Samuel Lover

Song Of The London Irish Volunteer Rifles

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Ere the great Patron Saints of the Nations came forth,
Predestin'd in order were months for their birth,
And the third in the year, by good luck, was our turn,
And Fate cried out "March!" when Saint Patrick was born.
'Twas the sign of a soldier--and hence does it come
That his sons are so ready to follow the drum,
And in Freedom's great cause if there's battle to do,
Their hearts beat in time to the gallant tattoo.


Tho' in love and in peace we would live with the world,
Yet, if the red banner of fight be unfurl'd,
We'll rally around it our shores to defend,
Right ready for meeting with foe or with friend.
If a friend--then how brightly and swiftly flies time,
With wit, wine, and music, boys--O! it is prime!
But if for a march down the great Dover road,
A foe should invite us--'tis then "prime--and load!"


O! light-hearted sons of our dear Island Green,
In ev'ry encounter the foremost be seen,
As the challenge of foe or of friend may provoke
The crack of the rifle, or crack of the joke.
For, foeman or friend, boys, we're ready to hit
With the fire of our weapon, or fire of our wit;
For, in wit or in war, boys, we never will yield,
Triumphant alike in the feast or the field!


As for feasting--O where did a welcome e'er smile
More bright than from boys of the Emerald Isle?
The best Pat can give for his friend he'll prepare,
Or--take it at chance--his pot-luck will he share.
But if rude invaders would plunder his pots,
Among their pot-luck--let them look for pot-shots:--
For potting, with Pat, in this case, lies between
Pot-shots for his foes--for his friends his potteen!


We've a Queen--Heaven bless her!--of glorious renown,
And to drink to her health--or to fight for her crown,
The gay boys of Erin will readily come
To a tap of good liquor--or tap of the drum.
So, fill to The Queen, boys, and drain the cup dry!
Her name be, for ever, our bold battle-cry;--
But, in peace or in war, let us shout, might and main,
Victoria! Victoria! again and again!

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Samuel Lover