Fanny Parnell - Sligo Poets

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1913 > Sligo Poetry 1913 > Sligo Nationalist

       Sligo Nationalist 16 August 1913

                      Post Mortem.

Shall mine eyes behold thy glory, O my country?
     Shall mine eyes behold thy glory?
Or shall the darkness close around them, ere the sun-blaze
     Break at last upon thy story ?

When the Nations ope for thee their queenly circle,
     As a sweet new sister hail thee,
Shall these lips be sealed in callous death and silence
     That have known but to bewail thee?

Shall the ear be deaf that only loved thy praises
     When all men their tribute bring thee?
Shall the mouth be clay that sang thee in thy squalor
     When all poets' mouths shall sing thee?

Ah! the harpings and the salvos and the shoutings
     Of thy exiled sons returning
I should hear, though dead and moldered, and the grave damps
     Should not chill my bosom's burning.

Ah! the tramp of feet victorious! I should hear them
     'Mid the shamrocks and the mosses,
And my heart should toss within the shroud and quiver,
     As a captive dreamer tosses.

I should turn and rend the cere clothes round me,
     Giant-sinews I should borrow,
Crying, "O my brothers I have also loved her,
     In her lowliness and sorrow.

"Let me join with you the jubilant procession.
     Let me chant with you her story;
Then contented I shall go back to the shamrocks,
     Now mine eyes have seen her glory."
                                                Fanny Parnell.

Fanny Parnell (1854—1882)

Francis Isabel Parnell, the sister of the Irish Parliamentary Party leader Charles Stewart Parnell, was born in County Wicklow in 1854. Her father died and she and her mother
moved to Bordentown, New Jersey in 1874. Her poems, generally on nationalist themes, were published widely.

Fanny and her sister, Anna, co-founded the Ladies' Land League in 1880 to raise money in America for the Land League. In 1881 the Ladies' Land League continued the Land League work while the men  were imprisoned. Fanny stayed in America and worked to raise money for the organisation. She died there of a heart attack in 1882.

This poem looks forward to Ireland achieving its independence and was included at this time for that reason. The Home Rule Bill was making it way through the British Parliament and, in spite of Unionist opposition, seemed destined to come into effect in 1914.

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