John Boyle O'Reilly

(28 June 1844 - 10 August 1890 / Dowth Castle, County Meath)

Resurgite!- June, 1877 - Poem by John Boyle O'Reilly

NOW, for the faith that is in ye,
Polander, Sclav, and Kelt!
Prove to the world what the lips have hurled
The hearts have grandly felt.

Rouse, ye races in shackles!
See in the East, the glare
Is red in the sky, and the warning cry
Is sounding—'Awake! Prepare!'

A voice from the spheres—a hand downreached
To hands that would be free,
To rend the gyves from the fettered lives
That strain toward Liberty!

Circassia! the cup is flowing
That holdeth perennial youth:
Who strikes succeeds, for when manhood bleeds
Each dropp is a Cadmus' tooth.

Sclavonia! first from the sheathing
Thy knife to the cord that binds;
Thy one-tongued host shall renew the boast:
'The Scythians are the Winds!'

Greece! to the grasp of heroes,
Flashed with thine ancient pride,
Thy swords advance: in the passing chance
The great of heart are tried.

Poland! thy lance-heads brighten:
The Tartar has swept thy name
From the schoolman's chart, but the patriot's heart
Preserves its lines in flame.

Ireland! mother of dolors,
The trial on thee descends:
Who quaileth in fear when the test is near,
His bondage never ends.

Oppression, that kills the craven,
Defied, is the freeman's good:
No cause can be lost forever whose cost
Is coined from Freedom's blood!

Liberty's wine and altar
Are blood and human right;
Her weak shall be strong while the struggle with wrong
Is a sacrificial fight.

Earth for the people—their laws their own—
An equal race for all:
Though shattered and few who to this are true
Shall flourish the more they fall.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 21, 2012

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