The Harper

The harper once in Tara's halls
Rung loud the martial strain;
Nor were those full and stirring notes
Struck by his hand in vain.
They roused the sons of Erin, far
To drive the invading foe;
They fired the heart, they nerved the hand,
To deal the avenging blow.

In vest of green, the harper sat
Beside the royal throne;
The golden chain, that slung his harp,
In pride around him thrown.
Wide through the halls his music rang,
And warriors leaped to hear;
Drew the bright sword, and shook it high,
And tossed the beamy spear.

But Tara's halls are seen no more;
In ruin low they lie:
The green turf o'er them weaves its sod,
The weeds there mantle high;
And Erin's sons no longer leap
To hear their harp's wild tone:
The light, that o'er their country shed
Its beams from Heaven, has flown.

And sadly now the harper wends
To other realms his way:
He seeks a freer, happier land,
Where Britons bear no sway.
Then welcome here, with generous cheer,
The minstrel wandering lone;
And let us ever hold him dear,
And prize him as our own.
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