An Irish Poem – Who dares to say

Here is an Irish Poem I discovered quite a long time ago that always touched my heart and soul, and although it certainly doesn’t reflect my mindset today, it still resonates deep within when I read it and shows the fuel that kept the IRA fighting for decades. It was probably written in the 1920’s, following the Easter Rising (1916) and the O’Connel street events (1922 – Cathal Brugha died which started the Irish War of Independence). There isn’t much information on it and it is quite a rare piece.

Note that although I clearly love Ireland, I’m not Irish, and I’m against violence, not praising war at all or what the IRA did, just watching history and facts and just following the heart.

Who dares to say forget the past, to men of Irish birth?
Who dares to say cease fighting, for our place upon this earth?

Let remembrance be our watchword, and our dead we’ll never fail.
Let their graves be to us as milestones, on that blood-soaked one-way trail.

Remember how Owain Rowe fought, Port Lester mill beside.
No man can say a coward fell when Hugh O’Donnell died.

Remember Ruth and Sarsfield and forget, whoever will,
That glorious stand at Limerick, at Kilnacaden hill.

How Emmett’s gallant handful, in historic Dublin Town,
Came out to give their challenge to the forces of the crown.

And then for a time, ’twas silence. Was Ireland’s struggle done?
The answer’s in the negative, thundered many a Fenian gun.

And then when England thought she’d won, that we at last were meek,
Roared forth a glorious challenge of the men of Easter Week!

Remember how our solders fought the scum of many lands,
Fought the scum of British prisons – and Britain’s “Black and Tans”.

And then by men we trusted, this land of ours was sold.
They sold our friends to enemies, as Judas did of old.

Remember how in Kerry they butchered our lads like swine!
God! Think of Ballyseedy, where they tied them to a mine.

How Rory and Liam and Dick and Joe, to glut the Imperial beast,
Were murdered, while in prison, on our Blessed Lady’s feast.

How, with overworked revolver as he dashed from that hotel,
Rode a rebel’s last defiance as Cathal Brugha fell.

Hear we not the voice of Connelly, the worker-soldier friend?
Our conquered soul asserts itself, and WE SHALL RISE AGAIN!

For Freedom, yes and not to starve, and not for rocks and clay,
But for the lives of Ireland’s working class, we fight and die today.

And what, says Cathal Brugha, if the last man is on the ground,
If he is lying, week and helpless, and his enemies ring him round?

If he’s fired his final bullet, if he’s fired his final shot,
And they say, Come into the Empire, he should answer, I WILL NOT!

Then back, back to that one-way trail.
Ní Síocháin go Saoirse (No Peace Until Freedom) is the war cry of the Gael!

While our country stands beside us with the blood of martyrs set,
Wayside crosses to remind us, WHO DARES TO SAY FORGET?

While Emmett’s tomb is uninscribed, until we our rights assert,
Until our country takes her place among the nations of the earth.


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