The Ballad of Dan Donnelly

Dan Donnelly was probably one of the most famous of Irish boxers - he defeated the English Champion, George Cooper on the Curragh in 1815 and the place where the match was fought was forever named Donnelly's Hollow

J.K.A.S. VOL.III 1899-1902


The challenge was accepted, and those heroes did prepare

To meet brave Captain Kelly on the Curragh of Kildare.

The Englishmen bet ten to one that day against poor Dan;

But such odds as these could ne?er dismay the blood of an Irishman.

When Donnelly and Cooper had stepped into the ring,

"Shake hands," says Dan to Cooper, "before we do begin."

From six to nine they parried on, till Donnelly knocked him down;

Old Grania cried, 'Well done, my child! that's worth ten thousand pound'

The second round that Cooper fought he knocked down Donnelly;

But Dan had steel, likewise true pluck, and rose most manfully.

Right active than was Cooper, and knocked Donnelly down once more.

The Englishmen they all cried out, 'The battle he may give o?er.'

'Long life unto Miss Kelly; she recorded on the plain;

She boldly stepped into the ring, saying, "Dan, what do ye mean?"

Saying "Dan, my boy, what do ye mean? Hibernia's son," says she,

"All my estate I have bet on you, brave Dan Donnelly."

"Dan," says she, "that you?re an Irishman the gentry all do know,

So on the Curragh of Kildare this day your valour show.

Be sure you die before you fly, Hibernia's son" says she,

"My coach and horses I have bet on you, Dan Donnelly."

Donnelly rose up again, and meeting with great might,

For, to surprise the nobles all, continued at the fight.

Cooper stood on his own defence; exertion proved in vain.

He soon received a temple blow which stretched him on the plain.

You sons of proud Britannia, your boasting now recall,

Since Cooper thus by Donnelly has met his sad downfall.

Out of eleven rounds he got nine knock-downs, besides a broke jaw-bone;

Says Miss Kelly, "Shake hands, brave Donnelly, the victory is all your own,"

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