
    For Ireland's right,
    And drown our griefs in freedom's song;
    Till time shall veil in twilight haze,
    The memory of those penal days.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): The Penal Days

Author: Thomas Osborne Davis

Editor: T. W. Rolleston

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber

Proof corrections by: Beatrix Färber and Olan Daly

Edition statement

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent: 810 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: E850004-019

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). ‘The Penal Days’. In: Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry‍. Ed. by T. W. Rolleston. 318—319. Dublin and London: The Talbot Press.

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

  author 	 = {Thomas Osborne Davis},
  title 	 = {The Penal Days},
  editor 	 = {T. W. Rolleston},
  booktitle 	 = {Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry},
  publisher 	 = {The Talbot Press},
  address 	 = {Dublin and London},
  date 	 = {1910},
  note 	 = {318—319}


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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)

Keywords: literary; poetry; 19c

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(Most recent first)

  1. 2012-05-08: Header created; file proofed (2), file parsed; SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2012-05-03: File proofed (1); basic structural markup applied. (ed. Olan Daly)
  3. 1996: Text captured by scanning. (ed. Audrey Murphy)

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