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Posts tagged as “Thomas Davis”

Wolf Tone’s Grave

From the Newark Evening Star, April 18, 1914. By Thomas Davis.

In Bodenstown churchyard
    There is a green grave,
And wildly around it
    The winter winds rave.
Small shelter, I ween,
    Are the ruined walls there
When the storm sweeps down
    On the plains of Kildare.

Once I stood on the sod
    That lies over Wolfe Tone;
And I thought how he perished
    In prison alone.
His friends unavenged,
    And his country unfreed,
“Oh, bitter,” I said,
    “Is the Patriot’s meed.”

For in him the heart
    Of a woman combined
With heroic spirit
    And a governing mind.
A martyr for Ireland,
    His grave has no stone,
His name seldom named,
    And his virtues unknown.

As I stood there I heard
    Both the voices and tread
Of a band who came into
    The home of the dead.
They carried no corpse,
    Nor they carried no stone, 
But they stopped when they came
    To the grave of Wolfe Tone.

There were students and peasants,
    The wise and the brave,
And an old man who knew him
    From cradle to grave.
The children there thought me
    Hard-hearted, for they
On that sanctified sod
    Were forbidden to play.

But the old man who saw
    I was mourning there said,
“We’ve come, sir, to weep
    Where young Wolf Tone is laid.
And we’re going to build him
    A monument too,
A plain one, yet fit for
    The simple and true.”

My heart overflowed,
    And I clasped his old hand,
And I blessed him, and blessed
    Every one of his band.
Sweet, sweet tis to find
    That such faith can remain
To the cause and the man
    So long vanquished and slain.

In Bodenstown churchyard
    There is a green grave,
And wildly around it
    The winter winds rave.
Far better they suit him
    The ruin and gloom,
Till Ireland, a nation,
    Can build him a tomb.