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A Terrible Beauty: Poetry of 1916 by Mairead Ashe FitzGerald

By Mairead Ashe FitzGerald

Ireland's Easter 1916 emerging was once led via a mixture of infantrymen and alternate unions but additionally visionaries and writers. This number of poems includes the goals and visions of freedom and nationhood for eire by means of those artists, targeting ahead of, in the course of, and after the 1916 emerging. Poets comprise: Padraic Pearse, W.B. Yeats, Joseph Mary Plunkett, James Stephens, Eva Gore-Booth, George Russell, Padraic Colum, Sean O'Casey, Dora Sigerson Shorter, Thomas Ashe, Katharine Tynan, and plenty of extra.

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And he went with them again, and they conquered again. Till the same bare season closed his unquiet heart To all but sorrow of life—This is in vain! Of yore Lo, Egypt was, and all things do depart, This is in vain! And he fought no more. He conned the poems that poets had made in other days, And he loved the past that he could pity and praise. And he fought no more, living in solitude, Till they came and called him back to the multitude, Saying—Our olden speech and our old manners die. He went again, and they raised his banner on high: Came Victory, eagle-formed, with wings wide flung, As with them a while he fought, with never a weary thought, and with never a sigh, That their children might have again their manners and ancient tongue.

But still he answered them—You strive against fate in vain. They said—Our race is old. We would not have it pass. 46 Ere Rome began we are, a gentle people of old, Unsavage when all were wild. And he—How Egypt was old in the days that were old, Yet is passed, and we pass. They said—We shall have striven, unreconciled. And he went with them again, and they conquered again. Till the same bare season closed his unquiet heart To all but sorrow of life—This is in vain! Of yore Lo, Egypt was, and all things do depart, This is in vain!

His ideas and his personality helped to shape and stimulate the cultural life of Ireland in the decades around the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Born a Presbyterian in Lurgan, County Armagh, he grew up in Dublin and from his youth he was committed to independence for Ireland. It was while attending the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art that he met WB Yeats, who became a lifelong friend. In order to earn a living, Æ spent a decade working as a cashier in Pim’s, a department store in South Great George’s Street, but he was better known as a large-minded and gentle intellectual at the centre of the Irish literary revival in Dublin.

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