Lines by Robert Emmet

Submitted by dalcassian on 18 August, 2010 - 5:26 Author: Robert Emmet.

The Irish Republican Robert Emmet wrote these Lines about Arbour Hill burying ground in Dublin, where
the remains of insurgents killed in the uprisings of 1798, are buried. Acting in alliance with British Jacobin republicans, Emmet planned an uprising. Here he talks of mercy to his enemies. Captured in arms in 1803, he himself at the age of 25 met with murderous vindictiveness. He was hanged in Thomas Street, Dublin, cut down alive and disembowelled - "hanged, drawn and quartered".

No rising column marks this spot,
Where many a victim lies;
But oh! the blood which here has streamed,
To Heaven for justice cries.

It claims it on the Oppressor's head,
Who joys in human woe,
Who drinks the tears by misery shed,
And mocks them as they flow.

It claims it on the callous judge,
Whose hands in blood are dyed,
Who arms injustice with the sword,
The balance throws aside.

It claims it for this ruined isle,
Her wretched children's grave;
Where withered Freedom droops her head,
And man exists-a slave.

O sacred Justice! free this land
From tyranny abhorred;
Resume thy balance and thy seat -
Resume – but sheathe thy sword.

No retribution should we seek-
Too long has horror reigned;
By mercy marked may freedom rise,
By cruelty unstained.

Nor shall a tyrant's ashes mix
With those our martyred dead;
This is the place where Erin's sons
In Erin's cause have bled.

And those who here are laid at rest,
Oh! hallowed be each name;
Their memories are forever blest-
Consigned to endless fame.

Unconsecrated is this ground,
Unblest by holy hands;
No bell here tolls its solemn sound,
No monument here stands.

But here the patriot’s tears are shed,
The poor man’s blessing given;
These consecrate the virtuous dead,
These waft their fame to heaven.
. .

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