Battle of Kilcumley

It was in the year of Ninety-Eight, the time of Blood and War,

Where many a Saxon quaked beneath the Rebels’ vengeful blow.

The British troops, they had to fly, like chaff before the gale,

When they heard the dreadful war-cry of the sons of Grainne Uaile.


On June the Sixth and Twentieth, I heard the people say,

The Battle of Kilcumney was fought and lost that day,

The rebels they were routed though they fought with right good will,

And many a pikeman wandered that night upon the hill.


The sun was brightly shining on that Summer afternoon,

Like burnished gold was gleaming each helmeted dragoon,

Nine mounted Ancient Briton troops knocked at John Murphy’s gate,

They burst the wicket open, no answer would they wait.


Four were posted outside, the other five within,

With short delay their hellish work, those tyrants did begin:

They heeded not the women’s cries but struck the ready match,

And soon the blazes mounted high from rafters, beam and thatch.


Grimly smiled those bloodhounds, on each bearded face a grin,

Little thinking of the deadly foe that lay concealed within.

Four of Wexford’s bravest boys when ended was the fray,

Had sought shelter in the barn and hid beneath the hay.


The leader of those Wexford boys peeped from out the door,

“Five troopers in the yard without, within we’re only four,

Many a fray we’ve fought boys, with numbers one to two,

Another blow for Ireland” and the door he bursted through.


Five horses without riders soon were prancing in the yard,

The other four ‘neath the whip and spur are pressing fast and hard

To gain the shelter of the camp in yonder vale below,

Each head was turned to see if came the pikemen quick or slow.


When a maiden stepped from the house, her hair was raven black,

She picked up a trooper’s pistol and jumped on a horse’s back.

As swift as e’er a racehorse, yet was by a jockey rode,

She spurred her noble charger up the Ballyellen Road.


When she came beside the stream that ripples by the mill,

She turned around and saw full close beside her on the hill,

One of those hunted troopers demanding her to stand,

She gave him ready answer with the pistol in her hand.


Dashed she over ditch and dike until she reached the height,

Where the rebels’ silent watch fires were burning through the night,

From yonder ruin and ivy tower in flight the birds had flown,

To hear the cheers that greeted Theresa Malone.


She sleeps beneath the green sod in Ballinkillen Chapel yard,

She saw the dawning of the day that nothing could retard,

She lived till old, she passed away, “Peace to her soul” we pray,

We have maidens yet, thank God like her, and plenty here today.


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