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Padraic Colum (1881–1972). Anthology of Irish Verse. 1922.
The Croppy Boy
It was early, early in the spring,
The birds did whistle and sweetly sing,
Changing their notes from tree to tree,
And the song they sang was Old Ireland free.
It was early, early in the night,
The yeoman cavalry gave me a fright;
The yeoman cavalry was my downfall
And taken was I by Lord Cornwall.
’Twas in the guard-house where I was laid
And in a parlor where I was tried;
My sentence passed and my courage low
When to Dungannon I was forced to go.
As I was passing by my father’s door,
My brother William stood at the door;
My aged father stood at the door,
And my tender mother her hair she tore.
As I was walking up Wexford Street
My own first cousin I chanced to meet;
My own first cousin did me betray,
And for one bare guinea swore my life away.
My sister Mary heard the express,
She ran upstairs in her morning-dress—
Five hundred guineas I will lay down,
To see my brother safe in Wexford Town.
As I was walking up Wexford Hill,
Who could blame me to cry my fill?
I looked behind and I looked before,
But my tender mother I shall ne’er see more.
As I was mounted on the platform high,
My aged father was standing by;
My aged father did me deny,
And the name he gave me was the Croppy Boy.
It was in Dungannon this young man died,
And in Dungannon his body lies;
And you good Christians that do pass by
Just drop a tear for the Croppy Boy.
This also is a ballad of ’Ninety Eight. At this time the native Irish wore their hair short and the epithet “croppies” was contemptuously applied to them.