A Spinning-Wheel Ditty

These verses, improvised to the hum of the wheel, are flung from girl to girl as they sit spinning. The references are purely personal, and the refrain, which is sung by all the spinners, has no special meaning.

First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
I crossed the wood as the day was dawning;
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Second Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
No doubt John O'Connell had had good warning!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
Oh! John may go hang, it's not me he will catch!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Second Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
You mannerless girl, he'll be more than your match!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
Come, come now, leave off, or get me my own man!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Second Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
Well, what do you think of Thomas O'Madigan?
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
I hail him, and claim him, may we never be parted!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Second Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
Go east or go west, may you still be true-hearted!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Third Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
Go east and go west, and find me my love, too!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Fourth Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
There's Donall O'Flaherty, but I doubt will he take you!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Fifth Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
The man is too good, he'll be courting elsewhere!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Third Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
There's no tree in the wood, but its equal is there!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

From the Poem-Book of the Gael

Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse

Article originally published on: Sunday 4th May 1913

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The project will follow in their footsteps along the path laid down by Hyde, O'Conaire, MacNeill, Cusack and many others through sharing news, ideas, articles of Irish cultural interest and more, as well as helping to support Irish language and cultural initiatives. You can find out more about An Claíomh Solais by clicking on the buttons below, or join our team as we begin the great Gaelic restoration!

Who fears to speak of Easter Week

That week of famed renown,
When the boys in green went out to fight
The forces of the Crown.
With Mausers bold and hearts of gold
And the Countess dressed in green
And high above the G.P.O.
The rebel flag was seen.

Then came ten thousand khaki coats
Our rebel boys to kill,
Before they reached O’Connell Street,
Of fight they got their fill.
They’d Maxim guns and cavalry
And cannon in galore;
But it’s not our fault that e’er a one
Got back to England’s shore.


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Irish-German Treaty of 1914

The following text is an extract from John Devoy’s autobiography Recollections of an Irish Rebel.

Casement’s mission to Germany had three main objects:

First, to secure German military help for Ireland when the opportunity offered.

Second, to educate German public opinion on the Irish situation, so that the people would stand behind the Government when it took action in favour of Ireland.

Third, to organise, if possible, Irish prisoners of war into a military unit to take part in the fight for Irish freedom.

Casement did his best
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A Faery Song

We who are old,
Old and grey,
O so old!
Thousands of years,
Thousands of years,
If all were told:
Give to these children,
New from the world,
Silence and love
And the long
Dew-dropping hours
Of the night,
And the stars above.

William Butler Yeats


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The Dying Rebel

The night was dark, and the fight was ended,
The moon shone down O’Connell Street,
I stood alone, where brave men perished
Those men have gone, their God to meet.

My only son was shot in Dublin,
Fighting for his country bold,
He fought for Ireland and Ireland only,
The Harp and Shamrock, Green, White and Gold.

The first I met was a grey haired father
Searching for his only son,
I said “Old man, there’s no use searching
For up to heaven, your son has gone”.

The old man cried o
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From Clontarf to Berlin: National Status in Sport

In the following article Sir Roger Casement, late Consul-General, Rio de Janeiro, who was amongst the first to see the necessity of a National Volunteer movement, refers to the Battle of Clontarf, and pleads for a Volunteer Review on the approaching Centenary. He also points out the necessity of having a National status for Ireland at the Olympic Games.

There are two things the Irish Volunteers might do, one almost at once, the other within the next two years, that should have an uplifting and enlarging influence on our National life.

The first is to organise a Volunteer
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Trees of Liberty

[A friend with a surly, satirical face flings in our way this banter upon “Irish indolence.” Very well friend; we shame the devil and print your libel. Fas et ab hoste doceri. If there be any seeds of truth in it they will grow, when the chaff and wrappage only make manure for them.]

(From Mr. Bramble’s unpublished Arboretum Hibernicum.)

Many Irishmen talk of dying, &c., for Ireland, and I really believe almost every Irishman now alive longs in his way for an opportunity to do the dear old country some good. Opportunities of at once usefully and con
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