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  • Sack of Baltimore

    June 20th has passed by already but I just wanted to remember those 100 Irish souls from Baltimore county Cork who were carried off in 1631 after a bloody June 20th raid by Algerian slave traders.

    One hundred of the village's townspeople were kidnapped and dispatched to Algeria as slaves, never to return. Today this is referred to as the Sack of Baltimore. The fate of the hundred unfortunate men, women, and children has never been established.

    The following is a poem by Thomas Davis written in their memory.


    The Sack of Baltimore

    Thomas Davis

    The summer sun is falling soft o'er Carbery's
    hundred isles
    The summer sun is gleaming still through Gabriel's
    rough defiles
    Old Inisherkin's crumbled fane looks like a
    moulting bird,
    And in a calm and sleepy swell the ocean tide is
    heard.
    The hookers lie upon the beach; the children
    cease their play;
    The gossips leave the little inn; the households
    kneel to pray;
    And full of love, and peace, and rest - it's daily
    labour o'er -
    Upon that cosy creek there lay the town of
    Baltimore.

    A deeper rest, a starry trance, has come with
    midnight there;
    No sound except that throbbing wave, in earth,
    or sea, or air.
    The massive capes and ruined towers seem
    conscious of the calm;
    The fibrous sod and stunted trees are breathing
    heavy balm.
    So still the night, these two long barques round
    Dunashad that glide
    Might trust their oars - methinks not few -
    against the ebbing tide.
    Oh! Some sweet mission of true love must urge
    them to the shore:
    They bring some lover to his bride, who sighs in
    Baltimore!

    All, asleep within each roof along that rocky
    street,
    And these must be the lover's friends with gently
    gliding feet -
    A stifled gasp! A dreamy noise! "the roof is in
    a flame!"
    From out their beds, and to their doors, rush
    maid, and sire, and dame,
    And meet upon the threshold stone the gleaming
    sabre's fall,
    And o'er each black and bearded face the white
    or crimson shawl;
    The yell of "Allah" breaks abover the prayer,
    and shriek, and roar -
    Oh! Blessed God! The Algerine is lord of
    Baltimore.

    Then flung the youth his naked hand against the
    shearing sword;
    Then sprung the mother on the brand with which
    her son was gored;
    Then sunk the gransire on the floor, his grand-
    babes clutching wild;
    Then fled the maiden moaning faint, and nestled
    with the child,
    But see, yon pirate strangled lies, and crushed
    with splashing heel,
    While o'er him in an Irish hand, there sweeps
    his Syrian steel:
    Though virtue sink, and courage fail, and miser's
    yield their store,
    There's one hearth well avenged in the sack of
    Baltimore!

    Mid-summer morn, in woodland nigh, the birds
    began to sing;
    They see not how the milking maids - deserted
    in the spring!
    Mid-summer day - this gallant rides from distant
    Bandon's town;
    These hookers crossed from stormy Skull, that
    skiff from Affadown:
    They only found the smoking walls, that neighbour's
    blood besprent,
    And on the strewed and trampled beach awhile
    they wildly went;
    Then dashed to sea, and passed Cape Cléire,
    and saw five leagues before
    The pirate galleys vanishing that ravished
    Baltimore

    Oh! Some must tug the galley's oar, and some
    must tend the steed;
    This boy will bear a Sheik's chibouk, and that a
    Bey's jerreed.
    Oh! Some are in the arsenals, by beauteous
    Dardanelles;
    And some are in the caravan to Mecca's sandy
    dells.
    The maid that Bandon gallant sought is chosen
    for the Dey:
    She's safe - he's dead - she stabbed him in the
    Midst of his serai;
    And when, to die a death of fire, that noble
    maid they bore,
    She only smiled - O'Driscoll's child - she thought
    of Baltimore

    'Tis two long years since sunk the town beneath
    that bloody band,
    And all around its trampled hearths a larger
    concourse stands,
    Where, high upon a gallows tree, a yelling wretch
    is seen -
    'Tis Hackett of Dungarvan, he who steered the
    Algerine!
    He fell amid a sudden shout, with scarce a passing
    prayer,
    For he had slain the kith and kin of many a
    hundred there;
    Some muttered of MacMurchadh, who brought
    the Norman o'er;
    Some cursed him with Iscariot that day in
    Baltimore.

    "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."


    Marcus Aurelius Roman Emperor (161 to 180 A.D.)

  • #2
    Has someone told Jesse Jackson about this? Or even the UN Committee and Mary Robinson? Perhaps reparations are in order???!!! (or "respirations" as they are sometimes called in the hood).


    Later.
    No-one, I think, is in my tree...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by strummer
      Has someone told Jesse Jackson about this? Or even the UN Committee and Mary Robinson? Perhaps reparations are in order???!!! (or "respirations" as they are sometimes called in the hood).


      Later.
      Whatever you do, don't say "niggardly"!!!
      "Hello, Good Evening and Bollocks..."

      Roger Mellie

      Comment


      • #4
        those anarchists in scotland would be sooooo mad at youse
        When I breeze into that city, people gonna stoop and bow.
        All them women gonna make me, teach 'em what they don't know how

        Comment


        • #5
          Maybe our current crop of nigerians are actually "coming home"????
          Meh.

          Comment


          • #6
            In 1689 William III came to the throne of England and concluded an agreement with the Moors whereby all his subjects who where held in captivity by them were to be allowed return to their homes. This led to the release of one famous Galwayman -- Richard Joyce -- who is credited with creating the Claddagh ring. He had been aboard a ship captured some years earlier by Algerian pirates while at sea en route to the West Indies. He was taught the arts of goldsmithing from his former Moorish master while enslaved in Algiers. Apparently so the story goes his Moorish master offered him his only daughter in marriage and half his wealth to if he would stay in Algiers. Joyce refused because he wanted to return home to Galway to marry the girl to whom he was betrothed before his capture. An incurable romantic.

            Who knows maybe a few of the surviving Baltimore slaves may have found a way home too or maybe even some of them found freedom and had their own families in their "adopted" land.
            Last edited by lordinajamjar; 7 July 2005, 17:45.

            "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."


            Marcus Aurelius Roman Emperor (161 to 180 A.D.)

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