I’m not sure what’s bringing on this poetry jag – second post in a row. This one caught my eye on social media today. The writer DS Shorter (1866 – 1918) was a part of the so-called Irish literary revival which reflected a new and scholarly look at the country’s ancient traditions.

image from bloodontherainbow.com

image from bloodontherainbow.com

The Kathleen of the poem is the mythical Kathleen Ni Houlihan, the Spirit of Ireland.

They lit a fire within their Land
That long was ashes cold
With splendid dreams they made it glow
Threw in their hearts of Gold
They saw Thy slowly paling cheek
And knew Thy failing breath
They bade Thee live once more Kathleen
That were so nigh to death

And who dare quench the Sacred Fire?
And who dare give them blame?
Since he who draws too near the glow
Shall break into a flame
They lit a beacon in their land
Built of the souls of men
To make Thee warm once more Kathleen
To bid Thee live again

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