A Lost Martyr
(In memory of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington)
by Frank Armstrong

Ireland lost its vision in nineteen-sixteen;
Then bad poetry incarnate,
Engendered all we’ve seen,
Through a century of hate.

Kaiser Wilhem are you willing,
To take our land for a schilling?|
Ladies take your place,
Srub the dishes don’t deface.

Of Pearse we should take the piss,
McDonagh make fun of,
Even Connolly I can’t resist,
Or Joseph Mary to make a pun of.

A nation needs its heroes,
And for poets to sing their deeds,
The real martyr and our sorrows,
Francis Sheehy-Skeffington and his creeds.

A feminist from the start,
Joyce knew and held apart,
A vegetarian taboo,
And socialist who knew.

When the Rising came,
He did not seek a lasting fame,
Tried to round up a crew,
To bring order and renew.

Dear Willie Yeats, acutely,
Why did you conjoin,
That terror with a beauty
From your withered loin?

Can man escape a fate,
Not laden with hate?
Let Ireland not be the answer,
If we’re to have a chance here.

The poet sings her song,
Of the nation to which we belong;
Lilting tune from our wind,
Crashes wild as we sinned.

Hard liquor in our demise,
Such as Percy Shelley espied,
When he came to accept the blame,
All nations live with shame.

Sheehy-Skeffington was his heir,
For a country in despair,
But those men took up the gun,
And a sorry tale begun.

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