Padraic Colum

Roger Casement

Padraic Colum was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer, playwright, children's author and collector of folklore.






THEY have hanged Roger Casement to the tolling
of a bell,
Ochone, och, ochone, ochone!
And their Smiths, and their Murrays, and their Cecils say it's well,
Ochone, och, ochone, ochone!
But there are outcast peoples to lift that
spirit high,
Flayed men and breastless women who laboured
fearfully,
And they will lift him, lift him, for the eyes
of God to see,
And it's well, after all, Roger Casement!

They've ta'en his strangled body from the gallows to the pit,
Ochone, och, ochone, ochone!
And the flame that eats into it, the quicklime, brought to it,
Ochone, och, ochone, ochone!
To waste that noble stature, the grave and brightening face,
In which courtesy and kindliness had eminence of place,
But they they'll die to dust which the wind will take a-pace,
While 'twas yours to die to fire, Roger Casement!

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