The Time Had Come!
And where will they have their camp?
Says the San Van Vocht,
Where will they have their camp?
Says the Shan Van Vocht:
On the Curragh of Kildare,
The boys they will be there,
With their pikes in good repair,
Says the Shan Van Vocht.
To the Curragh of Kildare,
The boys will they repair,
And Lord Edward will be there,
Says the Shan Van Vocht.
An unsettling calm descended on the County of Kildare, the evening of Wednesday 23 May. The weather, as it would remain for the rest of the summer that year, was calm and good, an almost deliberate contradiction to the highly charged political atmosphere of the countryside. In accordance with the directives of the United Irish Executive, men had begun to gather at pre-arranged sites in support of the proposed national rising. They came together to redress their grievances - - personal, economic, political, religious, national; a rich conglomeration of goals and aspirations, interpreted by the United Irishmen in the idiom of the French Revolution - a plaintiff cry for liberty. For catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform, the abolition of tithes and protection from Orangemen, to be true to the French, avoid the excesses of the military; for revenge, for liberty for nationality; to be true to the conspiracy that claimed their hearts and would now determine their actions. The orders had been received; they would rise this very night. And so they came, with their pikes they'd paid a shilling for, forged specifically for this purpose and mounted on 9ft poles. With their swords, bayonets and guns, mostly stolen from the houses of the local landlords, their pitchforks and whatever other weapons they could muster, they gathered, in fear and anticipation, committed as much to themselves as to the cause they embraced. An army of Irishmen, united in the cause of liberty.
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