Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Fighting Irish

Where is Fredericksburg?
The bloody wound of New York's Irish.

writing their names on pieces of paper,
pinning the papers to their uniforms,
with the simple hope of escaping an unmarked grave.

The six desperate charges,
"the bodies which lie in dense masses"
before the cruel stone wall
before the world.

"Never at Fontenoy, Albuera or Waterloo
was more undaunted courage displayed..."
than at Fredericksburg
the cruel stonewall
where New York's Irish Brigade died.

Mo mhuirnin,
the requiem at St. Patrick's,
the call for the widows to come forward
and be cared for.

Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!
The Pennsylvanians chanting
and waving their green banner,
the Harp and the Sunburst
over Pickett's troops
who have fallen before them
at yet another cruel stonewall


-- J. McManus

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