The Romance of Ballyadams


“Herald! be a trumpet blown, I would speak with Sir John Bowen ! ” Thus cried Castlebaven’s lord, and the parley soon was heard.

Soon the answering trumpets sound; quick the drawbridge strikes the ground;

O’er it comes the Senesehal, and thus spakes before them all-

Castlehaven’s noble lord, Sir John Bowen sends thee word,

Dinner ‘s on the Castle board, feast thee first, then draw the sword.”

To Ballyadams, all alone, Castlehaven’s lord is gone;

High at board is placed his chair, ‘twixt Sir John’s two daughters fair.

Lovely as the budding rose, each young blushing maiden shows;

Sweeter than the song of bird are their gentle voices heard. –

When the feast had gaily sped, thus Lord Castlehaven said-

“Good Sir .John, thou hast not here culverin nor cannoneer;

Yield, then, Ballyadams’ tower to the high Confederates’ power; Yield, my friend,. and will take the terms that thou thyself shalt make,

Now, my Lord, to me attend; thou bast been my early friend; Didst thou ever know me break oath that ever I did, take?”

Stainless has thine honour been,” cried the Earl, “well I ween;

Whatsoe’ er thou say’st to me, with my life I’ll guarantee.”

“Then, my lord, on oath I make; if this tower you seek to take, If my walls by shot be riven, thus I’ll do, so help me Heaven- “I shall hang my daughters fair, fastened each upon a chair,

right in front of the wide breach, though their breasts thy shot must

– reach.”

Started Castlehaven’s lord, wondering at that desperate word; Then, to the pale maids he turned, deeply for their fate he mourned.

Took he then each maiden’s hand, as beside the board they stand; Kissed he then each maiden’s cheek, and thus gallantly he spake- ‘God be with thee, stout Sir John, I shall let thy fort alone; Though for this I lose my head. Harm I will not either maid

“Though my life the Council take, for that I their orders break

Death from them I’d rather dree than that these should die by me.”

Then ho marched his troops away, far they were ere close of day;

Thus was Ballyadams tower saved by beauty’s gentle power.

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