1916 – Then and Now.

This is my poem for 1916. I normally do not write about politics or religion as they are emotive and divisive issues. But as it was the centenary of the Irish Rebellion , an important stage of our history

1916 – Then and Now.


The fools, the fools, a poet cried

So many maimed, so many have died

They struck a blow for freedom and revenge for 98

And set in motion a bloody war, to stop it was too late

They pulled the British bulldog by the tail

An act and deed surely destined  to fail

Were they frightened or were they pleased

When the dogs of war were released

Were they just dreamers, fanatics to the cause

Did they ever stop to think and pause

The consequences of their action

Did they expect so terrible a reaction

Or did they know what fate had in store

In the heat of battle and gunfires roar

The mighty guns of death and thunder

But the British made their biggest blunder

In their eagerness to punish and to blame

They lit the tinder, from a spark to a flame

With swift retaliation,executions and internment

Fuelled the fires of deep resentment

Igniting the rage and hearts of passion

That had long seemed lost, buried and forgotten

Burning deep in the hearts of men

And what of the children and their brave women

The orphans and the widowed cries

Of mother’s tears and heartbroken sighs

The sacrifices and hearts so broken

Brave words at the graveside spoken

The Sword of Light briefly  burned bright

For freedom, equality and our right

To our own nation and self determination

But the dream soon faded and turned sour

As we gave away our hopes and our power

Politicians and bankers, our masters we did exchange

For a handful of promises and a pocketful of change

We gave away our freedom and sold our nation’s soul

To the corporate giants we have given control

Into the cold hands of the greedy money men  

Betrayed our language, now almost forgotten

So what of the men and women of 1916

Their like again will never be seen

Their lives they were resigned to sacrifice and to give

They were prepared to die for Ireland, – But are you prepared to Live.


c.Denis Murphy  13 June 2016

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