When the Irish Flag Went By

Henry Lawson, 1891

      'Twas Eight-Hour Day, and proudly
            Old Labour led the way;
      The drums were bearing loudly,
            The crowded streets were gay;
      But something touched my heart like pain,
            I could not check the sigh
      That rose within my bosom when
            The Irish Flag went by.

      Bright flags were raised about it
            And one of them my own:
      And patriots trod beneath it —
            But it seemed all alone.
      I thought of ruined Ireland
            While crystals from the sky
      Fell soft like tears by angels shed,
            As the Irish Flag went by.

      I love the dark green standard
            As Irish patriots do;
      It waves above the rebels,
            And I'm a rebel too,
      I thought of Ireland's darkest years,
            Her griefs that follow fast;
      For drooping as 'twere drenched with tears
            The Irish Flag went past.

      And though 'twas not in Erin
            That my forefathers trod;
      And though my wandering footsteps
            Ne'er pressed the "dear old sod",
      I felt the wrongs the Irish feel
            Beneath the northern sky.
      And felt the rebel in my heart
            When the Irish Flag went by.

      I tell you, men of England,
            Who rule the land by might;
      I tell you, Irish traitors
            Who sell the sons of light,
      The tyranny shall fail at last,
            That changeful days are nigh;
      And you shall dip your red flag yet,
            When the Irish Flag goes by.