I have to turn "Kings, Lords and Commons" back in tomorrow, so I'd
thought I'd share the following. BTW, I'd be interested if anyone knows
anything about O'Rahilly's life (he's out of my time-period, but wrote
some damn good poetry).
(Mr. O'Connor states as a preface to the poem "Because, like himself,
O'Rahilly seemed to be the last voice of feudalism, Yeats used the final
line of this poem for one of his own.")
I shall not call for help until they coffin me--
What good for me to call when hope of help is gone?
Princes of Munster who would have heard my cry
Will not rise from the dead because I am alone.
Mind shudders like a wave in this tempestuous mood,
My bowels and my heart are pierced and filled with pain
To see our lands, our hills, our gentle neighborhood,
A plot where any English upstart stakes his claim.
The Shannon and the Liffey and the tuneful Lee,
The Boyne and the Blackwater a sad music sing,
The waters of the west run red into the sea--
No matter what be trumps, their knave will beat our king.
And I can never cease weeping these useless tears;
I am a man oppressed, afflicted and undone
Who where he wanders mourning no companion hears
Only some waterfall that has no cause to mourn.
Now I shall cease, death comes, and I must not delay
By Laune and Laine and Lee, diminished of their pride,
I shall go after the heroes, ay, into the clay--
My fathers followed theirs before Christ was crucified.