MARCH 20th DEMONSTRATION (AS THE DEMOCRAT SAW IT)
Here on the edge of the world,
What's doing, what's brewing?
High on the planet's ear,
Like mushroom-rimming slug,
What d'ye see, what d'ye hear?
If Britain be a dimple,
Here on the dimple's pimple,
From the louse-eye view,
What's new, what's new?
The weight of the world presses
East and South to Asia;
To simmering, teeming Asia;
To young, malign Asia
(Whose great impassive parent
Is dead and reincarnate
In young malignity);
To Asia that gazes mildly
But has old scores to settle;
To Asia crouching, clawed.
Old Britain's gums are weak,
Her ears gone dull and coarse
(That's to say, tolerant);
Yet hears a thing or two
Of how her children do.
But Ireland, poor deaf Ireland!
So proud once of her Saints,
So proud once of her Scholars,
And sending scholars more
At Anglican gunboat's heel
That never sun might set
Upon Saint Peter's Empire -
She had an ear for the world,
A poor ear, but her own;
No more, no mor mo bhron!
The Presidential palace in Saigon
Gave entrance through a tall wrought-iron gate;
First rebel tank full-throttle coming on,
A guard ran out to open it; too late!
Mangling the mongery, the victor bored
Within, to seize that White House-of-the-Gook
In spite of napalm, dungeon, fire and sword,
The Founding Fathers' Faith is here forsook.
When that gate buckled and screamed at hinge,
Did the Sacra Insula feel a twinge?
Are you mad, my lad; were you on the binge?
Who is it that laments Old Ireland's passing?
Surely not I, the Irish Democrat!
Ireland without her people means nothing to me;
Ireland without her priests may signify;
Sure we'll be internationalist again
To better purpose! Canon Sheehan feared
Lest one day someone confidently say:
"The Irish God is dead; but Ireland lives."
The masses rise volcanic through mankind,
Even where they speak as though they loved their level;
Deep in the roaring wave I am a drop;
I am a leaf upon the redwood tree
That shall be highest; of the fiercest gale
I am a gust; who is my better, then?
The frothy men who bubble on the crest,
They too are drops, no better, maybe worse;
Great men awhile may lead us against odds
But afterwards we smother them at birth
Lest they enslave us. For a little while
Greatness must be distrusted; and again
A little while, all shall be great.
With a wandering eye
Beckoned by larger doings in other lands
Do I take notice of this multitude
Marching for tax reform. Here is Young Ireland
Treading upon Old Ireland - Bourgeois Ireland
And rural Ireland where the bourgeois grows.
Much William Martin Murphy's press has mellowed,
And the old mole is for an instant seen.