James Duffy

by Patrick Tunney

Old Moore’s Almanac

Elegiac charade by Patrick Tunney, Derrykillew, Westport

to the memory of the late James Duffy, Prospect, Westport. He joined the West Mayo Brigade at its inception and died fighting for Ireland.

My heart throbs light, my hopes are bright when I think of Rosaleen,
And her gallant sons who dared big guns in defense of the emerald sheen.
In town and cave her soldiers brave were fast to wield a blow,
But none more true for Róisín Dhu than Duffy of Mayo.
With a valiant heart he did his part, he answered freedom’s call,
And joined the fight with all his might prepared to win or fall.
He stood the test, he did his best, he feared no Saxon foe,
On the firing line his sword did shine, brave Duffy of Mayo.
“I’ll man my gun, I’ll still fight on, and freedoms sun I’ll see,
Or my life I’ll give that my land might live in realms great and free.
To tyrants cruel or to British rule my head I’ll never bow,
‘Til Pearse’s flag is on every crag,” said Duffy of Mayo.
Though of youthful years, in the volunteers his rivals were but few,
Of noble mind, with truth combined, he loved poor Róisín Dhu.
Like a soldier brave his life he gave, to oust a treacherous foe,
‘Gainst shot and shell, he fought and fell great Duffy of Mayo.
May the angels guard his soul with love, may his home be a home of joy,
To-day he sleeps whilst Éire weeps, the fate of her soldier boy.
As Éire’s friend his name we’ll defend whilst summers come and go,
And in prose and lays we’ll tout the praise of Duffy of Mayo.