The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you find him
His father’s sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.
“Land of song” said the warrior bard,
“Tho all the world betrayd thee,
One sword, at least thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”
The minstrel fell!—but the foeman’s chain
Could not bring his proud soul under;
The harp he lov’d never spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said: “No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and the free
They shall never sound in slavery.”