No.39 The Songsters Message by Patrick Tunney

Written while a prisoner in Wandsworth Jail. 1916
Published in the Mayo News, February 1, 1947

The sun was just peeping, one fine Summer’s morning,
Tho’ dungeons of Wandsworth lay dormant and still.
When out of the gloaming ,without any warning,
A little bird came to my lone window-sill.

And brought me a message, as clear as a vision,
The tidings of gladness o’er me cast a spell.
It seemed to say “fear not your captor’s decision,
Or the vigil that’s guarding your cold prison cell”.

It sang me the dawn of a glorious morn,
The strain of each chord was inspiring and free.
Which made me lament for an Ireland re-born,
With its emblems aloft from the Boyne to the Lee.

As it lilted the lays that I heard in my childhood,
‘Mid flowers all bathed in the pure morning dew.
In dream I was soaring one more to the wildwood,
When away to seclusion my songster then flew.

In silence I wept for the warbler’s sweet song,
I wish that its freedom was mine.
I’d be crestfallen, away from the throng,
In a lone convict prison to pine.

Then in deep contemplation I mused all alone,
The vows of my youth to renew.
When I pledged my allegiance to the Gospel of Tone,
To the faithful, the brave and the true.