Ireland's turbulent history, her people, culture and religion were
suppressed and the very name of Ireland was forbidden to be spoken.
In many of their poems, the Bards praised their country, lamented
her troubles and foretold her independence, yet they had to disguise
that sentiment, for anyone caught with such a lyric was subject to
arrest or execution. So, the Bards disguised their patriotic poetry
as love poems with the object of their affection being a symbol of
Ireland. Examples of these poems are Kathleen ni Houlihan,
Grania Uaile, Shan Van Vocht and the oldest of all - ROISIN
DUBH, which means The Little Dark Rose or The Dark Rosaleen.
Dark Rosaleen, do not sigh, do not weep!
priests are on the ocean green; they march along the deep.
wine...from the Royal Pope, upon the ocean green;
And Spanish ale shall give you hope, my Dark