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Grandpa Pencil's
Australian colonial verse and song

The Ballad of
Bold Jack Donahoe

The Ballad of
Bold Jack Donahoe

'Twas of a valiant highwayman and outlaw of disdain,
Who'd scorn to live in slavery or wear a convict's chain;
His name it was Jack Donahoe of courage and renown -
He'd scorn to live in slavery or humble to the crown.
This bold, undaunted highwayman, as you may understand,
Was banished from his natural life from Erin's happy land.
In Dublin City of renown, where his first breath he drew,
It's there they titled him the brave and bold Jack Donahoe.
He scarce had been a twelve-month on the Australian shore,
When he took to the highway, as oft he had before.
Brave Macnamara, Underwood, Webber and Walmsley too,
These were the four associates of bold Jack Donahoe.
As Jack and his compatriots roved out one afternoon,
Not thinking that the pains of death would overcome so soon,
To their surprise five horse police appeared all in their view,
And in quick time they did advance to take Jack Donahoe.
'Come on you cowardly rascals, oh, do not run away!
We'll fight them man to man, my boys, their number's only three;
For I'd rather range the bush around, like dingo or kangaroo,
Than work one hour for government', said bold Jack Donahoe.

'Oh, no' said cowardly Walmsley, 'to that I won't agree;
I see they're still advancing us - their number's more than three.
And if we wait we'll be too late, the battle we will rue.'
'Then begone from me, you cowardly dog,' replied Jack Donahoe.
The sergeant of the horse police discharged a car-o-bine,
And called aloud to Donahoe 'Will you fight or resign?'
"Resign, no, no! I never will, until your cowardly crew,
For today I'll fight with all my might,' cried bold Jack Donahoe.
The sergeant then, in a hurry his party to divide,
Placed one to fire in front of him, and another on each side;
The sergeant and the Corporal, they both fired too,
Till the fatal ball had pierced the heart of bold Jack Donahoe.
Six rounds he fought those horse police before the fatal ball,
Which pierced his heart with cruel smart, caused Donahoe to fall;
And as he closed his mournful eyes he bade the world adieu,
Saying, 'Good people all, pray for the soul of poor Jack Donahoe.
'Their were Freincy, Grant, bold Robin Hood, Brennan and O'Hare;
With Donahoe this highwayman none of them could compare.
But now he's gone to heaven, I hope, with saints and angels too -
May the Lord have mercy on the soul of Brave Jack Donahoe

unknown to Grandpa


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Published by Robin A Cartledge ~ ABN 19 924 273 138 ~ Low Head, Tasmania ~ Contact/Comment