Sixteen Dead Men Poem by William Butler Yeats

Sixteen Dead Men

Rating: 2.8

O BUT we talked at large before
The sixteen men were shot,
But who can talk of give and take,
What should be and what not
While those dead men are loitering there
To stir the boiling pot?
You say that we should still the land
Till Germany's overcome;
But who is there to argue that
Now Pearse is deaf and dumb?
And is their logic to outweigh
MacDonagh's bony thumb?
how could you dream they'd listen
That have an ear alone
For those new comrades they have found,
Lord Edward and Wolfe Tone,
Or meddle with our give and take
That converse bone to bone?

Douglas Scotney 25 October 2014

too many issues to make a stand for one

2 0 Reply
Michael Morgan 25 October 2014

another fine-sounding Yeats poem that leaves you uncertain about what he's saying politically. Even his Casement poem makes the horrible denouement sound like a case of regrettable overkill. Only after the Easter Uprising does he seem to commit fully to the Irish cause.

3 2 Reply
William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

County Dublin / Ireland
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