THE DYING SOLDIER
(Dedicated to Padraig Pearse)
Mother Ireland! I have loved thee
With a love that knew
no fear; I have drawn the sword to free thee
At the flowering of the year.
But a hand was raised to smite me,
I stooped to kiss thy brow,
And the arm that would have freed thee
By my side hangs helpless now.
I have lived and loved and laboured
With a patriot's heart and will,
That the dawning years might find thee
and unfettered still.
I am vanquished, and my comrades
In the glorious fight have bled;
And the dauntless hearts
that loved thee
Rest among the silent dead.
But 'twer nobler thus to perish,
Thus to wipe away their tears, With the distant voice of Freedom
Echoing in their
dying ears, Than to stand as fawning minions
Of the sneering conqueror's race,
With the clanking chains of bondage
of our deep disgrace.
When the deathless glow of Freedom,
Flickering through the gloom of years, Shall have flashed upon the hilltops,
of gloom and tears; When a future age shall find thee,
Freemen standing by thy side, Mother Ireland, 0, remember
for Freedom's cause they died.
They are gone, and I must follow
To the golden fields above, Where the mighty God of Justice
Shall reward a patriot's
Sweet it were to live and love thee,
Sweeter far for thee to die
With the flower clad hills around me
Echoing back my last good-bye