Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
June 4
By Aubrey T. De Vere (1814–1902)
          An Irish orator and statesman who died on June 4, 1820.

GOD works through man, not hills or snows!
  In man, not men, is the godlike power;
The man, God’s potentate, God foreknows;
  He sends him strength at the destined hour.
His spirit he breathes into one deep heart;        5
His cloud he bids from one life depart;
A Saint!—and a race is to God re-born!
A Man!—one man makes a nation’s morn!
A man, and the blind land by slow degrees
  Gains sight! A man, and the deaf land hears!        10
A man, and the dumb land like wakening seas
  Thunders low dirges in proud, dull ears!
One man, and the People, a three days’ corse,
Stands up, and the grave-bands fall off perforce;
One man, and the nation in height a span        15
To the measure ascends of the perfect man.
Thus wept unto God the land of Eire;
  Yet there rose no man, and her hope was dead;
In the ashes she sat of a burned-out fire,
  And sackcloth was over her queenly head.        20
But a man in her latter days arose;
A deliverer stepped from the camp of her foes;
He spake; the great and the proud gave way,
And the dawn began which shall end in day!

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