August/ September 2018 - Vol. 99
I See his Blood Upon the
by Joseph Mary Plunkett
| 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
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating
His crown of thorns is twined with every
His cross is every tree.
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.