the sergeants lamentationTHE SERGEANT'S LAMENTATION
(answer to Hackler of Grouse Hall)
Each loyal man, if such there can be found about Grouse Hall
Come join with me in sympathy and pity my downfall.
I am despised and stigmatised for tyranny and wrong
Both far and near my name you'll hear re-echoed on a song.
I am belied because I tried to enforce the law,
And keep the peace around the place with drunken roughs and all.
Tho' my protest may be expressed in language rather strong,
I think I'm bound for to confound the author of that song.
That hackling clown who can let down a tear with ev'ry smile
And all his days with perfect ease could act the crocodile.
With nimble shanks he plays his pranks on peelers all along
And does aim to blast my fame by his wild rebel song.
He begs along and sings a song and has no care at all
And all around the hills resound with Jemmy of Grouse Hall;
But very soon he'll change his tune with bolts of iron strong,
When Balfour's shears gets round his ears he'll sing another song.
The league 'tis true I did pursue the priest. Why should I spare
Who broke the laws and was the cause of bloodshed ev'rywhere.
But Martin's fall in Donegal will be avenged ere long
McFadden's crew will get their due; then who will sing the song?
I do deny that ever I a naked female seen
The gentle sex, I know they're vexed, they feel the insult keen.
It was a shame to fix the blame upon me in the wrong
But while I live I'll not forgive the man that made the song.
In all my life to Tully's wife I never spoke a word
The crazy loon cried out too soon his jealous mind was stirred.
I still maintain that he's insane tho' Lovelock says I'm wrong
That mental quack I'm told for fact 'twas he who made the song.
My potheen raid I am afraid 'twill end in failure, too
Attorney Lynch won't yield an inch in what he does pursue.
The logic sound can well confound my cases right and wrong
No doubt but he might chance to be the man that made the song.
There's men, of course, among the force who sympathise with me,
There's other's too, but not a few, can well enjoy the spree.
To them I say a reckoning day will come before it's long
And Cooper's fate will compensate the man that sings the song.
I'll give five pounds and jink it down to find the poet's name
Because, of course, he is the source of all my grief and fame.
And in a coach to Cecil Roche I'll march him through the throng
I know he'll be right glad to see the man that made the song.
In all my boast, the hackler's ghost annoys me most of all,
I'm still in dread that when he's dead he'll haunt me from Grouse
In dreams at night I rave and fight in accents shrill and long
That pierce my ears I think I hear the echo of his song.
I'm well content for to be sent away this very day;
To Cork or Clare or anywhere one hundred miles away.
This curst Grouse Hall caused my downfall. I have been here too long
Before I go I'd wish to know the man who made the song.
Note: An answer-back song to the Hackler from Grouse Hall RG
From Irish Street Ballads, Colm O'Lochlainn