Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sunday WW1 Remembered...



The Dead Kings

By Francis Ledwidge


All the dead kings came to me

At Rosnaree, where I was dreaming,

A few stars glimmered through the morn,

And down the thorn the dews were streaming.



And every dead king had a story

Of ancient glory, sweetly told.

It was too early for the lark,

But the starry dark had tints of gold.



I listened to the sorrows three

Of that Eire passed into song.

A cock crowed near a hazel croft,

And up aloft dim larks winged strong.



And I, too, told the kings a story

Of later glory, her fourth sorrow:

There was a sound like moving shields

In high green fields and the lowland furrow.



And one said: ‘We who yet are kings

Have heard these things lamenting inly.’

Sweet music flowed from many a bill

And on the hill the morn stood queenly.



And one said: ‘Over is the singing,

And bell bough ringing, whence we come;

With heavy hearts we’ll tread the shadows,

In honey meadows birds are dumb.’



And one said: ‘Since the poets perished

And all they cherished in the way,

Their thoughts unsung, like petal showers

Inflame the hours of blue and grey.’



And one said: ‘A loud tramp of men

We’ll hear again at Rosnaree.’

A bomb burst near me where I lay.

I woke, ’twas day in Picardy.



Francis Ledwidge was an Irish writer and poet. 

He was killed in action at Passchendaele in 1917



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