Patrick Henry Pearse

[Pádraig Pearse] (10 November 1879 – 3 May 1916 / Great Brunswick / Ireland)

Quotations

  • ''There are in every generation those who shrink from the ultimate sacrifice, but there are in every generation those who make it with joy and laughter and these are the salt of the generations.''
    Patrick Henry Pearse (1879-1916), Irish nationalist leader. Commemoration address, March 2, 1914, Brooklyn, N.Y., for Irish patriot Robert Emmet, executed in 1803 for his part in an abortive invasion of Ireland. Pearse was himself executed by the British in 1916 for his part in the Easter Rising, when he was proclaimed president of the provisional republican government.
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  • ''Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations.... They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.''
    Patrick Henry Pearse (1879-1916), Irish nationalist leader. graveside oration, Aug. 1, 1915. Quoted in Sean O'Casey, The Plough and the Stars, act 2 (1926). The last part of this speech was incorporated.

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The Mother

I do not grudge them: Lord, I do not grudge
My two strong sons that I have seen go out
To break their strength and die, they and a few,
In bloody protest for a glorious thing,
They shall be spoken of among their people,
The generations shall remember them,
And call them blessed;
But I will speak their names to my own heart
In the long nights;

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