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Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter: Sick I am and sorrowful

 

Sick I am and sorrowful

Sick I am and sorrowful, how can I be well again
Here, where fog and darkness are, and big guns boom all day,
Practising for evil sport? If you speak humanity,
Hatred comes into each face, and so you cease to pray.

How I dread the sound of guns, hate the bark of musketry,
Since the friends I loved are dead, all stricken by the sword.
Full of anger is my heart, full of rage and misery;
How can I grow well again, or be my peace restored?

If I were in Glenmalure, or in Enniskerry now,
Hearing of the coming spring in the pinetree’s song;

If I woke on Arran Strand, dreamt me on the cliffs of Moher,
Could I not grow gay again, should I not be strong?

If I stood with eager heart on the heights of Carrantuohill,
Beaten by the four great winds into hope and joy again,
Far above the cannons’ roar or the scream of musketry,
If I heard the four great seas, what were weariness or pain?

Were I in a little town, Ballybunion, Ballybrack,
Laughing with the children there, I would sing and dance once more,
Heard again the storm clouds roll hanging over Lugnaquilla,
Built dream castles from the sands of Killiney’s golden shore.

If I saw the wild geese fly over the dark lakes of Kerry
Or could hear the secret winds, I could kneel and pray.

But ’tis sick I am and grieving, how can I be well again
Here, where fear and sorrow are—my heart so far away?

Dora Maria Sigerson Shorter
(1866 – 1918)
Sick I am and sorrowful

• fleursdumal.nl magazine

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