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Duath
The Battle Of Stamford Bridge

``Haste thee, Harold, haste thee North!
Norway ships in Humber crowd.
Tall Hardrada, Sigurd' son,
For thy ruin this hath done--
England for his own hath vowed.

``The earls have fought, the earls are fled.
From Tyne to Ouse the homesteads flame.
York behind her battered wall
Waits the instant of her fall
And the shame of England's name.

``Traitor Tosti's banner streams
With the invading Raven's wing;
Black the land and red the skies
Where Northumbria bleeds and cries
For thy vengeance, England's king!''

Since that frighted summons flew
Not twelve suns have sprung and set.
Northward marching night and day
Has King Harold kept his way.
The hour is come; the hosts are met.

Morn thro' thin September mist
Flames on moving helm and man.
On either side of Derwent's banks
Are the Northmen's shielded ranks.
But silent stays the English van.

A rider to Earl Tosti comes:
``Turn thee, Tosti, to thy kin!
Harold thy brother brings thee sign
All Northumbria shall be thine.
Make thy peace, ere the fray begin.''

``And if I turn me to my kin,
And if I stay the Northmen's hand,
What will Harold give to his friend this day?
To Norway's king what price will he pay
Out of this English land?''

That rider laughed a mighty laugh.
``Six full feet of English soil!
Or, since he is taller than the most,
Seven feet shall he have to boast.
This Harold gives for Norway's spoil.''

``What rider was he that spoke thee fair?''
Harold Hardrada to Tosti cried.
``It was Harold of England spoke me fair
But now of his bane let him beware.
Set on, set on! We will wreck his pride.''

Sudden arrows flashed and flew;
Dark lines of English leapt and rushed
With sound of storm that stung like hail,
And steel rang sharp on supple mail
With thrust that pierced, with blow that crushed.

And sullenly back in a fierce amaze
The Northmen gave to the river--side.
The main of their host on the further shore
Could help them nothing, pressed so sore.
In the ooze they fought; in the wave they died.

On a narrow bridge alone one man
The English mass and fury stays.
The spears press close, the timber cracks,
But high he swings his dreadful axe;
With every stroke a life he slays;

Till pierced at last from the stream below
He falls; the Northmen break and shout.
Forward they hurl in wild onset.
But as struggling fish in a mighty net
The English hem them round about.

Now Norway's King grew battle--mad,
Mad with joy of his strength he smote.
But as he hewed his battle--path
And heaped the dead men for a swath,
An arrow clove him through the throat,

And where he slaughtered, red he fell.
O then was Norway's hope undone,
Doomed men were they that fought in vain,
Hardrada slain, and Tosti slain!
The field was lost, the field was won.

York this night rings all her bells.
Harold feasts within her halls.
The captains lift their wine--cups.--Hark!
What hoofs come thudding through the dark
And sudden stop? What silence falls?

Spent with riding staggers in
One who cries: ``Fell news I bring,
Duke William has o'erpast the sea.
His host is camped at Pevensey.
Save us, save England now, O King!''

Woe to Harold! Twice 'tis not
His to conquer and to save.
Well he knows the lot is cast.
England claims him to the last.
South he marches to his grave.

by Robert Laurence Binyon

Battle of Stamford Bridge, September 25, 1066
24th-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Jessie Pope, 'A Humble Appeal'
Duath
A Humble Appeal
(The Blue Cross League, 58 Victoria Street, London, S.W., is in need of funds.)

She was a pretty, nicely mannered mare,
The children's pet, the master's pride and care,
Until a man in khaki came one day,
Looked at her teeth, and hurried her away.

With other horses packed into a train
She hungered for her master's voice in vain;
And later, led 'twixt planks that scare and slip,
They slung her, terrified, on board a ship.

Next came, where thumps and throbbing filled the air,
Her first experience of mal de mare;
And when that oscillating trip was done
They hitched her up in traces to a gun.

She worked and pulled and sweated with the best;
A stranger now her glossy coat caressed
Till flashing thunderstorms came bursting round
And spitting leaden hail bestrewed the ground.

