Imágenes de página

They knew whom they were talking at, if they were Irish too, The gentlemen that lied in Court, they knew, and well they knew!

They only took the Judas-gold from Fenians out of jail, They only fawned for dollars on the blood-dyed Clan-naGael.

If black is black or white is white, in black and white it's down,

They're only traitors to the Queen and rebels to the Crown.

"Cleared," honourable gentlemen! Be thankful it's no


The widow's curse is on your house, the dead are at your door.

On you the shame of open shame; on you from North to South The hand of every honest man flat-heeled across your mouth.

"Less black than we were painted"?-Faith, no word of black was said;

The lightest touch was human blood, and that, you know, runs red.

It's sticking to your fist to-day for all your sneer and scoff, And by the Judge's well-weighed word you cannot wipe it off.

Hold up those hands of innocence-go, scare your sheep together,

The blundering, tripping tups that bleat behind the old bellwether;

And if they snuff the taint and break to find another pen, Tell them it's tar that glistens so, and daub them yours again!

"The charge is old"?—As old as Cain-as fresh as yesterday; Old as the Ten Commandments-have ye talked those laws away?

If words are words, or death is death, or powder sends the ball,

You spoke the words that sped the shot-the curse be on you all.

"Our friends believe"? Of course they do-as sheltered

women may;

But have they seen the shrieking soul ripped from the quivering clay?

They! If their own front door is shut, they'll swear the whole world's warm;

What do they know of dread of death or hanging fear of harm?

The secret half a county keeps, the whisper in the lane,
The shriek that tells the shot went home behind the broken


The dry blood crisping in the sun that scares the honest bees, And shows the boys have heard your talk-what do they know of these?

But you you know-ay, ten times more; the secrets of the dead,

Black terror on the country-side by word and whisper bred, The mangled stallion's scream at night, the tail-cropped heifer's low.

Who set the whisper going first? You know, and well you know!

My soul! I'd sooner lie in jail for murder plain and straight, Pure crime I'd done with my own hand for money, lust, or hate

Than take a seat in Parliament by fellow-felons cheered, While one of those "not provens" proved me cleared as you are cleared.

Cleared-you that "lost" the League accounts-go, guard our honour still,

Go, help to make our country's laws that broke God's law at will

One hand stuck out behind the back, to signal "strike again"; The other on your dress-shirt-front to show your heart is clane.

If black is black or white is white, in black and white it's down,

You're only traitors to the Queen and rebels to the Crown. If print is print or words are words, the learned Court perpends:

We are not ruled by murderers, but only-by their friends.




(It is not for them to criticize too minutely the methods the Irish followed, though they might deplore some of their results. During the past few years Ireland had been going through what was tantamount to a revolution.EARL SPENCER)


ED EARL, and will ye take for guide
The silly camel-birds,

That ye bury your head in an Irish thorn,
On a desert of drifting words?

Ye have followed a man for a God, Red Earl,
As the Lord o' Wrong and Right;
But the day is done with the setting sun-
Will ye follow into the night?

He gave you your own old words, Red Earl,
For food on the wastrel way;

Will ye rise and eat in the night, Red Earl,
That fed so full in the day?

Ye have followed fast, ye have followed far,
And where did the wandering lead?
From the day that ye praised the spoken word
To the day ye must gloss the deed.

And as ye have given your hand for gain,
So must ye give in loss;

And as ye
ha' come to the brink of the pit,
So must ye loup across.

For some be rogues in grain, Red Earl,
And some be rogues in fact,

And rogues direct and rogues elect;
But all be rogues in pact.

Ye have cast your lot with these, Red Earl;
Take heed to where ye stand.

Ye have tied a knot with your tongue, Red Earl, cannot loose with your hand.

That ye

Ye have travelled fast, ye have travelled far,
In the grip of a tightening tether,
Till ye find at the end ye must take for friend
The quick and their dead together.

Ye have played with the Law between your lips,
And mouthed it daintilee;

But the gist o' the speech is ill to teach,
For ye say: "Let wrong go free."

Red Earl, ye wear the Garter fair,
And gat your place from a King:
Do ye make Rebellion of no account,
And Treason a little thing?

And have ye weighed your words, Red Earl,
That stand and speak so high?
And is it good that the guilt o' blood,
Be cleared at the cost of a sigh?

And is it well for the sake of peace,
Our tattered Honour to sell,

And higgle anew with a tainted crew—
Red Earl, and is it well?

Ye have followed fast, ye have followed far,
On a dark and doubtful way,

And the road is hard, is hard, Red Earl,
And the price is yet to pay.

Ye shall pay that price as ye reap reward

For the toil of your tongue and pen

In the praise of the blamed and the thanks of the shamed, And the honour o' knavish men.

« AnteriorContinuar »