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Poem: “The Easter Rising,” 1916

Patrick Pearse (1879-1916)

The Easter Rising, 1916
A Poem for the 90th year of Irish Independence, 1922-2012

Rebelling led by Patrick Pearse,
No more to smell the tyrant’s breath,
Though fighting went from bad to worse,
Men steeled their hearts to dreadful death.

None would back down, nor turn to run.
From such “suicide,” none did quail.
Outgunned some thirty-three to one,
All got killed or confined in jail.

Some priests were there to pray and bless,
These rogues whom London shot or hung;
Whose spirits bold would soon fluoresce,
And here below seem always young.

Battling by means that look so frail,
Senseless to mortal minds can seem.
But it broadcast an Irish tale,
Far better than base Britain’s theme.

Then would the haughty English send,
The low and sordid Black and Tan.
Still did the British empire end –
Victory via the hopeless plan.

Robert Struble Jr.


Bob Struble is a retired history teacher, and a writer of books, articles and poems. He is Lecturer for the Knights of Columbus in Bremerton WA, and is an associate editor at Catholic Lane.
  • Thank you Bob Struble, I’ve just finished watching the movie “Michael Collins”- your poem inspired me to look up some history- and watch this movie. Amazing times those were, and amazing men!

  • Fr. Thomas O’Callaghan recommends the following book.
    Ruth Dudley Edwards, PATRICK PEARSE: THE TRIUMPH OF FAILURE (London: Faber & Faber, 1977, 1979).

  • eire

    just doing this for my exam thank you im not being mean but i didnt understand a word of that

  • I need a history lesson. What is “Bloody Sunday” that the U2 song refers to?