Elliptical Movements

A blog by Billy Mills

Fanny Parnell: Irish Woman Poet

with 3 comments

Fanny Parnell (1849-1882) was a political activist and poet. Together with her sister Anna she founded the Ladies’ Land League, an American fundraising organisation in support of the Land League in Ireland. The sisters also organised their brother Charles’ first speaking tour of the States. Fanny published poems in many of the leading Irish newspapers and journals of the time and these were collected in Land League Songs, which was published in the year of her death.

HOLD THE HARVEST

Now are you men or cattle then, you tillers of the soil?
Would you be free, or evermore in rich men’s service toil?
The shadow of the dial hangs dark that points the fatal hour
Now hold your own! Or, branded slaves, forever cringe and cower!
The serpent’s curse upon you lies – you writhe within the dust
You fill your mouths with beggars’ swill, you grovel for a crust
Your masters set their blood-stained heels upon your shameful heads
Yet they are kind – they leave you still their ditches for your beds! -
Oh by the God who made us all, the master and the serf
Rise up and swear to hold this day your own green Irish turf!
Rise up! And plant your feet as men where now you crawl as slaves
And make your harvest fields your camps, or make of them your graves!

 

Written by Billy Mills

18/01/2014 at 19:41

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I do like this one Billy – especially flow, and the opportunity for a short pause to reflect, for instance after ‘Now hold your own!’. But the death or glory vibe can’t help but lift the reader

    George Fripley

    19/01/2014 at 07:22

  2. […] Fanny Parnell (1849-1882) was a political activist and poet. Together with her sister Anna she founded the Ladies' Land League, an American fundraising organisation in support of the Land League in…  […]


Comments are good, please leave one.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 693 other followers

%d bloggers like this: