Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
After Death
By Fanny Parnell (1848–1882)
 
SHALL mine eyes behold thy glory, O my country? Shall mine eyes behold thy glory?
Or shall the darkness close around them, ere the sun-blaze break at last upon thy story?
 
When the nations ope for thee their queenly circle, as a new sweet sister hail thee,
Shall these lips be seal’d in callous death and silence, that have known but to bewail thee?
 
Shall the ear be deaf that only loved thy praises, when all men their tribute bring thee?        5
Shall the mouth be clay that sang thee in thy squalor, when all poets’ mouths shall sing thee?
 
Ah! the harpings and the salvoes and the shouting of thy exiled sons returning!
I should hear tho’ dead and moulder’d, and the grave-damps should not chill my bosom’s burning.
 
Ah! the tramp of feet victorious! I should hear them ’mid the shamrocks and the mosses,
And my heart would toss within the shroud and quiver as a captive dreamer tosses.        10
 
I should turn and rend the cere-clothes round me, giant sinews I should borrow—
Crying, ‘O my brothers, I have also loved her in her loneliness and sorrow!
 
‘Let me join with you the jubilant procession; let me chant with you her story;
Then contented I shall go back to the shamrocks, now mine eyes have seen her glory!’
 
 
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