The Ghost Of Roger Casement

O what has made that sudden noise?
What on the threshold stands?
It never crossed the sea because
John Bull and the sea are friends;
But this is not the old sea
Nor this the old seashore.

What gave that roar of mockery,
That roar in the sea's roar?

The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.


John Bull has stood for Parliament,
A dog must have his day,
The country thinks no end of him,
For he knows how to say,
At a beanfeast or a banquet,
That all must hang their trust
Upon the British Empire,
Upon the Church of Christ.


The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.


John Bull has gone to India
And all must pay him heed,
For histories are there to prove
That none of another breed
Has had a like inheritance,
Or sucked such milk as he,
And there's no luck about a house
If it lack honesty.


The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.


I poked about a village church
And found his family tomb
And copied out what I could read
In that religious gloom;
Found many a famous man there;
But fame and virtue rot.

Draw round, beloved and bitter men,
Draw round and raise a shout;

The ghost of Roger Casement
Is beating on the door.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939

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Les Carpenter

Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Corrective Exercise Specialist working with those over 50 years of age. Currently work at Prime Fitness located in The Enfield Senior Center, Enfield CT. Semi retired and enjoying life in the semi fast lane with my lovely bride and super grandchildren!

6 thoughts on “The Ghost Of Roger Casement”

  1. Roger Casement was a fascinating and tragic figure in history. For some time now I’ve had it in mind to do a post about him. A humanitarian who fought to expose the ghastly atrocities of the Belgian Congo. An Irish patriot who passionately supported Ireland’s independence from Britain. A gay man at a time when that meant persecution and often death.

    He was executed by the British for being the second of those things, and in reality for the third as well. But his people — Irish, and gays as well — are free now. I’m glad that Yeats honored him with a poem. I had not seen this before.

    Like

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