Charlotte Wilson Archive

Song of Rebellion : A Voice of Ireland

Written: 1888.
Source: Text from
Transcription/Markup: Andy Carloff
Online Source:; 2021

Yes-tear down our homes! leave the hearthstone cold
As the hearts of you who have laid it bare;
And stone from stone let the walls be rolled,
And our home be one with the outer air,
Heap wrong on wrong! We have had to bear
    More wrongs than ever our tongues can tell;
One right is left us-we still forbear,
    O England, to use it-the right to rebel!

We have borne so much that a little more,
You think, may be borne by us unrepaid?
And our backs must bow as they bowed before,
While on quivering flesh are the lashes laid?
O England, are you never afraid
    Of us you have tortured so long and so well?
Do you never doubt which the Fates would aid-
    Of us or you-if we rose to rebel?

Do you never dream of a dark, wild hour,
When, goaded to madness by you, we may
Turn and repay what your alien power
Forced on us many a bitter day?
You sow your seed in your old bad way,
    And the bloody harvest do not foretell;
Yet, what shall your harvest be, who shall say,
    When our patience withers, and we rebel?

For all things end. We have patient been;
And a black, black record behind you lies
Of moans we have heard, of tears we have seen,
Of the dumb despair in our children's eyes.
Our sisters' sobbing, our mothers' sighs--
    These ring our quiescence its funeral knell;
Our patience is over and gone. Be wise,
    Ere wisdom be vain, and your thralls rebel.