Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

A Lament

Gone from us—dead to us—he whom we worshipped so!
Low lies the altar we raised to his name;
Madly his own hand hath shattered and laid it low
Madly his own breath hath blasted his fame.
He whose proud bosom once raged with humanity,
He whose broad forehead was circled with might,
Sunk to a time‐serving, driv’lling inanity
God! Why not spare our loved country the sight?

Was it the gold of the stranger that tempted him?
Ah! we’d have pledged to him body and soul;
Toiled for him—fought for him—starved for him—died for him
Smiled, tho’ our graves were the steps to his goal.
Breathed he one word in his deep, earnest whispering,
Wealth, crown, and kingdom, were laid at his feet;
Raised he his right hand, the millions would round him cling
Hush! ’tis the Sassenach ally you greet.

Leaders have fallen—we wept, but we triumphed, too
Patriot blood never sinks in the sod;
He falls, and the jeers of the nation he bent to sue
Rise like accusing weird spirits to God.
Weep for him—weep for him—deep is the tragedy
Angels themselves now might doubt of God’s truth;
Souls from their bloody graves, shuddering, rise to see
How he avenges their lost, murdered youth.

Tone, and Fitzgerald, and the pale‐brow’d enthusiast—
He whose heart broke, but shrank not from the strife;
Davis, the latest loved—he who in glory passed,
Kindling Hope’s lamp with the chrism of life.

Well may they wail for him—power and might were his
Loved as no mortal was loved in the land
What has he sold them for? Sorrow and shame it is,
Fair words and false from a recreant band.

Time’s shade was on him; what matter? we loved him yet;
Aye, would have torn the veins with our teeth,
Made him a bath of our young blood to pay the debt
Purchased his life, tho’ we bought brough it by death.
Pray for him—pray: an archangel has fallen low;
There’s a throne less in Heaven, there is sorrow on earth.
Weep, angels—laugh, demons! When his hand could strike the blow,
Where shall we seek for truth, honour, or worth?
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