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(14 October 1814 – 16 September 1845 / Mallow / County Cork / Ireland)

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My Grave

Shall they bury me in the deep,
Where wind-forgetting waters sleep?
Shall they dig a grave for me,
Under the green-wood tree?
Or on the wild heath,
Where the wilder breath
Of the storm doth blow?
Oh, no! oh, no!

Shall they bury me in the Palace Tombs,
Or under the shade of Cathedral domes?
Sweet 'twere to lie on Italy's shore;
Yet not there-nor in Greece, though I love it more,
In the wolf or the vulture my grave shall I find?
Shall my ashes career on the world-seeing wind?
Shall they fling my corpse in the battle mound,
Where coffinless thousands lie under the ground?
Just as they fall they are buried so-
Oh, no! oh, no!

No! on an Irish green hill-side,
On an opening lawn-but not too wide;
For I love the drip of the wetted trees-
I love not the gales, but a gentle breeze
To freshen the turf-put no tombstone there,
But green sods decked with daisies fair;
Nor sods too deep, but so that the dew,
The matted grass-roots may trickle through.
Be my epitaph writ on my country's mind,
'HE SERVED HIS COUNTRY, AND LOVED HIS KIND.'

Oh! 'twere merry unto the grave to go,
If one were sure to be buried so.

Submitted: Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, August 01, 2012


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