Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
October 6
By Lionel Johnson (1867–1902)
          Charles Stewart Parnell was an Irish statesman and leader of the Home Rule party which, under his guidance, accomplished more than ever before or since. He died on Oct. 6, 1891.

THE WAIL of Irish winds,
  The cry of Irish seas;
Eternal sorrow finds
  Eternal voice in these.
I cannot praise our dead        5
  Whom Ireland weeps so well;
Her morning light that fled
  Her morning star that fell.
She of the mournful eyes
  Waits, and no dark clouds break;        10
Waits, and her strong son lies
  Dead, for her holy sake.
Her heart is sorrow’s home;
  And hath been from of old;
An host of griefs hath come        15
  To make that heart their fold.
Ah, the sad autumn day
  When the last sad troop came
Swift down the ancient way,
  Keening a chieftain’s name!        20
Gray hope was there, and dread,
  Anger and love in tears;
They mourned the dear and dead,
  Dirge of the ruined years.
Home to her heart she drew        25
  The mourning company;
Old sorrows met the new
  In sad fraternity.
A mother, and forget?
  Nay! all her children’s fate        30
Ireland remembers yet,
  With love insatiate.
She hears the heavy bells
  Hears, and with passionate breath
Eternally she tells        35
  A rosary of death.
Faithful and true is she,
  The mother of us all;
Faithful and true may we
  Fail her not though we fall.        40
Her son, our brother, lies
  Dead for her holy sake;
But from the dead arise
  Voices that bid us wake.
Not his to hail the dawn;        45
  His but the herald’s part;
Be ours to see withdrawn
  Night from our mother’s heart.

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