"Easter, 1917." by Norah M. Holland (1876-1925)
I.M. Thomas MacDonagh
HE died for thee, O mournful Mother Erin!
A year ago he turned his face away
From the glad Spring, in her young green appearing;
He lingered not to listen to the lay
Of thrush or blackbird; turned him not aside
To watch the glory of the daffodils
That shone and fluttered on a hundred hills,
But where the mists had gathered, chill and grey,
He chose his path–and died.
And now another Spring makes green the meadows,
The daffodils are golden once again,
The little winds are dancing with the shadows
The young leaves make; once more the world is fain
Of life and laughter–but he shall not see
The leaf-strewn hollows where the violets grow,
Or watch the hawthorn buds foam into snow,
No more shall feel the warm, soft, springtime rain?
For he has died for thee.
And yet this year, 'mid all the Spring's rejoicing,
There sounds at times, I think, a sadder note;
This Spring no longer is the blackbird voicing
Such jubilation from his golden throat;
The winds, grown older, dance with feet of lead,
The daffodils are nodding listlessly,
The violet has no perfume for the bee,
The grasshopper has donned his dullest coat,
Remembering he is dead.
Yet once again, O thrush, break into singing;
Laugh, daffodils, to feel the falling rain;
Winter is past, and the young earth is springing
Joyous to greet her risen Lord again:
And he who loved you–deem not that he lies
Unheeding of your grief beneath his mound,
No more the sleep of Death enwraps him round:
Rejoice, O Erin, Death to-day is slain,
But Valour never dies.