(19 August 1887 – 31 July 1917 / Janeville, Slane)

Lament For Thomas Mcdonagh

He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky, where he is lain,
Nor voices of the sweeter birds,
Above the wailing of the rain.

Nor shall he know when loud March blows
Thro' slanting snows her fanfare shrill,
Blowing to flame the golden cup
Of many an upset daffodil.

But when the Dark Cow leaves the moor
And pastures poor with greedy weeds
Perhaps he'll hear her low at morn
Lifting her horn in pleasant meads.

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This lament for the slain poet McDonagh evokes the lost poetical senses of the 1916 leader. Ledwidge encapsulates in a few short lines the senstivity of the poet. Ledwidge forsees better times ahead for Ireland. He wistfully hopes that the executed McDonagh might see his patriotic sacrifice as instrumental in the betterment of the Irish nation. But the Dark Cow of the moor is back among the greedy weeds of materialism. Ireland has become a parody of itself.