Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

Signs Of The Times

When mighty passions, surging, heave the depth of life's great ocean
When the people sway, like forest trees, to and fro in wild commotion
When the world‐old kingdoms, rent and riven, quiver in their place,
As the human central fire is upheaving at their base,
And throbbing hearts, and flashing eyes, speak a language deep and cryptic;
Yet he who runs may read aright these signs apocalyptic:
Then rise, ye crownéd Elohim*—rise trembling from your thrones;
Soon shall cease the eternal rhythm betwixt them and human groans.
Ah! ye thought the nations, faint and weary, lay for ever bound;
They were sleeping like Orestes, with the Furies watching round;

Soon they'll spring to vengeance, maddened by the whisperings divine,
That breathed of human freedom, as they knelt before God's shrine.
See you not a form advancing, as the shadow of the Gnomon,
Step by step, in darkness, onward—can ye read the fatal omen!
Coarse the hand, and rude the raiment, and the brow is dark to see,
But flashes fierce the eye as those of vengeful Zincali.

On its brow a name is written—France read it once before,
And like a demon's compact, it was written in her gore
A fearful name—thrones trembled as the murmur passed along—
RETRIBUTION, proud oppressors, for your centuries of wrong.
From the orient to the ocean, from the palm‐tree to the pine,
From Innisfail, by Tagus, to the lordly Appenine
From Indus to the river by which pale Warsaw bleeds
Souls are wakening—hands are arming—God is blessing noble deeds.
Bravely done, ye Roman Eagles, ye are fluttering at last;
Spread your broad wings brave and proudly, as in old times, to the blast;
Never furl them—never flag, till with the Austrian's slaughter,
Ye crimson the full tide of the Danube's rolling water.
Who will falter now? Who'll stand like a trembling coward dumb!
Plaudite! Freedom stands again on the Janiculum!
From the Tiber to the Adige her vatic words are waking,
Italy! fair Italy! arise the dawn is breaking!
The Russian breathed on Poland, and she changed to a Zahara;
The jewels of her ancient crown adorn the Czar's tiara.
Her princes, and her nobles, tread the land with footsteps weary,
And her people cry to Heaven with ceaseless Miserere.
On her pale brow, thorn crownéd, ye may read her shame and loss;
See, foreign rule has branded there the fatal Thanatos.
But her agony and bloody sweat the Lord from Heaven will see,
And a resurrection morn heal the wounds of Calvary.

By our prophets God is speaking, in Sinai's awful thunders,
By pestilence and famine, in fearful signs and wonders;
By our great poet‐priesthood, the sacred race immortal,
Whose words go forth triumphant, as through a golden portal;
By our patriots and martyrs, who, for Freedom's holy law,
Have hearts to dare, a hand to burn, like Mutius Scævola.
Then, courage, Brothers! lock your shields, like the old Spartan band,
Advance! and be your watchword ever—God for Ireland!
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