Pearse’s premature Proclamation

  • Visceral vision, Ireland’s solipsist saviour,
    Republican romantic: feint or fallible failure;
    martyr-memory sacred, unquestioned price:
    feather-bare phoenix rose from blood sacrifice.

    Proclamation printed, only heard by few,
    perfunctory their muted cheers on cue;
    ironic, a pacifist the first rebel executed,
    half-forgotten hero, Skeffy goes un-saluted.

    Pearse no prophet, nor priest anointed,
    not national saviour, not by God appointed:
    bookish, belligerent, old-style scholastic,
    Gael-gospel mystic, somewhat bombastic.

    Rebel song unevenly sung in Sackville Street
    accompanied by Brit artillery, Brit marching feet;
    rebel flag reluctantly lowered, insurgent defenders
    stood-down, lofty Nelson observed their surrender.

    Bullets hit Hibernia’s heroes, no trigger hesitation:
    unfairly-executed martyrs couldn’t save our nation;
    by what uncertain saviour was Pearse consoled,
    last rites, tongue silenced, body soon stone cold.

    No resurrection redemption after three dark days,
    bitter spirits sang, passionate patriot eyes blazed;
    mythic religious your vision, Christ-less its creed,
    civil-war demagogue speeches sowed stillborn seed.

    Messianic minded, almost-hero, not heaven’s hope:
    Enfield rifles primed by your triumphalist trope;
    much of God’s truth distorted by Jesuitical twist –
    did you die in gospel grace, where mercy only exists?


    God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it
    — no matter what. Hebrews 4: 12 & 13

    On May 16th, 1916, Pearse was shot by firing squad. There was no trial. Eventually fourteen other rebel leaders would also be shot. Ironically, it was in death
    that Patrick Pearse found real fame.

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