Mother Ireland by M. J. Foley

That girl! She put on mother age so well!
Bards, monks and monarchs, who would die
To make her, kept her high and dry,
Never knew her. She herself was hell.
Later, a hag, she found a second spell.
She, who had never made a woman’s cry,
Cursed by the others, gave her own the lie,
Took off her old nubility, and fell.

Large as strife her memory since then
Teases immortality, mimicks tears.
Such a climax! Now the guilty men
Must keep dying! No one dare
Say furiously, “Forget the old affair!
Banba, the witch, is dead a hundred years!”

From: http://www.poetryireland.ie/publications/poetry-ireland-review/online-archive/view/mother-ireland

Date: 1980

By: M. J. Foley (1937- )

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