With quivering limbs, and silky ears laid back,
She feels a shock succeed a sharper crack,
And, whinnying her pitiful surprise,
Staggers and falls, and tries in vain to rise.

Alone, forsaken, on a foreign field
What moral does this little record yield?
Who tends the wounded horses in the war?
Well that is what the Blue Cross League is for.

By Jessie Pope

The Blue Cross opens WWI horse archive
24th-Sep-2016 12:00 am - T.A. Girling, 'Dumb Heroes'
Duath
Dumb Heroes
Written near Ypres, 1916)

There's a D.S.O. for the Colonel,
A Military Cross for the Sub,
A Medal or two when we all get through,
And a bottle of wine with our grub.

There's a stripe of gold for the wounded,
A rest by the bright sea- shore,
And a service is read when we bury our dead,
Then our country has one hero more.

But what of our poor dumb heroes,
That are sent without choice to the fight,
That strain at the load on the shell-swept road
As they take up the rations at night ?

They are shelling on Hell Fire corner,
Their shrapnel fast burst o'er the square,
And the bullets drum as the transports come
With the food for the soldiers there.

The halt till the shelling is over,
The rush through the line of fire,
The glaring light in the dead of night,
And the terrible sights in the rear :

It's the daily work of the horses,
And they answer the spur and rein,
With quickened breath 'mid the toll of death
In the mud and the holes and the rain.

There's a fresh-healed wound on the chestnut,
The black mare's neck has a mark,
The brown mules now mute, most keep the same gait,
As the one killed last night in the dark.

But they walk with the spirit of heroes.
They dare not for medals or cross,
But for duty alone, into perils unknown
They go, never counting their loss.

There's a swift, painless death for the hopeless,
With a grave in a shell-hole or field,
There's a hospital base for the casualty case,
And a vet. for those easily healed :

But there's never a shadow of glory,
A cheer or a speech in their praise,
As patient and true they carry us through
With the limbers on shot-riven ways.

So here's to dumb heroes of Britain
Who serve her as nobly and true
As the best of her sons, 'mid the roar of the guns,
And the best of her boys on the blue.

They are shell-shocked, they're bruised, and they're broken,
They are wounded and torn as they fall,
But they're true and they're brave to the very grave,
And they're heroes one and all.

by T.A. Girling
23rd-Sep-2016 02:00 am - Bryan Adams, 'Sound The Bugle'
Duath
Sound The Bugle

Sound the bugle now - play it just for me
As the seasons change - remember how I used to be
Now I can't go on - I can't even start
I've got nothing left - just an empty heart

I'm a soldier - wounded so I must give up the fight
There's nothing more for me - lead me away...
Or leave me lying here

Sound the bugle now - tell them I don't care
There's not a road I know - that leads to anywhere
Without a light I fear that I will stumble in the dark
Lay right down - decide not to go on

Then from on high - somewhere in the distance
There's a voice that calls, "Remember who you are"
If you lose yourself - your courage soon will follow

So be strong tonight - remember who you are
Yeah you're a soldier now - fighting in a battle
To be free once more - yeah, that's worth fighting for

By Bryan Adams

23rd-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Edmund Blunden, 'Premature Rejoicing'
Duath
Premature Rejoicing

What's that over there?
Thiepval Wood.

Take a steady look at it; it'll do you good.
Here, these glasses will help you. See any flowers?
There sleeps Titania (correct - the Wood is ours);
There sleeps Titania in a deep dugout,
Waking, she wonders what all the din's about,
And smiles through her tears, and looks ahead ten years,
And sees the Wood again, and her usual Grenadiers,

All in green,
Music in the moon;

The burnt rubbish you've just seen
Won't beat the Fairy Queen;

All the same, it's a shade too soon
For you to scribble rhymes
In your army book
About those times;
Take another look;

That's where the difficulty is, over there.

