Beal an Altra Buidhe (The Fight of the Yellow Ford, 1598.)
Speed the joyful news of victory from Dungannon to Gweedore,
Let the shout of triumph echo ‘mid the cliffs of dark Benmore,
Let the flame that gleams on Sperrin light a flame on every strand,
Till one mighty blaze shall tell it to all men throughout the land.
The haughty Saxon boasted he would ravage broad Tyrone,
And lay our fields in ashes, and make our flocks his own,
Nor hold his hand ’till humbled each Irish kerne should kneel
To England’s monarch only, and not to Hugh O’Neill.
But vain was all his boasting, and vain was all he swore,
For, like the storms of winter when from the hills they pour,
With clouds of long-haired spearmen, and ranks of flashing steel,
O’er the broken host of Saxons swept the children of O’Neill.
Arquebus and gun were fired, yet were fired all in vain,
For their owners’ heads were cloven by the lightening sweeping skean,
But the sturdy English yeomen, who had ne’er been known to reel,
Like the withered leaves of autumn, fell before the fierce O’Neill.
Blackwater’s tide ran darker than e’er it ran before,
The “Yellow Ford” was crimsoned, the fields were drenched with gore.
The Saxon host had vanished; and Armagh rang out a peal
Of triumph o’er the vanquished, and of welcome to O’Neill.
No more the feet of foemen shall taint our Northern soil,
No more the waving cornfields shall be the Saxon’s spoil.
Our flag no longer drooping, each fold shall now reveal,
And wave for God and Erin and our darling Hugh O’Neill.