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Written by Thomas Davis (1814-1845), leader of the Young Ireland Movement of the 1840s. Davis, the son of an English army surgeon was one of the first to use the format of the ballad to encourage Irish nationhood.

A Nation Once Again

by Thomas Davis
When [G] boyhood’s fire was in my blood
I [C] read of ancient [G] freemen,
For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,
Three [Am] hundred men and [D] three men;
And then I prayed I yet might see
Our [C] fetters rent in [B7] twain,
And [C] Ireland, long a [Am] province, be.
A [G] Nation [D7] once [G] again!

A Nation once a- [C] gain,
A [Am] Nation once a- [D7] gain,
And [G] Ireland, long a [C] provence, [D] be
A [G] Nation [D] once a- [G] gain!

And from that time, through wildest woe,
That hope has shone a far light,
Nor could love’s brightest summer glow
Outshine that solemn starlight;
It seemed to watch above my head
In forum, field and fane,
Its angel voice sang round my bed,
A Nation once again!

It whisper’d too, that freedom’s ark
And service high and holy,
Would be profaned by feelings dark
And passions vain or lowly;
For, Freedom comes from God’s right hand,
And needs a Godly train;
And righteous men must make our land
A Nation once again!

So, as I grew from boy to man,
I bent me to that bidding
My spirit of each selfish plan
And cruel passion ridding;
For, thus I hoped some day to aid,
Oh, can such hope be vain ?
When my dear country shall be made
A Nation once again!