REPORT TO A FRIEND WHO DIED FOR IRELAND.
(Peter Graham, 1945-'71)
Your bullet-holed young neck was not in view,
Nor tortured flesh, nor rope-burned stiffened wrists:
You looked unpained, a self-possessed young priest
In the coffin; and your beard, I saw, still grew.
Twenty years, Peter — twenty! Mid-life flew
For me, was bullet-stopped for you: earth-kissed
In a Dublin graveyard, rags now wrap your quest.
I'm ageing, grey; you are no longer you.
Twenty years! The North's dim war still halloes the gun;
Against our Red, Orange and Green prevail;
The South, thank God's at peace: you blazed no trail
For chaos, through which nothing new could run.
Ireland, Peter! Fine ideals you sang
To ill-judged deeds, and your you-murdering gang.