Joyce Kilmer

(1886-1918 / New Jersey)

Easter Week


1 "Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
2 It's with O'Leary in the grave."
3 Then, Yeats, what gave that Easter dawn
4 A hue so radiantly brave?

5 There was a rain of blood that day,
6 Red rain in gay blue April weather.
7 It blessed the earth till it gave birth
8 To valour thick as blooms of heather.

9 Romantic Ireland never dies!
10 O'Leary lies in fertile ground,
11 And songs and spears throughout the years
12 Rise up where patriot graves are found.

13 Immortal patriots newly dead
14 And ye that bled in bygone years,
15 What banners rise before your eyes?
16 What is the tune that greets your ears?

17 The young Republic's banners smile
18 For many a mile where troops convene.
19 O'Connell street is loudly sweet
20 With strains of Wearing of the Green.

21 The soil of Ireland throbs and glows
22 With life that knows the hour is here
23 To strike again like Irishmen
24 For that which Irishmen hold dear.

25 Lord Edward leaves his resting place
26 And Sarsfield's face is glad and fierce.
27 See Emmet leap from troubled sleep
28 To grasp the hand of Padraic Pearse!

29 There is no rope can strangle song
30 And not for long death takes his toll.
31 No prison bars can dim the stars
32 Nor quicklime eat the living soul.

33 Romantic Ireland is not old.
34 For years untold her youth shall shine.
35 Her heart is fed on Heavenly bread,
36 The blood of martyrs is her wine.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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