By Edmund Blunden

Battle of Thiepval Ridge, September 23-30, 1916
22nd-Sep-2016 07:31 am - Edward Tennant, "A Bas La Gloire!"
Duath
“A Bas La Gloire!”
(October 1915)


The powers that be in solemn conclave sate
And dealt out honour from a large tureen,
And those unhonour’d said ’twas rather flat,
Not half so sparkling as it should have been.
Those honour’d silently pass’d round the hat,
Then let themselves be freely heard and seen.

And all this time there were a lot of men
Who were in France and couldn’t get away
To be awarded honours. Now and then
They died, so others came and had to stay
Till they died too, and every field and fen
Was heavy with the dead from day to day.

But there were other men who didn’t die
Although they were in France – these sat in cars,
And whizzed about with red-band caps, awry,
Exuding brandy and the best cigars.
With bands and tabs of red, they could defy
The many missiles of explosive Mars.

But one there was who used to serve in bars
And for his pretty wit much fame had got:
Though really not so fit to serve in wars,
They made him a staff-colonel on the spot,
And threw a knighthood in as well, because
He really had done such an awful lot.

Up fluttered eyebrows (incomes fluttered down)
His erstwhile yeomanry stood all aghast,
This Juggernaut, devourer of renown,
Was he their fellow-mug in days long past?
In France he went by train from town to town,
Men thought his zenith had been reached at last.

To this the Powers That Be replied, “Oh no!”
And they discovered (else my mem’ry fails)
That he had gone by train some months ago
From Paris with dispatches to Marseilles!
“See here,” they cried, “a well-earned D.S.O.
Because you did not drop them ‘neath the rails.”

So now from spur to plume he is a star,
Of all an Englishman should strive to be,
His one-time patrons hail him from afar
As “Peerless warrior,” “battle-scarred K.G.”
And murmur as he passes in his car,
“For this and thy mercies, glory be!”

But all this time the war goes on the same,
And good men go, we lose our friends and kith,
The men who sink knee-deep in boosted fame
Prove that “rewarded courage” is a myth:
I could sum up by mentioning a name:
A pseudonym will do, we’ll call him Smith.

By Edward Wyndham Tennant

Edward Wyndham Tennant was killed September 22, 1916
Duath

The Saint Patrick's Battalion

My name is John Riley
I'll have your ear only a while
I left my dear home in Ireland
It was death, starvation or exile
And when I got to America
It was my duty to go
Enter the Army and slog across Texas
To join in the war against Mexico

It was there in the pueblos and hillsides
That I saw the mistake I had made
Part of a conquering army
With the morals of a bayonet blade
So in the midst of these poor, dying Catholics
Screaming children, the burning stench of it all
Myself and two hundred Irishmen
Decided to rise to the call

From Dublin City to San Diego
We witnessed freedom denied
So we formed the Saint Patrick Battalion
And we fought on the Mexican side


We marched 'neath the green flag of Saint Patrick
Emblazoned with "Erin Go Bragh"
Bright with the harp and the shamrock
And "Libertad para Mexicana"
Just fifty years after Wolftone
Five thousand miles away
The Yanks called us a Legion of Strangers
And they can talk as they may

We fought them in Matamoros
While their volunteers were raping the nuns
In Monterey and Cerro Gordo
We fought on as Ireland's sons
We were the red-headed fighters for freedom
Amidst these brown-skinned women and men
Side by side we fought against tyranny
And I daresay we'd do it again

We fought them in five major battles
Churobusco was the last
Overwhelmed by the cannons from Boston
We fell after each mortar blast
Most of us died on that hillside
In the service of the Mexican state
So far from our occupied homeland
We were heroes and victims of fate

From Dublin City to San Diego
We witnessed freedom denied
So we formed the Saint Patrick Battalion
And we fought on the Mexican side


by David Rovics

The Saint Patrick’s Battalion, Mexican-American War, 1846

Battle of Monterrey, September 21, 1846

21st-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Street Dogs, 'San Patricos'
Duath
San Patricos

Two hundred Irish go into Mexico
To fight a battle of manifest destiny
Driven by their Catholic conscience
They chose to rise and do what's right
Joined up with the natives for the fight

