Mountjoy – 1922 (November)
A little altar in the flickering light
Beneath your picture in the quiet night.
Without, the crack of fire from bitter gun
Another life perchance its course has run.
Many a soul within the prison gloom
Keeps watch awake, the morn mayhap his doom.
And in the world outside the fight for right.
I kneel beneath your holy face and see
The Infinite in His sweet infancy.
He turns aside from the dread cross of pain
He must endure, His Kingdom to maintain
I pray you intercede for one dear life
– This brilliant torch amid the crimson strife –
Flashing its rays that Eire safe may see
At last her dream – unfettered liberty
But when my eyes fall on your Infant King
In peace I see the cross dim shadowing
I know, victoriously, he too must die
And tread for Ireland his own Calvary
This poem concerns the execution of Erskine Childers
Source: National Library of Ireland, Ceannt and O’Brennan Papers, 1851-1953. MS 41, 501/ 2/ 6
Cover image: THE WORLD, New York City, November 25, 1922