Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
132. After Death
By Fanny Parnell
SHALL mine eyes behold thy glory, oh, my country?
  Shall mine eyes behold thy glory?
Or shall the darkness close around them ere the sun-blaze
  Break at last upon thy story?
When the nations ope for thee their queenly circle,        5
  As sweet new sister hail thee,
Shall these lips be sealed in callous death and silence,
  That have known but to bewail thee?
Shall the ear be deaf that only loved thy praises,
  When all men their tribute bring thee?        10
Shall the mouth be clay that sang thee in thy squalor,
  When all poets’ mouths shall sing thee?
Ah! the harpings and the salvos and the shoutings
  Of thy exiled sons returning,
I should hear, tho’ dead and mouldered, and the grave-damps        15
  Should not chill my bosom’s burning.
Ah! the tramp of feet victorious! I should hear them
  ’Mid the shamrocks and the mosses,
And my heart should toss within the shroud and quiver
  As a captive dreamer tosses.        20
I should turn and rend the cere-cloths round me—
  Giant sinews I should borrow—
Crying, “Oh, my brothers, I have also loved her
  In her loneliness and sorrow!
“Let me join with you the jubilant procession,        25
  Let me chant with you her story;
Then, contented, I shall go back to the shamrocks,
  Now mine eyes have seen her glory!”


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