Francis William Lauderdale Adams

(27 September 1862 – 4 September 1893)

An Assassin


. . . They caught him at the bend. He and his son
Sat in the car, revolvers in their laps.
From either side the stone-walled wintry road
There flashed thin fire-streaks in the rainy dusk.
The father swayed and fell, shot through the chest.
The son was up, but one more fire-streak leaped
Close from the pitch-black of a thick-set bush
Not five yards further and lit all the face
Of him whose sweetheart walked the Dublin streets
For lust of him who gave one yell and fell
Flat on the stony road a sweltering corse.
Then they came out, the men who did this thing,
And looked upon their hatred's retribution,
While heedlessly the rattling car fled on.
Grey-haired old Wolf, your letch for peasants' blood,
For peasants' sweat turned gold and silver and bronze,
Is done for ever, for ever and ever is done!
O foul young Fox, no more young girls' fresh lips
Shall bruise and bleed to cool your lecher's lust.
Slowly from out the great high-terraced clouds
The round moon sailed. The dead were left alone.
* * * * *
I talked with one of those who did this thing,
A coughing half-starved lad, mere skin and bone.
I said: 'They found upon those dead men gold.
Why did you not take it?' Then with proud-raised head,
He looked at me and said: 'Sorr, we're not thaves!'
Brother, from up the maimed and mangled earth,
Strewn with our flesh and bones, wet with our blood,
Let that great Word go up to unjust heaven
And smite the cheek of the Devil they've called 'God!'

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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