I see His Blood Upon the Rose
by Joseph Mary Plunkett
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.
Surely Joseph Mary Plunkett was right
To take Grace Gifford for his bride
In the untold desolation
Of the morning that he died.
She, lover, wife and widow
Almost in a single breath, understood.
He, tautly poised upon the threshold of his death,
Knew simply that in little time,
He’d stretch to frenzied lead,
Prone, alone on the barrack square,
His unshared bridal bed. by Brendan Kennelly.