Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
After Death
By Fanny Parnell (1854–1882)
SHALL mine eyes behold thy glory, O my country?
  Shall mine eyes behold thy glory?
Or shall the darkness close around them ere the
  sunblaze break at last upon thy story?
When the nations ope for thee their queenly circle, as a new        5
  sweet sister hail thee,
Shall these lips be seal’d 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 salvoes and the shouting of thy
  exiled sons returning!
I should hear though dead and mouldered, and the        15
  grave-damps 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 would toss within the shroud and quiver
  as a captive dreamer tosses.        20
I should turn and rend the cere-clothes round
  me, giant sinews I should borrow—
Crying, ‘O 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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