Confused then torn by aggression
Born against a sovereign land
El Battalion, El Battalion de San Patricios
El Battalion, El Battalion de San Patricios

Sick and tired of the Anglo abuse of might
And of following orders from a bent U.S. regime
They joined ranks with the Mexican army
Red headed ones led by Johny Riley
When you stand behind your principles
You never lose

Confused then torn by aggression
Born against a sovereign land
El Battalion, El Battalion de San Patricios
El Battalion, El Battalion de San Patricios

Fight with Riley fierce and wild

Mirar aqui Rudy

Churubusco de el 72
No queridos en la corte marcial
50 colgados, 16 madriados
Portrados como trydores
Grito para ellos, grito para todos
Parados nunca calleron

So we celebrate Irish and Mexican unity
It was forged with blood during manifest destiny

Confused then torn by aggression
Born against a sovereign land
El Battalion, El Battalion de San Patricios
El Battalion, El Battalion de San Patricios

Led by Riley fierce and wild
They paid highest price

El Battalion, El Battalion de San Patricios
El Battalion, El Battalion de San Patricios

By 'Street Dogs'

20th-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Edward Godfree, 'Field Manoeuvres'
Duath
Field Manoeuvres

The long autumn grass under my body
Soaks my clothes with its dew;
Where my knees press into the ground
I can feel the damp earth.

In my nostrils is the smell of the crushed grass,
Wet pine-cones and bark.

Through the great bronze pine trunks
Glitters a silver segment of road.
Interminable squadrons of silver and blue horses
Pace in long ranks the blank fields of heaven.

There is no sound;
The wind hisses gently through the pine needles;
The flutter of a finch's wings about my head
Is like distant thunder,
And the shrill cry of a mosquito
Sounds loud and close.

I am 'to fire at the enemy column
After it has passed' -
But my obsolete rifle, loaded with 'blank',
Lies untouched before me,
My spirit follows after the gliding clouds,
And my lips murmur of the mother of beauty
Standing breast-high, in golden broom
Among the blue pine-woods!

By Edward Godfree
20th-Sep-2016 12:00 am - Linda Pastan, 'September'
Duath
September

it rained in my sleep
and in the morning the fields were wet
I dreamed of artillery
of the thunder of horses
in the morning the fields were strewn
with twigs and leaves
as if after a battle
or a sudden journey
I went to sleep in the summer
I dreamed of rain
in the morning the fields were wet
and it was autumn

by Linda Pastan
Duath
Take Me Back To Dear Old Blighty

Jack Dunn, son of a gun, over in France today,
Keeps fit doing his bit up to his eyes in clay.
Each night after a fight to pass the time along,
He's got a little gramophone that plays this song:

Take me back to dear old Blighty!
Put me on the train for London town!
Take me over there,
Drop me anywhere,
Liverpool, Leeds, or Birmingham, well, I don't care!
I should love to see my best girl,
Cuddling up again we soon should be,
WHOA!!!
Tiddley iddley ighty,
Hurry me home to Blighty,
Blighty is the place for me!


Bill Spry, started to fly, up in an aeroplane,
In France, taking a chance, wish'd he was down again.
Poor Bill, feeling so ill, yell'd out to Pilot Brown:
"Steady a bit, yer fool! we're turning upside down!"

Take me back to dear old Blighty!
Put me on the train for London town!
Take me over there,
Drop me anywhere,
Liverpool, Leeds, or Birmingham, well, I don't care!
I should love to see my best girl,
Cuddling up again we soon should be,
WHOA!!!
Tiddley iddley ighty,
Hurry me home to Blighty,
Blighty is the place for me!


Jack Lee, having his tea, says to his pal MacFayne,
"Look, chum, apple and plum! it's apple and plum again!
Same stuff, isn't it rough? fed up with it I am!
Oh! for a pot of Aunt Eliza's raspb'ry jam!"

Take me back to dear old Blighty!
Put me on the train for London town!
Take me over there,
Drop me anywhere,
Liverpool, Leeds, or Birmingham, well, I don't care!
I should love to see my best girl,
Cuddling up again we soon should be,
WHOA!!!
Tiddley iddley ighty,
Hurry me home to Blighty,
Blighty is the place for me!


