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John Banim

The Irish Soldier

The Irish soldier, cast for fight,
Stood to his arms at dead of night,
Watching the east, until its ray
To the battle--field should show his way;--
Soldier, soldier, soldier brave,
You will fight though they call you slave,
And though you but help a bandit hand
Uncheck'd to kill in your native land.

The soldier thought on his chance of doom--
How the trampled sod might be his tomb--
How, in evening's dusk, his sightless stare
To the small pale stars might upward glare;--
Soldier, soldier, soldier brave,
You will fight though you think of the grave--
Though it yawn so near you, black and chill,
Honor and courage man you still.

And o'er his solemn brow he made
The Christian sign, and humbly said--

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