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Poem by Thomas MacDonagh

Grange House Lodge

Babylon is passed away,
Dublin's day must now begin;
On the hill above the bay
Make your mansion, pray and sin.

Pray for grace yourself to be,
To be free in all you do,
For a straight sincerity,--
Grace to see a point of view.

And you'll sin in praying so,
For to know you're right is wrong,--
Yet we can't like blossoms grow
But to blow the wind along.

Sin is always very near--
It is here as in the crowd;
Know you're humble and austere,--
Be sincere and you'll be proud.

Once was purple Babylon
The pavilion of our pride,
Now the lodge of Mauravaun
Stays us on the mountain side.

In a lodge inside a gate
Live in state and live apart,
Till the little-distant date
When your fate will bid you start,--

Bid you leave this room and that,
Where you sat and where you slept,--
Lock the door and leave the mat,
Smiling at the way 'twas kept.

For, whate'er your sin or whim,
You were prim and rounded things;
And you kept your life in trim,
Though not as the hymn-book sings.

What about it after all?--
If you fall you rise again,
And at least you never sprawl
At the call of other men.

There again by pride you sin--
Come within and shut the door;
Far from Babylonian din
Now begin your prayer once more.

Save me from sincerity
Such as spoiled the Pharisee.-- Amen.

Thomas MacDonagh

Thomas MacDonagh's other poems:
  1. My Love To-night
  2. The Seasons and the Leaves
  3. The Night Hunt
  4. To Eoghan
  5. Death in the Woods

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