One day Mickey O'Shea stood in a trench somewhere,
So brave, having a shave, and trying to part his hair.
Mick yells, dodging the shells and lumps of dynamite:
"Talk of the Crystal Palace on a Firework night!"

Take me back to dear old Blighty!
Put me on the train for London town!
Take me over there,
Drop me anywhere,
Liverpool, Leeds, or Birmingham, well, I don't care!
I should love to see my best girl,
Cuddling up again we soon should be,
WHOA!!!
Tiddley iddley ighty,
Hurry me home to Blighty,
Blighty is the place for me!


By A.J. Mills, F. Godfrey and B. Scott
(1916)

19th-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Garth Brooks, 'Ireland'
Duath
Ireland

They say mother earth is breathing
With each wave that finds the shore
Her soul rises in the evening
For to open twilights door
Her eyes are the stars in heaven
Watching o'er us all the while
And her heart it is in Ireland
Deep within the Emerald Isle

We are forty against hundreds
In someone else's bloody war
We know not why were fighting
Or what we're dying for
They will storm us in the morning
When the sunlight turns to sky
Death is waiting for its dance now
Fate has sentenced us to die

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone
I am reaching out won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland


Oh the captain he lay bleeding
I can hear him calling me
These men are yours now for the leading
Show them to their destiny
As I look up all around me
I see the ragged tired and torn
I tell them to make ready
'Cause we're not waiting for the morn

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone
I am reaching out won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland
I

Now the fog is deep and heavy
As we forge the dark and fear
We can hear their horses breathing
As in silence we draw near
There are no words to be spoken
Just a look to say good-bye
I draw a breath and night is broken
As I scream our battle cry

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone
I am reaching out won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland


We were forty against hundreds

By Garth Brooks

19th-Sep-2016 12:00 am - Unknown, 'Paddy Lie Back'
Duath
Paddy Lay Back

T'was a cold and frosty morning in September
And all of me money it was spent,,
Where it went to oh Lord I can't remember
So down to the shipping office went

Oh Paddy lie back, oh Paddy lie back,
Take in your slack, take in your slack
Take your turn put on your hats and jump for board,,
About ship's for England boys be handy
For we're bound for Valparaiso in the morn


Last night there was a great demand for sailors
For the colonies for Frisco and for France
So I slipped aboard a lively barque, the Hotspur
And was paralytic drunk before before we went

There were Frenchmen, there were Germans, there were Russians
There were jolly jacks came just across from France
And not one of them could speak a word of English
But they'd answer to the name of Bill or Dan

I woke up in the morning sick and sore
I wished I'd never sailed to sea once more
When a voice it came thundering through the floor
Get up and pay attention to your name

Well I wished that I was safely in the boozer
With Molly or with Peggy on me knee
And I know exactly what I'd like to do now
And if you were here you'd do the same as me

Oh Paddy lie back, oh Paddy lie back,
Take in your slack, take in your slack
Take your turn. put on your hats and jump for board,
About ship's for England boys be handy
For we're bound for Valparaiso in the morn


Author unknown

Duath
A Song of the Irish Armies

A wind blew out of the Prussian plain;
It scourged Liège, and it broke Louvain,
And Belgium shook with the tramp of Cain,
That a Kaiser might be mad.
"Iron is God!"—and they served him well—
"Honour a mark for shot and shell."
So they loosed the devils out of Hell
From Birr to Allahabad.

The Old Soldiers sing:

But we took them from Mons to the banks of the Marne,
And helped them back on their red return;
We can swim the Rhine if the bridges burn,
And Mike O'Leary's the lad!
Not for this did our fathers fall:
That truth, and pity, and love, and all
Should break in the dust at a trumpet's call,
Yea! all things clean and old.
Not to this had we sacrificed:
To sit at last where the slayers diced,
With blood-hot hands, for the robes of Christ,
And snatch at the Devil's gold.

