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Broadside ballad entitled 'Shiel's Rights of Man'




I speak in candour, one night in slumber,
My mind did wander near to Athlone,
The centre station of this Irish nation,
Where a congregation unto me was shown.
Beyond my counting, upon a mountain.
Near to a fountain that clearly ran ;
I seem to tremble, I'll not dissemble,
As they assembled for the Rights of Man.

All clad in green there I thought I seen
A virtuous queen, that was grave and old,
Saying, children dear, now do not fear,
But come and hear what I will unfold.
This fertile country near seven centuries,
Since Strongbow's entry upon our land,
Has been kept under by foes unnumbered,
And always plundered of the Rights of Man.

My cause you chided, you so derided,
When divided, alas ! you know,
All in disorder round Erin's border,
Strife, grief, and murder, hath laid you low.
Let each communion detest disunion,
In love and union join hand in hand,
And believe in Granua, that proud Britannia
No more shall rob you of the Rights of Man.

Through the azure sky, I then did spy
A man to fly and for to descend,
And straightway come down upon the ground,
Where Erin round her had her bosom friends,
His dazzling mitre and cross was brighter
Than stars by night, or the mid-day sun;
In accents rare, I do declare,
He prayed success to the Rights of Man.

When prayer was erded, he condescended
His hand to lend it in freedom's cause,
He says I'll lead you, and always aid you,
And still persuade you to Christian laws,
When in affliction, or sad restriction,
My benediction with uplifted hand,
I here explain it, you shall obtain it,
And surely gain it with tho Rights of Man.

For their inspection and clear direction,
And grand discretion, the three leaved plant,
He elevated and consecrated,
And these repeated; do not recant?
But still look to it, and still review it,
Let none subdue it?it is three in one,
To prove its unity in that community,
That holds lenity the Rights of Man.

He straightway blessed, and then caressed,
But still impressed them to persevere,
When a rustling wind that seemd quite unkind,
Wafted this liquid through the ambient air;
Then Granua fluttered, and these words uttered,
I'll break your fetters before it's long,
Then away ho flew and bade them adieu,
Saying, I'll be true to the Rights of Man.

When the population or congregation,
In exultation agreed to part,
Shook hands like brothers, and kissed each other,
While friendship smothered each Irish heart,
They seperated, all animated,
All elevated at what went on,
As day was breaking, and poor Shiel's awaking,
Crying, " Still be true to the Rights of Man."


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Probable period of publication: 1870-1890   shelfmark: RB.m.143(013)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Shiel's Rights of Man'
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