Poem

The Os and the Macs: A poem by Francis A Fahy 1854 – 1935

In ancient times our bards made a daily record of happenings and immortalised them in song. This was particularly true of those bards, senior druids and advisors to our kings. 

This poem by Francis Fahy of Kinvara can be described as a tiny capsule that contains the essence of the ancient nobility of Ireland. Fahy suggests a new restoration of that nobility and with it the resurrection of our great past. Such a restoration must be peaceful and free from arrogance.  (A note by Lord Martin)

 

They may talk as they please of their men celebrated, whose deeds are related in every tongue;

Whose merits inflated and worth overrated, in stories are told, and in epics are sung.

But Erin has sons who have annals more famous, and records of deeds more supported by facts;

And little the brag of the alien need shame us, while proudly we boast of our Os and our Macs.

 

CHORUS

O! Hurrah for the land that such heroes can nourish, God send her the comfort that sadly she lacks,

And ne’er may the Macs and the Os cease to flourish till they raise a new stock of the Os and the Macs.

 

Their origin’s lost in the mists of past ages; their prowess the pages of history fills;

They ranked high as poets and statesmen and sages, when Britons ran naked and wild on the hills.

And when over Europe, by pagans victorious, Faith’s light was put out like a taper of wax,

Who made it once more shine unsullied and glorious but the monks and the nuns of the O’s and the Macs?

 

When the nations bowed down to the Danish marauder, and groaned ‘neath his taxes and shrank from his blows,

In Erin alone he got little soft sawder, but sweeping hard knocks from the Macs and the Os.

And when the false Saxon would injure and scorn her, they routed his hosts and repulsed his attacks,

And for three hundred years crushed him up in a corner to beg for his life from the Os and the Macs.

 

Alas for poor Erin! ‘twas trusting betrayed her, Or else they had made short work of the foe,

And never had stooped to a heartless invader, whose reign has been ruin whose smile has been woe.

But shot down in valley and hunted in highland, and thinned by the bullet, the gibbet and axe,

Still vainly ‘twas sought from the homes of our island to root out the stock of the Os and the Macs

 

And when cruel laws through the world-wide nations, as exiles and wanderers forced them to roam,

Their genius soon won them the loftiest stations, and riches and honours denied them at home.

And often in joy ‘mid the cannon’s loud rattle, they laid their old foes on the broad of their backs,

While high o’er the rush and the roar of the battle, rang out the wild yell of the Os and the Macs.

 

They’re scattered today to the ends of creation, but their faces are lifted, their hopes soaring free –

To raise the old land from her deep degradation, and crown her once more fairest queen of the sea.

O! God speed the day when they’ll meet the invader, and make him his grip of poor Erin relax;

No longer to crush, and no more to degrade her, while lives the old stock of the Os and the Macs.

 

CHORUS

O! Hurrah for the land that such heroes can nourish, God send her the comfort that sadly she lacks,

And ne’er may the Macs and the Os cease to flourish till they raise a new stock of the Os and the Macs.