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Poem by Aubrey Thomas De Vere


The inexplicable disaster at Kinsale, when, after their marvellous winter march, the two great Northern chiefs of Tirconnell and Tirone had succeeded in relieving their Spanish allies there, was one of those events upon which the history of a nation turns.

WHAT man can stand amid a place of tombs,
  Nor yearn to that poor vanquished dust beneath?
Above a nations grave no violet blooms;
  A vanquished nation lies in endless death.

T is past: the dark is dense with ghost and vision!
  All lost; the air is thronged with moan and wail:
But one day more and hope had been fruition:
  O Athunree, thy fate oerhung Kinsale!

What name is that which lays on every head
  A hand like fire, striking strong locks gray?
What name is named not save with shame and dread?
  Once let us name it,then no more for aye!

Kinsale! accursed be he the first who bragged
  A city stands where roamed but late the flock;
Accursed the day when, from the mountain dragged,
  Thy corner-stone forsook the mother-rock!

Aubrey Thomas De Vere

Aubrey Thomas De Vere's other poems:
  1. To a Flower on the Skirts of Mont Blanc
  2. A Ballad of Athlone; Or, How They Broke down the Bridge
  3. Composed at Rydal, September, 1860
  4. The Dirge of Athunree
  5. Roisin Dubh; Or, the Bleeding Heart

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