The New Soldiers sing:

To Odin's challenge we cried Amen!
We stayed the plough, and laid by the pen,
And we shouldered our guns like gentlemen,
That the wiser weak should hold.

Blood on the land, and blood on the sea!
So it stands as ordained to be,
Stamp, and signet, and guarantee
Of the better ways we knew.

Time for the plough when the sword has won;
The loom will wait on the crashing gun,
And the hands of peace drop benison
When the task of death is through.

Old and New Soldiers sing:

Then lift the flag of the Last Crusade!
And fill the ranks of the Last Brigade!
March on to the fields where the world's re-made,
And the Ancient Dreams come true!

By T. M. Kettle

Emer Fox, 'Those Who Fought And Never Made It Home'
17th-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Curtis D Bennett, 'Black and White'
Duath
Black and White

Prior to Vietnam, Wars were in black and white footage,
The Civil War was recorded in black and white photos
The 1st World War, in grainy, jerky movies of armies,
The 2nd World War introduced some color in the footage,
And even included photos of the dead bodies
Washing ashore after an invasion from the sea,
All of this before television became the media of choice,
Bring America the Vietnam War in living color.
Complete with all the blood and gore of war;
Accompanied by the sound track of dying, frightened boys,
Waiting for that helicopter, which never came.

Prior to Vietnam, the Government censored wars,
For good reason, for wars were brutal, bloody, and vile,
And dead Americans cannot be sanitized nor sainted,
Their are no words to justify the destruction and death
Of the young boys whose bodies are so desecrated,
Torn up and broken into bloody pieces of human meat,
Ground up and callously spit out in the madness of war.

Night after night after night on the network news,
Just in time for dinner, came the reports from Vietnam,
From frightened correspondents in the jungle battlefield,
Surrounded by the American limp, lifeless bodies,
Being loaded into helicopters like sacks of garbage,
Stacked on each other so as to conserve space and room,
There are no dignified deaths in war...
There is no way to eliminate the blood and death,
No say to deny the killing and bloodshed,
No way to justify...the horrendous human cost.

Yet, there is something that seems to fascinate us,
Draws viewers to the screen night after night to the news,
In the comfort and safety of their own homes, they watch
The efforts of America to wage war across the sea,
In a faraway land; for a vague, ignoble, forgotten cause,
A war, which over the years, has finally lost its reality,
And now, rings hollow...like a broken bell.

By Curtis D Bennett
16th-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Robert Service, 'Funk'
Duath
Funk

When your marrer bone seems 'oller,
And you're glad you ain't no taller,
And you're all a-shakin' like you 'ad the chills;
When your skin creeps like a pullet's,
And you're duckin' all the bullets,
And you're green as gorgonzola round the gills;
When your legs seem made of jelly,
And you're squeamish in the belly,
And you want to turn about and do a bunk:
For Gawd's sake, kid, don't show it!
Don't let your mateys know it --
You're just sufferin' from funk, funk, funk.

Of course there's no denyin'
That it ain't so easy tryin'
To grin and grip your rifle by the butt,
When the 'ole world rips asunder,
And you sees yer pal go under,
As a bunch of shrapnel sprays 'im on the nut;
I admit it's 'ard contrivin'
When you 'ears the shells arrivin',
To discover you're a bloomin' bit o' spunk;
But, my lad, you've got to do it,
And your God will see you through it,
For wot 'E 'ates is funk, funk, funk.

So stand up, son; look gritty,
And just 'um a lively ditty,
And only be afraid to be afraid;
Just 'old yer rifle steady,
And 'ave yer bay'nit ready,
For that's the way good soldier-men is made.
And if you 'as to die,
As it sometimes 'appens, why,
Far better die a 'ero than a skunk;
A-doin' of yer bit,
And so -- to 'ell with it,
There ain't no bloomin' funk, funk, funk.

By Robert W. Service
Duath
Cramped In That Funnelled Hole

Cramped in that funnelled hole, they watched the dawn
Open a jagged rim around; a yawn
Of death's jaws, which had all but swallowed them
Stuck in the bottom of his throat of phlegm.

