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|Thomas Moore (1779-1852) wrote these lyrics to the air The Lamentation of Aughrim.
The Williamite War (1688-91) in Ireland was part of James II's effort to regain the throne after William of Orange became King. In 1689, King James II of England, a Catholic, was removed from the throne by a revolution that put William of Orange, James' son-in-law and a Protestant, in power. James initially fled to France. James had wide support in Ireland and his deputy in Ireland, Richard Talbot, the Earl of Tyrconnell, had raised an army to support James when William landed in Ireland. With support from King Louis, James arrived in Ireland on March 12th with a French army.
The Battle of Aughrim took place on July 12, 1691. The defeat of James' forces there was the last battle of the Williamite War and led to the Treaty of Limerick that same year.
For a complete list of tunes by Thomas Moore at this site see the Contemplator's Short Biography of Thomas Moore.
Forget not the field where they perish'd,|
The truest, the last of the brave,
All gone - and the bright hope we cherish'd
Gone with them, and quench'd in their grave!
Oh! could we from death but recover
These hearts they bounded before,
In the face of high heav'n to fight over
That combat for freedom once more;
Could the chain for an instant be riven
Which tyranny flung round us then,
No! 'tis not in Man nor in Heaven
To let tyranny bind it again!
But 'tis past - and tho' blazon'd in story
The name of our Victor may be,
Accurst is the march of that glory
Which treads o'er the hearts of the free.
Far dearer the grave or the prison
Illum'd by one patriot name,
Than the trophies of all who have risen
On Liberty's ruins to fame!
Also about the Battle of Aughrim
From Songs of Ireland
J. L. Hatton and J. L. Molloy
See Bibliography for full information.