The Minstrel Boy

[This poem is written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) an Irish poet. He was born in Dublin where he studied at the best school. He was admitted to Trinity College at the age of 15 years. He became an enthusiastic Irish patriot. In imitation of Lora Byron, who was his friend, he wrote poem on an oriental theme called "Lalla Rookh." His patriotic feeling is well expressed in this poem.]

The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him,
His father's sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him,

"Land of song!" said the warrior bard,
"Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The minstrel fell! - but the foeman's chain
Could not bring his proud soul under;
The harp he loved ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder,

And said, "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never sound in slavery!"

Thomas Moore

A. Notes
The first stanza
Line 1: minstrel: a singer
Line 3: girded: worn around the waist
The second stanza
Line 1: foeman: enemy.
Line 2: bring his proud soul under: the enemy defeated him physically but could not conquer his spirit.
Line 4: chords: the strings of harp.
a sunder: into separate pieces
Line 5: sully: defiled, touched by impure hands, disgrace on

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