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The Poor Exile from the Shamrock Shore (1903)
One evening late, as bright Sol was declining,
Creation gilded with his last rays,
And the feathery tribes through the groves were chiming
Their warbling notes in melodious lays,
By the limpid Hunter as I was seated
No great distance from Newcastle shore,
I heard a voice that thrice repeated,
"I am a poor exile from the Shamrock shore."
My bosom flowing with fond emotion,
By nature I was prompted to rise
To participate in that sad devotion
And re-echo feebly their mournful cries.
My sunburnt shoulders displayed more lashes
Of barbarous flogging ; no shirt I wore ;
No tattooed savage displayed more gashes
Than the poor exile from the Shamrock shore.
My head is hoary, my forehead's wrinkled,
With the palsy in every joint ;
With convict's blood the ground is sprinkled.
The tyrants call it Limeburners' Point.
The servile soil that we are treading
Was trod together by our brethren's gore ;
They expired like martyrs, no torture dreading,
Says the poor exile from the Shamrock shore.
I have read in the Bible of King Herod's slaughter,
Bethelem, indeed, was a most awful sight,
And how King Pharoah in the Nile's deep water
Drowned many a true-born Israelite,
The crimsoned Isle and the raging bayonet
Are renowned in Scripture by deeds of gore ;
They were excelled by Morrison, and I'll maintain it,
And so can many from the Shamrock shore.
I have witnessed Morrison's disembarkation,
Tyranny for a time did cease,
Blood speedily gained a restoration,
And Mclntosh his venom traced.
Inhuman sights they did exhibit
As evil Morrison had done before,
The bloody triangles and the bleeding gibbet
Could not daunt the boys from the Shamrock shore
I sometimes ponder in silent sorrow
For my poor brethren's hardships--how hard they fare ;
For the cities of Sodom and great Gomorrah
To this cursed colony could not compare.
Those cities were cancelled by a conflagration,
Never to be inhabited or rebuilt any more,
This wants a similar visitation
To avenge the boys from the Shamrock shore.
You seem annoyed at my recital,
Of a poor bushranger's tale of woe.
A valiant outlaw is my real title,
Until the fatal bullet lays me low.
Through the forest echo with pistols loaded,
And girded round with the bayonets bare,
Like an Arabian Steed through the forest bounding
Goes the poor exile from the Shamrock shore.
NotesFrom the NSW Newspaper the Braidwood Dispatch and Mining Journal Sat 22 Aug 1903 p. 2.
This ballad was published in the Braidwood Dispatch in 1903 as part of an article about Jack Donohue. The article mentions "Francis McNamara better know as "Frank the Poet" and attributes this ballad to him. It doesn't seem as well crafted as MacNamara's other ballads and displays little of his famous wit. It sings well with the tune(s) for "Morton Bay."Is "evil Morrison" Major Morriset mentioned in Frank the Poet's epic "A Convict's Tour to Hell" ?
Then Major Morriset I espied
And Captain Cluney by his side
With a fiery belt they were lashed together
As tight as soles to upper leather
Their situation was most horrid
For they were tyrants down at the Norrid
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory