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Rich and Rare

Rich and Rare

Rich and rare were the gems she wore,
And a bright gold ring on her wand she bore;
But oh! her beauty was far beyond
Her sparkling gems, or snow-white wand.
"Lady! dost thou not fear to stray,
So lone and lovely through this bleak way?
Are Erin's sons so good or so cold,
As not to be tempted by woman or gold?"
"Sir Knight! I feel not the least alarm,
No son of Erin will offer me harm: -
For though they love woman and golden store,
Sir Knight! they love honour and virtue more!"
On she went, and her maiden smile
In safety lighted her round the Green Isle;
And blest for ever is she who relied
Upon Erin's honour and Erin's pride.

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Composer

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).

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Poet

Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of "The Minstrel Boy" and "The Last Rose of Summer". He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death. In his lifetime he was often referred to as Anacreon Moore.

Thomas Moore was born at 12 Aungier Street in Dublin, Ireland over his father's grocery shop, his father being from the Kerry Gaeltacht and his mother, Anastasia Codd, from Wexford. He had two younger sisters, Kate and Ellen.

From a relatively early age Moore showed an interest in music and other performing arts. He sometimes appeared in musical plays with his friends, such as The Poor Soldier by John O'Keeffe (music by William Shield), and at one point had ambitions to become an actor. Moore attended several Dublin schools including Samuel Whyte's English Grammar School in Grafton Street where he learned the English accent with which he spoke for the rest of his life. In 1795 he graduated from Trinity College, which had recently allowed entry to Catholic students, in an effort to fulfill his mother's dream of him becoming a lawyer. Moore was initially a good student, but he later put less effort into his studies. His time at Trinity came amidst the ongoing turmoil following the French Revolution, and a number of his fellow students such as Robert Emmet were supporters of the United Irishmen movement, although Moore himself never was a member. This movement sought support from the French government to launch a revolution in Ireland. In 1798 a rebellion broke out followed by a French invasion, neither of which succeeded.

Besides Emmet, another formative influence was Edward Hudson, also a fellow student at Trinity College, who played a crucial role in introducing Moore to Edward Bunting's A General Collection of the Ancient Irish Music (1797), later one the main sources of his own collection of Irish Melodies.

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