Given that it is a hundred years since the Easter Rising, I thought I would republish this, which I wrote in the late 70s or early 80s, when there were Troubles:

Ireland

I would bleed at the hands and feet

I would bleed at my head and my heart for you, Ireland.

When I see what the masters of my fathers did to you

How could I grudge you my hands and feet

Ireland?

But the way of hate at last is barren

Violence cankers the heart to a stone

Bitterness burns out the love of God

Leaving freedom crippled

And Christ upon the cross is bleeding still at hands and feet

For Dublin and for Belfast and for London

For the masters and the slaves

For you and for me,

Ireland

           ***

and this, to cheer us up again –

Irish Music

The harp is water dropping into a still pool in the morning of time,

The shrill fiddle and the mellow pipes

pulse to the quickened rhythm of the blood, set the feet to dancing,

The doleful warbling whistle calls the heart out from the body,

And the bodhran, like every drum, is a heart-beat,

an echo in a hall too vast for sight,

trembling on the edge of terror.

                               ***

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