[Editor: This poem by P. I. O’Leary was published in The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic.), 29 April 1920. The poem was written about the Easter Rising in Ireland, also known as the Easter Rebellion, which began on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, and lasted for six days, until the Irish nationalists were defeated by the British Army and the Royal Irish Constabulary.]
To Our Easter Week Dead.
Unbidden the black thoughts start,
Unbidden and bitter the tears;
For the love that we have in our heart
Is strong as a million spears.
They have eaten your bodies with lime
Low in the ditch of dark shame;
But there is not the lime or the time
That, ever, can eat up your fame.
For speed you are still as a stone,
For speech your tongues have no word,
But the flame of your feet runs on,
And your silent voices are heard.
O! dead who for Ireland died!
O! starry and magical dead!
You have fastened fresh swords to our side;
You have fashioned new dreams for our head.
P. I. O’LEARY.
The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic.), 29 April 1920, p. 3
Also published in:
The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic.), 25 August 1927, p. 5 (entitled “O! Starry and Magical Dead”, with authorship attributed to “P”)
The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic.), 2 August 1944, p. 11
The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic.), 21 March 1945, p. 9 (entitled “R.I.P.”)
The Capuchin Annual 1942, Dublin: Capuchin Periodicals, December 1941, p. 329 (entitled “Na Mairbh”, being Gaelic for “The Dead”)
“Easter Rising”, History.com, 9 November 2009 (updated 25 January 2019)
Heather Jones, “The Easter Rising: when Ireland went to war” (BBC History Magazine, March 2016), HistoryExtra
“Explainer: What was the Easter Rising?”, Raidió Teilifís Éireann: Century Ireland
“Easter Rising”, Wikipedia
Leave a Reply