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'Tis the signal for attack,
And no quarter for the Irish in Cremona!'
And Major Dan he laughed: 'Faith, if what you say be true, And if they will not come until they hear again from you,
Then there will be no attack,
For you're never going back,
And we'll keep you snug and safely in Cremona.'
All the weary day the German stormers came, All the weary day they were faced by fire and flame,
They have filled the ditch with dead,
And the river's running red;
But they cannot win the gateway of Cremona.
All the weary day, again, again, again, The horsemen of Dupres and the footmen of Lorraine,
Taafe and Herberstein,
And the riders of the Rhine;
It's a mighty price they're paying for Cremona.
Time and time they came with the deep-mouthed German roar, Time and time they broke like the wave upon the shore;
For better men were there
From Limerick and Clare,
And who will take the gateway of Cremona?
Prince Eugene has watched, and he gnaws his nether lip; Prince Eugene has cursed as he saw his chances slip:
'Call off! Call off!' he cried,
'It is nearing eventide,
And I fear our work is finished in Cremona.'
Says Wauchop to McAulliffe, 'Their fire is growing slack.' Says Major Dan O'Mahony, 'It is their last attack;
But who will stop the game
While there's light to play the same,
And to walk a short way with them from Cremona?'
And so they snarl behind them, and beg them turn and come, They have taken Neuberg's standard, they have taken Diak's drum;
And along the winding Po,
Beard on shoulder, stern and slow
The Kaiserlics are riding from Cremona.
Just two hundred Irish lads are shouting on the wall; Four hundred more are lying who can hear no slogan call;
But what's the odds of that,
For it's all the same to Pat
If he pays his debt in Dublin or Cremona.
Says General de Vaudray, 'You've done a soldier's work! And every tongue in France shall talk of Dillon and of Burke!
Ask what you will this day,
And be it what it may,
It is granted to the heroes of Cremona.'
'Why, then,' says Dan O'Mahony, 'one favour we entreat, We were called a little early, and our toilet's not complete.
We've no quarrel with the shirt,
But the breeches wouldn't hurt,
For the evening air is chilly in Cremona.'