The Ballad of Roger Casement


The Ballad of Roger Casement


A lonely wave is breaking on the rocky Antrim shore
And the sighing winds are a keening oe'r the water's solemn roar
The seabirds sweep to Heaven with a loud and piercing wail
'Tis the passing knell of one who dies in a lonely English jail

Along the sweltering Congo swamps, a ghastly silence falls
And the jungle trees hang lifeless like a thousand funeral palls
And dark-skinned men are heavy with a fear they cannot name
While their gentle friend is lead to death with mockery and shame

Ah, lordly Roger Casement you gave all a man could give
that Justice be unmocked at and that liberty might live
But you hurt the high and mighty ones in pocket and in pride
And that is why they hated you and that is why you died

They stripped you of your honours and they hounded you to death
And their blood lust was not sated when you gasped your dying breath
They tried to foul your memory as they fouled your corpse with lime
But God is not an Englishman and truth will tell with time

Ah, gentle Roger Casement you have blessed us in your death
They have tried to blot you from our minds, but we shall not forget
Your cause will be triumphant and when slavery's night is oe'r
Your bones shall rest, your last request, on your rocky native shore



“The Ballad of Roger Casement,” Execution Ballads, accessed May 20, 2024,

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