From Thomas Francis Meagher’s 1846 “Sword Speech” (via Timothy Egan’s The Immortal Irishman)
“Be it for the defence, or be it for the assertion of a nation’s liberty, I look upon the sword as a sacred weapon. And if, my lord, it has sometimes reddened the shroud of the oppressor—like the anointed rod of the high priest, it has, as often, blossomed into flowers to deck the freeman’s brow…. Abhor the sword? Stigmatise the sword? No, my lord, for at its blow, and in the quivering of its crimson light a giant nation sprang up from the waters of the Atlantic, and by its redeeming magic the fettered colony became a daring, free Republic.”
–From Irish Revolutionary Thomas Francis Meagher’s “Sword Speech”, delivered on 28 July 1846. Posted here on this St. Patrick’s Day 2016. Timothy Egan’s exceptional biography The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero is out this month.