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|Thomas Moore (1779-1852) wrote the words to this song. The melody is an old air The Fox Sleeps.
"He" is meant to be Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and "thee" Ireland. Lord Fitzgerald, of the Leinster Fitzgeralds, was wounded while being arrested for his part in the United Irishmen Uprising in 1798. He died in prison a few days later.*
For a complete list of tunes by Thomas Moore at this site see the Contemplator's Short Biography of Thomas Moore.
When he who adores thee has left but the name
Of his fault and his sorrows behind,
O say wilt thou weep, when they darken the fame
Of a life that for thee was resign'd!
Yes, weep, and however my foes may condemn,
Thy tears shall efface their decree;
For Heaven can witness, though guilty to them,
I have been but too faithful to thee.
With thee were the dreams of my earliest love;
Every thought of my reason was thine:
In my last humble prayer to the Spirit above
Thy name shall be mingled with mine!
Oh, blest are the lovers and friends who shall live
The days of thy glory to see!
But the next dearest blessing that Heaven can give
Is the pride of thus dying for thee.
|Music from Songs of Ireland, The Royal Edition
Information from *Burl Ives Irish Songs