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D. P. Welch: Happy St. Pat's - A Message Of Hoe

I wanted to share a great poem on this special day. I recite it every year to the kids at the school, and I recited it last year at the Poets Against the War event. I think it is supposed to be an apocryphal rendering of rebel leader Robert Emmet's speech from the dock, which so scared the court that they hanged him on the spot. Share and enjoy, and keep fighting the good fight. - Peace, Danny

I offer this year's rendition in memory of my Uncle Bob, an Irish poet who wrote under the name Salmon Ryder. He passed away this past summer.

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The Rebel
Phádraig Mhic Phiarais (Padraig Pearse)

I am come of the seed of the people--a people that sorrow. That have no treasure but hope, no riches laid up but the memory of an ancient glory.

In bondage my mother bore me, and in bondage my mother was born. I am of the blood of serfs.

The hands that have touched mine, dear hands whose touch is so familiar to me, have worn shameful manacles. Have been bitten at the wrist by manacles. Have grown hard with manacles and the taskwork of strangers.

The children with whom I have played, the men and women with whom I have eaten, have had masters over them. Have been under the lash of masters. And, though gentle, have served churls. I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly.

I am bone of their bone, I that have never submitted. I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people's masters, I that have vision, and prophecy, and the gift of fiery speech.

I that have spoken with God from the top of his holy hill.

And because I am of the people, I understand the people. I am hungry with their desires, I am sorrowful with their sorrows. My heart has been heavy with the grief of mothers, my eyes have been wet with the tears of children. I have grown wistful with old men, and laughed or cursed with young men.

Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it. Reddened for that they have served, those who should be free. Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full. Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers, and their jailers, with their writs of summons, and their handcuffs--men mean and cruel. I could have borne stripes on my body rather than this shame of my people.

And now I speak, being full of vision. I speak to my people, and I speak in my people's name to the masters of my people. To my people I say that they are holy, that they are august despite their chains. That they are greater than those that hold them, and stronger and purer.That they have but need of courage, and to call the name of their God -- God the unforgetting, dear God who loved the peoples, for whom he died naked, suffering shame.

And I say to my people's masters: Beware. Beware of the thing that is coming. Beware of the risen people, who shall take what ye would not give. Did ye think to conquer the people? Or that Law is stronger than Life, or than man's desire to be free? We shall try it out with you, ye that have harried and held, ye that have bullied and bribed--tyrants, hypocrites, liars!

************

"When someone has lost his job, that's someone in my family lost his job...in each case I feel a certain obligation to try to be of help. You know, that's really what it means to be connected to community. That's really what it means to remember where you came from."

"We can have jobs for all, and education for all, and health care for all, as long as we're willing to give up war for all and tax cuts for the wealthy."

--Dennis Kucinich

************

Who are they to tell us not to dream?
(Maybe the US, UK, Italy, Australia...will follow Spain's example and 'dare to dream')
-- Daniel Patrick Welch

Ten million strong we went marching through the streets
We marched to tell our leaders that the people wanted peace
The leaders didn't listen and they tell us we're extreme
Who are they to tell us not to dream

The world can be ours in a future yet unseen
So who are they to tell us not to dream

Nelson Mandela sat prisoner in jail
The dreamkillers told him that his quest was bound to fail
Thank god we weren't swept up in apartheid's profit stream
And didn't listen when they told us not to dream

The world can be ours in a future yet unseen
Just don't listen when they tell you not to dream

History tells us that hope is not enough
That those who seek justice must be made of stronger stuff
But every link in progress, where we've been and what we've seen
Couldn't happen if we hadn't dared to dream

The world can be ours in a future yet unseen
It can happen if we only dare to dream

Why should starving people be content with half a loaf
If we need peace and justice, then why can't we have both?
Instead of feeding fear why don't we starve the war machine
Don't blame just 'cause you don't dare to dream

The world can be ours in a future yet unseen
So don't blame us just 'cause you're afraid to dream

No one is saying it's not an uphill fight
But if a path is easier that doesn't make it right
If we leave our fear behind, if we dare to change the scene
We can do it if we don't refuse to dream

The world can be ours in a future yet unseen
So go ahead and dare us not to dream

The world can be ours in a future yet unseen
Come and join us if you're not afraid to dream

The world can be ours in a future yet unseen
They can't stop us when we all decide to dream
They can't stop us when we all decide to dream

************

- Daniel P. Welch - For interesting commentary in 19 languages visit danielpwelch.com please read and circulate Danny's new piece, The Wrong Side of History

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