Home  »  The World’s Wit and Humor  »  The Battle of Limerick

The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863)

The Battle of Limerick

From “Lyra Hibernica”

YE Genii of the nation,

Who look with veneration,

And Ireland’s desolation onsaysingly deplore;

Ye sons of General Jackson,

Who thrample on the Saxon,

Attend to the thransaction upon Shannon shore.

When William, Duke of Schumbug,

A tyrant and a humbug,

With cannon and with thunder on our city bore,

Our fortitude and valliance

Insthructed his battalions

To rispict the galliant Irish upon Shannon shore.

Since that capitulation,

No city in this nation

So grand a reputation could boast before,

As Limerick prodigious,

That stands with quays and bridges,

And the ships up to the windies of the Shannon shore.

A chief of ancient line,

’Tis William Smith O’Brine

Reprisints this darling Limerick, this ten years or more.

Oh, the Saxons can’t endure

To see him on the flure,

And thrimble at the Cicero from Shannon shore!

This valliant son of Mars

Had been to visit Par’s,

That land of Revolution, that grows the tricolour;

And to welcome his returrn

From pilgrimages furren,

We invited him to tay on the Shannon shore.

Then we summoned to our board

Young Meagher of the sword;

’Tis he will sheathe that battle-axe in Saxon gore;

And Mitchil of Belfast

We bade to our repast,

To dthrink a dish of coffee on the Shannon shore.

Convaniently to howld

These patriots so bowld,

We tuck the opportunity of Tim Doolan’s store;

And with ornamints and banners

(As becomes gintale good manners)

We made the loveliest tay-room upon Shannon shore.

’Twould binifit your sowls

To see the buttherd rowls,

The sugar-tongs and sangwidges and craim galyore,

And the muffins and the crumpets,

And the band of harps and thrumpets,

To celebrate the sworry upon Shannon shore.

Sure the Imperor of Bohay

Would be proud to dthrink the tay

That Misthress Biddy Rooney for O’Brine did pour;

And since the days of Strongbow,

There never was such Congo—

Mitchil dthrank six quarts of it—by Shannon shore.

But Clarndon and Corry

Connellan beheld this sworry

With rage and imulation in their black hearts’ core;

And they hired a gang of ruffins

To interrupt the muffins

And the fragrance of the Congo on the Shannon shore.

When full of tay and cake,

O’Brine began to spake;

But juice a one could hear him, for a sudden roar

Of a ragamuffin rout

Began to yell and shout,

And frighten the propriety of Shannon shore.

As Smith O’Brine harangued,

They batthered and they banged,

Tim Doolan’s doors and windies down they tore;

They smashed the lovely windies

(Hung with muslin from the Indies),

Purshuing of their shindies upon Shannon shore.

With throwing of brickbats,

Drowned puppies and dead rats,

These ruffin democrats themselves did lower;

Tin kettles, rotten eggs,

Cabbage-stalks, and wooden legs,

They flung among the patriots of Shannon shore.

Oh, the girls began to scrame

And upset the milk and crame;

And the honourable gintlemin, they cursed and swore;

And Mitchil of Belfast,

’Twas he that looked aghast,

When they roasted him in effigy by Shannon shore.

Oh, the lovely tay was spilt

On that day of Ireland’s guilt;

Says Jack Mitchil, “I am kilt! Boys, where’s the back door?

’Tis a national disgrace;

Let me go and veil me face.”

And he bowlted with quick pace from the Shannon shore.

“Cut down the bloody horde!”

Says Meagher of the sword;

“This conduct would disgrace any blackamore.”

But the best use Tommy made

Of his famous battle blade

Was to cut his own stick from the Shannon shore.

Immortal Smith O’Brine

Was raging like a line;

’Twould have done your sowl good to have heard him roar.

In his glory he arose,

And he rush’d upon his foes,

But they hit him on the nose by the Shannon shore.

Then the Futt and the Dthragoons

In squadthrons and platoons,

With their music playing chunes, down upon us bore;

And they bate the rattatoo,

But the Peelers came in view,

And ended the shaloo on the Shannon shore.