They were in one of many mouths of Hell
Not seen of seers in visions, only felt
As teeth of traps; when bones and the dead are smelt
Under the mud where long ago they fell
Mixed with the sour sharp odour of the shell.

By Wilfred Owen

15th-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Herbert Asquith, 'The Western'
Duath
The Western

Thor draws a chord invisible
Across the shaking sky:
I hear the tearing of the shell,
The bullets sing and cry,
As, charging through the flames of hell,
The batteries go by.

The gunners laugh about the task,
That man to man has given:
Like Titans, now the guns unmask,
And fire the veils of heaven.
Above the cloud what lights are gleaming?
God's batteries are those,
Or souls of soldiers, homeward streaming
To banquet with their foes?
The floods of battle ebb and flow,
The soldiers to Valhalla go!

They say that, when the day awoke,
And the dying night was wan,
Harry of England rode the smoke,
And led the English van:
And bowmen in the battle-glare
Rose from the ghostly dew:
The clothyard sang upon the air,
And the grey goose-feather flew!
Harry of England is awake,
His archers mind not trench or stake !

And men have seen the Emperor,
The Eagle of the South:
God grant the bonds be loosed by Thor
That bind that marble mouth!
The silver roads of conquest lie
Fast frozen in his brow:
Would those imperious lips were free
To give their orders now!
The floods of battle ebb and flow,
The soldiers to Valhalla go!

Beyond the thunder of the guns,
Beyond the flaming line,
Far from this sky of echoing bronze,
The English valleys shine;
The gardens, moated in the wolds,
By wind and water kissed;
And dainty girls, that England folds
In sunshine and in mist.
The floods of battle ebb and flow,
The soldiers to Valhalla go!

The fighting men go charging past,
With the battle in their eyes,
The fighting men go reeling past,
Like gods in poor disguise:
And stumbling men, whom none will see,
No wife or mother more,
Winged with the wings of Victory,
And helmeted by Thor!

Above the cloud what lights are gleaming?
God's batteries are those,
Or souls of soldiers, homeward streaming
To banquet with their foes?

By Herbert Asquith

Herbert Asquith's brother Raymond Asquith was killed September 15, 1916
14th-Sep-2016 01:00 am - Francie Brolly, 'The H-Block Song'
Duath
The H-Block Song

I am a proud young Irishman.
In Ulster’s hills my life began;
A happy boy through green fields ran;
I kept God’s and Man’s laws.
But when my age was barely ten
My country’s wrongs were told again.
By tens of thousands marching men
And my heart stirred to the cause.

So I’ll wear no convict’s uniform
Nor meekly serve my time
That Britain might brand Ireland‘s fight
Eight hundred years of crime.


I learned of centuries of strife,
Of cruel laws, injustice rife;
I saw now in my own young life
The fruits of foreign sway:
Protestors threatened, tortured, maimed,
Divisions nurtured, passions flamed,
Outrage provoked, right’s cause defamed;
That is the conqueror’s way.

So I’ll wear no convict’s uniform
Nor meekly serve my time
That Britain might brand Ireland‘s fight
Eight hundred years of crime.


Descended from proud Connacht clan,
Concannon served cruel Britain’ s plan;
Man’ s inhumanity to man
Had spawned a trusty slave.
No strangers are these bolts and locks,
No new design these dark H-Blocks,
Black Cromwell lives while Mason stalks;
The bully taunts the brave.

So I’ll wear no convict’s uniform
Nor meekly serve my time
That Britain might brand Ireland‘s fight
Eight hundred years of crime.


Does Britain need a thousand years
Of protest, riot, death and tears,
Or will this past decade of fears
Of eighty decades spell
an end to Ireland’ s agony,
New hope for human dignity;
And will the last obscenity
Be this grim H-Block cell?

So I’ll wear no convict’s uniform
Nor meekly serve my time
That Britain might brand Ireland‘s fight
Eight hundred years of crime.


by Francie Brolly (Dungiven, 1976)

The Blanket Protest began September 14, 1976

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