Properly the title of this poem is The Deserters Meditation. Because of its structure with its remarkable internal rhymes one might be led to believe that it reproduces a Gaelic form: the resemblance to the Great Rannaigheacht metre is noticeable. The Rannaigheacht metres, however, make lines of seven syllables. Dr. Hydes example of verse in the Great Rannaigheacht is from a comic poem that he translates
To hear handsome women weep
In deep distress sobbing sore,
Or gangs of geese scream from far
They sweeter are than Arts snore.
See a Literary History of Ireland. The poet of The Deserters Meditation, John Philpot Curran, was an Irishspeaker from childhood, and this poem of his marks the first departure in Anglo-Irish poetry from the traditional English forms and towards Gaelic forms. He was the greatest of Irish orators, and his defence of Peter Finnerty is amongst the high achievements in oratory. The fact that he was the father of Sarah Curran, Robert Emmets sweetheart, brings him into Irish romantic history.