Dora Sigerson Shorter

(1866-1918 / Ireland)

They Did Not See Thy Face - Poem by Dora Sigerson Shorter

Some on the pleasant hillside have thought they saw thee pass,
As flings a cloud before the sun a shadow on the grass.
They praised thy fairness and held dear thy meekness and thy grace;
They only saw thy shade, Kathleen, they did not see thy face.
Some on the purple mountains stood to see thee speeding by,
As glides a sudden golden shaft across a stormy sky;
And these were braggarts of their love within thy dwelling-place;
They saw thy beauty, Rosin Dubh, they did not see thy face.

But some in flames of battle strove their slender weight to throw
Against the bayonet and the gun that hid thy only foe;
They left for thee their earthly loves, these heroes of thy race,
And died, as all must die, Kathleen, who once have seen thy face.
So must thy grief be ever new who holds a love like this,
That thrusts away a dear one's heart, a little child's soft kiss,
That leaves behind an honoured home, a Mother's fond embrace,
Till others seek again, Kathleen, to see thy hidden face.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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