Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy
cathy_edgett

Easter Rising -


When I read of immigrants protesting in LA, my first thought is can't we have a day of rest, but then I remember Yeat's poem, 1916, and realize it is easy for me to say, me who has a perfect life, when there are so many who do not have this day to pause in a beautiful place and reflect.

Here is background from Wikipedia for Yeat's Poem.

   

The Easter Rising was a rebellion staged in Ireland in Easter Week, 1916.

The rising was an attempt by militant Irish Republicans to win independence from Britain by force of arms. It was the most significant uprising in Ireland since the rebellion of 1798. The Rising, which was largely organised by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, lasted from Easter Monday April 24 to April 30, 1916. Members of the Irish volunteers, led by school teacher and barrister Patrick Pearse, joined by the smaller Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly, seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic independent of Britain. The Rising was suppressed after six days of fighting, and its leaders were court-martialled and executed. Despite its military failure, it can be judged as being a significant stepping-stone in the eventual creation of the Irish Republic.


Here is Yeat's Poem.


Easter, 1916


I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse.
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vain-glorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it
Where long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call.
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead.
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse --
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

-- William Butler Yeats

 

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