Easter Week

By Joyce Kilmer 1886–1918 Joyce Kilmer

(In memory of Joseph Mary Plunkett)

("Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.")
—William Butler Yeats.

"Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
    It's with O'Leary in the grave."
Then, Yeats, what gave that Easter dawn
    A hue so radiantly brave?

There was a rain of blood that day,
    Red rain in gay blue April weather.
It blessed the earth till it gave birth
    To valour thick as blooms of heather.

Romantic Ireland never dies!
    O'Leary lies in fertile ground,
And songs and spears throughout the years
    Rise up where patriot graves are found.

Immortal patriots newly dead
    And ye that bled in bygone years,
What banners rise before your eyes?
    What is the tune that greets your ears?

The young Republic's banners smile
    For many a mile where troops convene.
O'Connell street is loudly sweet
    With strains of Wearing of the Green.

The soil of Ireland throbs and glows
    With life that knows the hour is here
To strike again like Irishmen
    For that which Irishmen hold dear.

Lord Edward leaves his resting place
    And Sarsfield's face is glad and fierce.
See Emmet leap from troubled sleep
    To grasp the hand of Padraic Pearse!

There is no rope can strangle song
    And not for long death takes his toll.
No prison bars can dim the stars
    Nor quicklime eat the living soul.

Romantic Ireland is not old.
    For years untold her youth shall shine.
Her heart is fed on Heavenly bread,
    The blood of martyrs is her wine.

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Poet Joyce Kilmer 1886–1918

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Nature, Heroes & Patriotism, Social Commentaries, Landscapes & Pastorals

Holidays St. Patrick's Day

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

 Joyce  Kilmer


Journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1886. Known for poetry that celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his religious faith, he was killed after enlisting in the United States Army during World War I. Kilmer was awarded by the French the prestigious Croix de Guerre (War Cross) for his bravery, and a section of National Forest in North Carolina is named after him.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Heroes & Patriotism, Social Commentaries, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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