Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
After Aughrim
By Emily Lawless (1845–1913)
 
SHE said, “They gave me of their best,
They lived, they gave their lives for me;
I tossed them to the howling waste,
And flung them to the foaming sea.”
 
She said, “I never gave them aught,        5
Not mine the power, if mine the will;
I let them starve, I let them bleed,—
They bled and starved, and loved me still.”
 
She said, “Ten times they fought for me,
Ten times they strove with might and main,        10
Ten times I saw them beaten down,
Ten times they rose, and fought again.”
 
She said, “I stayed alone at home,
A dreary woman, grey and cold;
I never asked them how they fared,        15
Yet still they loved me as of old.”
 
She said, “I never called them sons,
I almost ceased to breathe their name,
Then caught it echoing down the wind,
Blown backwards from the lips of Fame.”        20
 
She said, “Not mine, not mine that fame;
Far over sea, far over land,
Cast forth like rubbish from my shores,
They won it yonder, sword in hand.”
 
She said, “God knows they owe me nought,        25
I tossed them to the foaming sea,
I tossed them to the howling waste,
Yet still their love comes home to me.”
 
 
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