2010 - Vol. 44
See his Blood Upon the Rose
poem by Joseph Mary
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice – and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.
Mary Plunkett (1879-1916) was born in Dublin, Ireland. He was educated
at Catholic University School, Belvedere College and Stonyhurst College.
His study of the mystics John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, and Francis
de Sales is discernable in his poetry. He was a close friend of Thomas
MacDonagh and Padraic Pearse, noted Irish poets. He was for a short while
editor of the literary publication, the Irish Review. Along
with MacDonagh and Edward Martyn, he co-founded the Irish Theatre. During
the 1916 Rising he was one of the signers of the Proclamation of the Irish
Republic. He was imprisoned by the English army in the Richmond Barracks.
Shortly before his execution in the courtyard of Kilmainham jail, on the
morning of May 4th, he married his fiance, Grace Gifford, in the jail's
chapel. He died at the age of 28.