The Irish Wolf by James McCarroll


Seek music in the wolf’s fierce howl

Or pity in his blood shot eye,

When hunger drives him out to prowl

Beneath the rayless northern sky:

But seek not that we should forgive

The hand that strikes us to the heart,

And yet in mockery bids us live

To count our stars as they depart.

We’ve fed the tyrant with our blood;

Won all his battles-built his throne-

Established him on land and flood,

And sought his glory next our own.

We raised him from his low estate;

We plucked his pagan soul from hell,

And led him pure to heaven’s gate,

Till he, for gold, like Judas fell.

And when in one long, soulless night,

he lay unknown to wealth or fame,

We gave him empire- riches – light,

And taught him how to spell his name.

But now, ungenerous and unjust,

Forgetful of our old renown,

He bows us to the very dust;

But wears our jewels in his crown.

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