Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
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Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
 
136. The Memory of the Dead
 
By John Kelly Ingram
 
 
WHO fears to speak of Ninety-Eight?
Who blushes at the name?
When cowards mock the patriot’s fate,
Who hangs his head for shame?
He’s all a knave, or half a slave,        5
Who slights his country thus;
But a true man, like, you, man,
Will fill your glass with us.
 
We drink the memory of the brave,
The faithful and the few:        10
Some lie far off beyond the wave,
Some sleep in Ireland, too;
All, all are gone; but still lives on
The fame of those who died;
All true men, like you, men,        15
Remember them with pride.
 
Some on the shores of distant lands
Their weary hearts have laid,
And by the stranger’s heedless hands
Their lonely graves were made;        20
But, though their clay be far away
Beyond the Atlantic foam,
In true men, like you, men,
Their spirit’s still at home.
 
The dust of some is Irish earth,        25
Among their own they rest,
And the same land that gave them birth
Has caught them to her breast;
And we will pray that from their clay
Full many a race may start        30
Of true men, like you, men,
To act as brave a part.
 
They rose in dark and evil days
To right their native land;
They kindled here a living blaze        35
That nothing shall withstand.
Alas! that Might can vanquish Right—
They fell and passed away;
But true men, like you, men,
Are plenty here to-day.        40
 
  Then here’s to their memory—may it be
For us a guiding light,
To hear our strife for liberty,
And teach us to unite—
Through good and ill, be Ireland’s still,        45
Though sad as theirs your fate,
And true men, be you, men,
Like those of Ninety-Eight.
 

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