Ashes of Freedom – A Poem sung to ‘Only Our Rivers Run Free’

by | Mar 15, 2014 | Latest, Poetry

Written in 2009, this poem is meant to be sung to the Irish melody ‘Only Our Rivers Run Free’.  It speaks to a resurrectionist hope that we are all called to have, knowing that God is Lord of History, and sometimes, in the darkest of moments, a sudden twist or turn brings about a new era, a new age. Start listening around 1:15. [hr]


In a land where there’s meant to be freedom,
In fields once greening with grain,
I heard but the groaning of slave men,
And saw the dull glow of pain.

I stared through the smoke and the ashes
At the pillars once white and once tall,
And my heart it did sink deep within me
And I thought “we let liberty fall”.

Then far off I heard white hope blowing,
The tones of a trumpeter clear
As he struggled to lift the bright colors,
Of our Flag in this battleground sere.

Out it flew and it caught the dim sunlight,
As the cannon-shells fell all around.
I was filled with the fire of freedom,
A fire that raised souls from the ground.

See the children of Liberty rising,
Born to fight or to die to be free,
In their eyes blaze the glory of duty
For God, for man, for country.

T’was then thatt I knew deep within me
Regardless the darkness of night,
A light always shines in the silence,
If men hold their freedom and fight.

So, could you sing it?

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Dominic de Souza

Dominic de Souza
Cradle-Catholic passionate about the frontier between Faith, history, and science in the modern world. 

Dominic de Souza

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