Poem "The Sack of Baltimore"
by Thomas Davis, 1844
Back to History of Baltimore

            "The summer sun is falling soft on Carbery's hundred isles.
            The summer sun is gleaming still through Gabriel's rough defiles.
            Old innisherkin'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 and the household kneels to pray,
            And full of love and peace and rest - its 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 the throbbing wave in earth or sea or air.
            The massive capes and ruined towers, seemed conscious of the calm,
            The fibrous sod and stunted trees are breathing heavy balm.
            So still the night, these two long barques round Dun na Sead that glide,
            Must thrust their oars - methinks not few - against the ebbing tide.
            Oh! some sweet mission of true love must urge the shore
            They bring some lover to his bride, who sighs in Baltimore.

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

            Mid summer morn in woodland nigh the birds begin to sing.
            They see not now the milking maids - deserting is the spring,
            Mid summer day - this gallant rides from distant Bandon town.
            The hookers crossed from stormy Schull, that skiff from Affadown.
            They only found the smoking walls, with neighbour's blood besprint
            And on the strewed and trampled beach awhile they wildly went
            Then dashed to sea and passed Cape Clear and saw five leagues before
            The pirate galleys vanished, that ravished Baltimore.

            Oh! Some must tug the galleys oar and some must tend the steed.
            This boy will bear a sheik's chibouk; and that a bey's jeered.
            Oh! some are for the arsenals by beauteous Dardenelles.
            And some are in the caravans to Mecca's sandy dells.
            The maid that Bandon gallant sought is chosen for the Dey.
            She's safe - he is 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."