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                                                Searc's Web Guide to to 20th Century Ireland - Tadgh Barry (Circa. 1917)

Tadgh Barry was a member of the Cork Company of Irish Volunteers from 1913. After the 1916 Easter Rising he was imprisoned in various County Cork prisons until the General Amnesty of June, 1917. On his release he published Gaol Poems dedicated 'To my fellow prisoners, Pádraig O'Higgins, Séan Healy and Seamus Courtney, in memory of our comradeship in misfortune...' ©

Tadgh Barry

A Butterfly in the Gaol

A butterfly beating with fragile wings
The window of my gaol,
Such sad home thoughts to mind so brings
That makes my heart bewail;
The friends I loved, the brave hearts true,
The cailini and the dance,
The songs we sang, our evening walks
That sped the night's advance.

All flashed my mind as decked so fair
This summer's herald bright,
Appeared in my surroundings drear,
And fluttered in my sight.
Oh, bright winged harbinger of spring,
When hedgerows blossoms deck,
Does this foul atmosphere annoy,
And like mine your hopes wreck.

Cease struggling little butterfly,
And let me set thee free,
Would it that with some friend might lie
To do the same for me.
From Eire's chrysalis of woe
I hoped for freedom bright,
But cruel fate will have it so,
I stay whilst you take flight.

Goodbye thou first bright butterfly,
Be happy with your kind,
Oh, that I freedom could decry,
And my dear friends soon find;
But you will dance in Summer sun
The while I pine in gaol,
And after you some child will run
But none my coming hail.

My heart will flutter like your wings
Unceasing 'gainst the bars
That kills the joy that summer brings
And on my spirit jars;
For tyrant laws have buried me
Away from home and friends,
But still the pride that is for thee
Dear Erin, makes amends.

© Searc's Web Guide 1997-2008
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