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Easter Week

Alfred Joyce Kilmer 1886 (New Brunswick, New Jersey) – 1918 (near Seringes-et-Nesles, Marne)

(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 will shine.
Her heart is fed on Heavenly bread,
The blood of martyrs is her wine.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Alfred Joyce Kilmer

Alfred Joyce Kilmer (December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918) was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled "Trees" (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his Roman Catholic religious faith, Kilmer was also a journalist, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. At the time of his deployment to Europe during World War I, Kilmer was considered the leading American Roman Catholic poet and lecturer of his generation, whom critics often compared to British contemporaries G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) and Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953). He enlisted in the New York National Guard and was deployed to France with the 69th Infantry Regiment (the famous "Fighting 69th") in 1917. He was killed by a sniper's bullet at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31. He was married to Aline Murray, also an accomplished poet and author, with whom he had five children. While most of his works are largely unknown today, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies. Several critics—including both Kilmer's contemporaries and modern scholars—have dismissed Kilmer's work as being too simple and overly sentimental, and suggested that his style was far too traditional, even archaic. Many writers, including notably Ogden Nash, have parodied Kilmer's work and style—as attested by the many imitations of "Trees".  more…

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