Douglas Hyde

(17 January 1860 - 12 July 1949 / Castlerea / County Roscommon)

I shall not die for thee


FOR thee, I shall not die,
Woman of high fame and name;
Foolish men thou mayest slay
I and they are not the same.

Why should I expire
For the fire of an eye,
Slender waist or swan-like limb,
Is't for them that I should die?

The round breasts, the fresh skin,
Cheeks crimson, hair so long and rich;
Indeed, indeed, I shall not die,
Please God, not I, for any such.

The golden hair, the forehead thin,
The chaste mien, the gracious ease,
The rounded heel, the languid tone,—
Fools alone find death from these.

Thy sharp wit, thy perfect calm,
Thy thin palm like foam o' the sea;
Thy white neck, thy blue eye,
I shall not die for thee.

Woman, graceful as the swan,
A wise man did nurture me.
Little palm, white neck, bright eye,
I shall not die for ye.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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