Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Blood Upon the Rose

Joseph Mary Plunkett was the youngest of the signatories of the Rising at 28 years old and also by far, the most eccentric. He was known for his extravagant nature, often to be seen waltzing about Dublin in a cape in flamboyant flair. All his life Plunkett suffered from poor health but it was never a deterrent. He was a very well-travelled and well-read young man as well as a poet. He was the military strategist for the Rising and attended the GPO with his throat bandaged from his most recent operation. He was married to his fiancee Grace Gifford in Kilmainham jail, the night before his execution.

Plunkett wrote many poems, but this perhaps is his most famous, written in the mystical tradition and expressing the intensity of his own Christian faith. In retrospect, it almost speaks of an uncanny prophetic doom of blood sacrifice, of which his part in the Rising would condemn him. 



I See His Blood Upon the Rose - Joseph Mary Plunkett

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

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