Easter Week

Original Text: 
Joyce Kilmer, Main Street and Other Poems (New York: George H. Doran Company, 1917), p. 66. PS 3521 I38M3 Robarts Library.
(In memory of Joseph Mary Plunkett)
("Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.")
                 --William Butler Yeats.
2   It's with O'Leary in the grave."
3Then, Yeats, what gave that Easter dawn
4   A hue so radiantly brave?
5There was a rain of blood that day,
6   Red rain in gay blue April weather.
7It blessed the earth till it gave birth
8   To valour thick as blooms of heather.
9Romantic Ireland never dies!
10   O'Leary lies in fertile ground,
11And songs and spears throughout the years
12   Rise up where patriot graves are found.
13Immortal patriots newly dead
14   And ye that bled in bygone years,
15What banners rise before your eyes?
16   What is the tune that greets your ears?
17The young Republic's banners smile
18   For many a mile where troops convene.
19O'Connell street is loudly sweet
20   With strains of Wearing of the Green.
21The soil of Ireland throbs and glows
22   With life that knows the hour is here
23To strike again like Irishmen
24   For that which Irishmen hold dear.
29There is no rope can strangle song
30   And not for long death takes his toll.
31No prison bars can dim the stars
32   Nor quicklime eat the living soul.
33Romantic Ireland is not old.
34   For years untold her youth shall shine.
35Her heart is fed on Heavenly bread,
36   The blood of martyrs is her wine.


1] The first two verses are the refrain from Yeats' "September, 1913." Back to Line
25] Lord Edward: Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1763-98), Irish conspirator. Back to Line
26] Sarsfield: Patrick Sarsfield (died 1693), Irish Jacobite. Back to Line
27] Emmet: Robert Emmet (1778-1803). Back to Line
28] Padraic Pearse: poet and schoolmaster, general of the Easter1916 Irish uprising. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.