The Sound of Slavery

By Tara Daly, 2nd year.

Object No. 39 Slave chain, late-ninth or early-tenth century
The County Museum , Dundalk, Co Louth,

A sunny day on a bustling beach,

Children play and seagulls screech.

No one suspects what’s in store,

No one realises ‘till they’re at the shore.


A band of warriors, vicious and mean,

A band of warriors take everything they see.

A ruined town is quiet once more,

As they gather their trophies and depart from the shore.


Cold and frightened and away from home,

They’re thrown on a boat and told to stay low.

Hours and days of cold, hunger and pain,

Brings them to a country that’s foreign and strange.


Strangers’ faces and a stranger’s tongue,

Watching, scrutinizing; they must be healthy and young.

The clink of coins as they bargain and buy,

Then they drag off their purchases to serve at their side.


Years more of serving, years more of pain,

Till one day they find a way to escape home again.

They’re home and they’re safe now, after all these years,

But the clank of the slaves’ chains is left echoing on their ears.


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