No.16 The rebel’s bride by Patrick Tunney

Flora McDonald, Rosbeg was born in 1905.

Life leapt for joy when I was -a boy in the golden long ago,
‘Twas then I sighed for the light of Right – for freedom’s reddening glow –
I hunted Ireland up and down, ahiding here and there
Till Cupid’s dart enchanted my heart for Flora from Belclare.

When first I met Flora acrossing o’er the lea,
Her eyes were beaming brightly as she coyly greeted me;
“If you’re on your keeping, boy, of our comforts you can share,
You’d be welcome to my father’s home” sez Flora from Belclare

Being quite amazed I quietly gazed – my travelling tales I told –
Saying “I am but an outlawed boy, I’ve neither wealth nor gold;
My heart and hand is at your command, my love with you I’d share
On the bleak hillside, if you were my bride, loved Flora from Belclare.”

But when I pressed her tender hand beneath the azure skies,
And glanced into her winsome face the tears bedewed her eyes –
“As you are a rebel boy, just now I will prepare,
And if you’ll be true I’ll go with you” sez Flora from Belclare.

We then went to the Soggarth’s home where truths I did unfold
‘Bout blighted years – ’bout hovering fears and the days when I was bold.
In fondest wish in bonds he sealed with a calm absolving prayer,
And by my side stood my loved bride, fond Flora from Belclare.

A cottage neat we then secured, down by a placid stream –
Where sunshine lit the paths of peace more blissful than a dream;
And as free from grief as the linnet’s song is free from the throes of care
No greater heart e’er breathed in life than Flora from Belclare.

Till the wily Tans with wily bans our humble home laid low,
When in a strongly armoured car with them I had to go;
While Flora wept on the bleak roadside enshrouded in despair,
Oh! my memory’s green of the parting scene of Flora from Belclare.

For a time in grief she pined and in sorrow found a place
Within hallowed church-yard in death’s long embrace;
And when I heard the tidings sad in the Curragh of Kildare,
My heart could break for her dear sake, loved Flora from Belclare.

I have travelled far and wide in the intervening years,
But ne’er could find a friend so kind in this dark vale of tears –
By Antrim’s hills and Nephin’s rills I’ve often knelt in prayer
For the calm repose of my Irish Rose – loved Flora from Belclare.