Eoin’s Ode to Friar John Cor

With a nod to the Bard:

This day is called the Reverence of Friar John:
He that outlives this day, and comes drunk home,
Will stumble a-tiptoe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Friar John.
He that shall see this day and drink t’old age,
Will yearly on the vigil toast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Friar John’s Reverence Revel”:
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars
And say “These wounds I had on Friar John’s day.”
Drunk men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What drinks he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Raz the Reaver, Seamus and Fergus,
Fair Siobhan and Sean, Odran and Gulliver,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good Celts teach their sons;
And Jon John shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we inebriated happy few, we band of drunken brothers;
For he today that sheds his whiskey with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in Ireland now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That drank with us upon Friar John’s Reverence Revel day.


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