The Kents of Fermoy

Strong men who lived a grim and gallant life,
Whose heroic stand made history years ago,
And who in times of strain and blood and strife,
For freedom’s cause struck many a telling blow,
These were the men who really gave their all,
And who in passing showed the world they meant,
To fight oppression, and finally in their fall,
Immortalised the name of Kent.

At Bawnard when whistling bullets rained,
On their own homestead they were not afraid,
Their practised rifles on the invaders trained,
Their mother loaded ‘neath the barricade,
And as the battle raged outside Fermoy,
And the morning air with rifle fire was rent,
They far outnumbered, showed the reason why,
We honour still to-day the name of Kent.

Throughout that siege behind old windows broken bare,
Peered through the eyes of men in desperate need,
But grimfaced resolution not despair,
Marked out their calibre and proclaimed their breed,
And when with ammunition running low,
Disdainfully they fought ‘till all was spent,
Then grudgingly gave victory to the foe,
And kept the honour of the name of Kent.

Then Richard on escaping was shot down,
And David badly wounded, borne away,
And Thomas Kent faced marksmen of The Crown,
He died in Cork one tragic morn’ in May,
And Rebel Cork hold high your head with pride,
And though your feelings on past years may now relent,
Think of them always, they proved true when tried,
And added lustre to the name of Kent.

William O’Donnell

©2013 The estate of William O’Donnell (Chiswick)