Mary le More

A poem deploring the use of rape by English soldiers in Ireland.


AH! cold-hearted strangers, your merciless doings.
Long, long, must the children of Erin deplore,
All sad is my soul when I view yon black ruins,
Where once stood the cabin of Mary le More.
Her father, God rest him! lov’d Ireland most dearly,
All our wrongs, all our sufferings, he felt most severely,
And with freedom’s firm sons, he united sincerely,
But gone is the father of Mary le More.

One cold winter’s eve, as poor Dermot sat musing,
Hoarse curses alarm’d him, and crash went the door,
TV assailants soon entered, and straight ‘gan abusing,
The brave, and mild father, of Mary le More.
To their scoffs he replied not – with blows they assail’d him,
He felt all indignant – his caution now fail’d him,
He return’d their vile blows, and all Munster bewail’d him,
For stabb’d was the father of Mary le More.

The children’s wild screams, and the mother’s distraction,
While the father, the husband, lay stretch’d in his gore,
Ah ! who can describe and not curse the foul faction,
Which blasted that rose-bud, sweet Mary le More.
Oh ! my father ! my father ! she cried, wildly throwing
Her arms round his neck, while the life’s stream was flowing,
She kissed his cold lips, but poor Dermot was going,
He groan’d – and left fatherless Mary le More.

With destruction uncloy’d, this inhuman banditti,
Tho’ the rain fell in sheets, and the wind it blew sore,
These friends of the castle, these foes to all pity,
Set fire to the cabin of Mary le More.
The mother and children, half naked and shrieking,
Escaped from the flames where poor Dermot lay reeking,
And while these sad victims for shelter were seeking,
Ah! mark what befell the sweet Mary le More.

From her father’s pale cheek, which her lap had supported,
To an out-house these ruffians the lovely girl bore,
With her prayers, her entreaties, her sorrows, they sported,
And ruin’d, by force, the sweet Mary le More.
And now a poor maniac, she roams the wild common,
‘Gainst the cold-hearted strangers she warns every woman,
And she sings of her father in strains more than human,
Till tears often flow for poor Mary le More.

Oh! Ireland’s fair daughters, your country’s salvation,
While the waves of old ocean shall beat round your shore,
Remember the woes of your long shackled nation,
Remember the wrongs of poor Mary le More.
And while your blue eyes are with pity o’erflowing,
Or with strong indignation your white bosoms glowing,
Oh! reflect that the tree of delight may yet grow in
The soil where now wanders poor Mary le More.

Comments are closed.