The Dresden Shone Like Silver 

The Dresden shone like silver 

as it pulled into the quay,

though not the home they left from 

new horizons gleamed.


The adverts read “Good wages” 

and “Employment Guaranteed.” 

They should have read “False Promises” 

“Bad Dreams, Fulfilled.” 


From Offices on Grand parade 

and Dublin’s Sackville Street,

for the Argentine government 

Dillion and O’ Meara schemed. 


The future of 2000 souls 

held in their cold hands,

they were too busy counting coins 

To care what came next.


First came the Immigrants Hotel 

a hotel with no beds. 

On cold cold stone, they laid down 

tossed and turned, nights on end. 


Moving on to Paseo de Julio,

the starving mob was led,

too hungry to complain, too tired to sleep, 

they shuffle their feet instead.


In a stable of putrid water 

more fit for horses than men.

They say they were treated like cattle 

But then cattle are watered and fed. 


Some girls were taken to Tucamán street 

where an Irish convent rang its daily bells,

others promised comfort from stylish carriages 

found a cold welcome from Buenos Aire's madames.

who pulled up in the squalid evening 

and pulled away swiftly again. 


A Colony was set-up at Napostá 

the Maccarthy’s settled in Balcarce 

O’ Keefe’s, Pearce, Bourke, Jackson 

scattered like leaves to the four winds. 


Aboard the ship The Dresden 

the Republic shone bright ,

left with a head full of phantoms 

bright dreams ignite. 


From Limerick, Cork and Dublin 

to Tents on the Argentine plains ,

though not the home that they left from 

new horizons gleamed.